Poetry of Emptiness

Poetry of Emptiness

Valbona Fejza


In modern cities, the underlying collective and urban entities are increasingly immersed in the more prominent visual / commercial surface of the urban tissue. In this way, the social and collective structure of the place and its city significance is lost and forgotten. We are talking about several questions:

  • How would the city regain and form the public, collective and city values that had lost during the expansion and the period of privatization and globalization?
  • How the former highway after the loss of its function will be connected in a spatial and programmatic sense with the center of the city?
  • What’s the collective role and how strong it is in the process of reviving and articulating the gaps along the highway making density without architectural domination?
  • How to fulfil the various needs and quantities that are necessary during the summer and the rest of the year without causing uncontrolled construction?

The aim of this thesis is to achieve a recognizable place through architecture, which will offer identity and order, without being an aggressive instrument of power over the emptiness. The main emphasis will be to the continuity, continuity of the flows, the energies, the rhythms established by the passing of time and the loss of limits.


Keywords:infrastructure, architectural composition, radical context, field, sequences, collective, city, urbanism, events, city street, gate, permanence, flexibility.



What prompted the project?

The project is a reflection of the problems of my hometown Kichevo. The lack of public spaces and usurped city square, the uncontrolled spreading and growth of the city leaving a plethora of voids in the city center, double needs for space and events during the summer period when citizens who have migrated abroad come for a holiday and a high way that loses its function of connecting Skopje and Ohrid.

The aim of this thesis is to achieve a recognizable place through architecture, which will offer identity and order, without being an aggressive instrument of power over the emptiness. The main emphasis will be on the continuity, continuity of the flows, the energies, the rhythms established by the passing of time and the loss of limits.


What is your take on colour? What role does the play within your images? What is its potential in architectural spaces?

The color palette is an inspiration from Luis Barragan’s work. It should give life and color to the city and to wake up the childlike heart and joy to everyone. It also comes along with the play these spaces offer, like the skate park, the open palestra, playground and various stages and multifunctional spaces. These programmes offer uncertainty and free use, they also invite people to enjoy the outside life which is lost and joins all the generations for interaction. Furthermore, the flexibility of architectural spaces offers an opportunity for the play to flow indoor-outdoor and to reinforce the events.


What is your take on the predominant use of the colour white? 

The white colour mainly represents the architecture which aim is to show the small percentage that it covers within the field, but with proper composition, it is inevitable for all the events. It also symbolizes the undeterminated elements and their flexibility for further development.

What were your biggest concerns and priorities when crafting the views? 

All the views should represent the atmospheres of the spaces and their diversity. The balanced composition was crucial and the lack of people in the composition lets the space to be more absorbed and dominant and to wake up the will of being there.

What role do natural elements as the sun play within your images? 

The city is more alive and happy during the sunny days which are dominant. Due to this, with the use of natural elements like the sun, I wanted to emphasize the joy of being outside in this small city.


How important was the initial collage for the development of the project?

The initial collage contains distinguish forms from the practice. They are heterotopic places, forming collective spaces, and representing monuments, which are used as inspiration for designing the elements that will define the thematic squares. They are the cornerstone of all events and they give new opportunities and potential of the voids. Their silhouette is simple and not dominant in the surrounding, except for the rain collectors which serve as a landmark.


What role did the drawing play as means through which to develop the project? What defined the type of drawings through which you reveal the finished project? 

I saw the drawings as collage and composition having in mind the city scale and the conclusions of theoretical research for solving the problems this city deals. They contain collages of sequences, of collective spaces for different events followed by the movement in each section and leaving space for uncertainty.


What would you say is the architect’s most important tool?

Once the architect leaves behind his ego and the unconditional desire of becoming famous.. miracles can happen. The most powerful tool architects have is observation. Observation of the context and the patterns of behavior, simultaneously becoming part of that pattern to understand better its needs.

How, to what extent has this project influenced how you operate as an architect?

This project made me realize that quality of a city and the quality of citizens lifestyle, lies in the quality and quantity of different free spaces, spaces that are for collective use, who can exist only if the consumers are mature enough to appreciate common use and social interaction. I think that after this project I started to pay more attention to the design of the voids and common spaces vs individual interests only. The process of investigating the design with the help of theoretical analyses came out more easy and trustworthy, that I am planning to use in the future projects also.



What are your currently working on? 

Together with part of my teammates, we are working for the architectural competition, which is mostly about exhibition design. Meanwhile, I am also looking for a job or an internship in my country and overseas.


Valbona Fejza is 24 years old, she is an architect from Kichevo, Macedonia. She has finished her master studies in architecture at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje.

She was co-author at one exhibited project at Macedonian Pavilion for Venice Biennale of Architecture 2018. She claims that architectural competitions are always the best way to improve and evaluate yourself, that’s why she constantly works on different competitions and together with her team, this year she has won an honorable mention for the international competition 24h from IdeasForward and first prize for national competition Industry in a city from Cemetery Usje.

As a student, she has participated in seven international architectural workshops that had made the biggest impact on her way of thinking and designing.


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