Few days ago our seminal work on the Conservation and Management of the Kosovo National Library was out and on this occasion we must thank the numerous individuals that have helped us realize this project.
On behalf of myself and the Kosovo Architecture Foundation team, I must thank the Getty Foundation for providing the financial support and guidance necessary to conduct this project. Through their program: “Keeping It Modern” this project was possible. It comes at a critical time for the health of the National Library as there are numerous systems such as the roof, windows, moisture protection and plumbing that are failing. We would also like to thank the “Keeping It Modern” team led by Antoine Wilmering, and his colleagues Cynthia Querio and Candace Wai, as well as, Jodi Chang and Katie Underwood, for their amazing support throughout the implementation of the project. The team must thank the Kosovo Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and in particular Veton Firzi, General Secretary of the Ministry for their unwavering support, cooperation and guidance. I must also thank Fisnik Durguti and the Radio Televizioni i Kosoves archive team for their kindness and help in identifying and giving us permission to use old footages of the Library.
A special gratitude goes to Martino Stierli, the Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, for his advise and guidance in KAF’s application for the Grant. As well as to Farrokh Derakhshani, the Director of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, for his immeasurable support, counsel and mentorship to myself and to the Foundation.
We would also like to thank the managers, librarians and caretakers of the library. In particular Dr. Fazli Gajraku, Director of the Library and Rudina Tahiri, assistant to the Director, for their cooperation and welcoming the team to every corner of the library. Thanks must go also to the caretakers of the Library, technician; Hizri Bekolli, environmental technician; Remzi Demolli, electrician and Valdet Hoti, media technician. It was evident throughout our investigations they take great pride in the library. Without their daily efforts over the past 30 years the building would have suffered greatly. The entire staff assisted us in our efforts to understand the functioning of the building, users, values and condition from the roof to the sub-basement. They were always available. Last but not least we must thank the Library Architect Andrija Mutnjakovic for his unlimited support for the project and for the KAF Team, we are truly grateful that we had the honour to spend time and work together with such a brilliant mind.Our work on the library has attracted attention of decision makers, community leaders, users of the library and university students, local and regional conservation experts, and what made us extremely happy the attention of numerous regional and global media outlets. This emphasised to the local & regional authorities the importance of preserving modern architecture, the work organisations such us KAF have to play as well as the importance of the Getty Foundation’s Keeping It Modern initiative.
This conservation plan is the result of a large and dedicated team of architects and students. For one year from August 2016 the extended KAF team explored, documented and assessed every corner of the library with the intent to discover its vulnerabilities. During the year the KAF team and its collaborators, while producing this document have undertaken a Rapid Condition Assessment report, a workshop with young professionals and students of architecture, a documentary, an exhibition, a specialized tour of the Library, as well as produced the application fiche designating the Library part of the Permanent Protection List of Cultural Monuments in Kosovo.
The extended KAF team included the following individuals:
Yllka Pacarizi, KAF Architect
Feray Dervis, KAF Architect
Gentiana Pallaska, Architect
Fulin Dervis, Architect
Anda Batalli, Architect
Fjolla Mulliqi, Architect
Alma Pacarizi, Architect