nautilus gives skopje, macedonia a public place for culture and community
nautilus gives skopje, macedonia a public place for culture and community
dec 17, 2015

nautilus gives skopje, macedonia a public place for culture and community

nautilus gives skopje, macedonia a public place for culture and community
image © joel tettamanti




a neglected and previously underutilized part of skopje, the capital of the republic of macedonia, now hosts an open structure built to welcome both locals and visitors, host events and talks, and serve as a recreational space for both individuals and large gatherings. ‘nautilus’ has been realized by TEN — a zurich-based association of creatives — and local studio city creative network (CCN) — a platform for young professionals to collaborate in public spaces. together, the two entities have realized the intervention-cum-event-space as a piece of urban infrastructure that offers the city a much needed area for community engagement and participation. set at the banks of the city’s vardar river, ‘nautilus’ allows direct pedestrian connection from street level to the water’s edge and bridges the threshold between road and recreational space – all while creating new spatial possibilities for cultural events and gatherings.

image © joel tettamanti




nautilus offers visitors a passage to the river, a place to sit alone and contemplate the surroundings, an area for children to play, a platform for talks and readings, and a stage for performances, concert and shows. built to accommodate a singular user, or hundreds at a time, the collaborative work of young architects, artists, builders and craftsmen allows the inhabitants of skopje to reconsider and resuse the site in new and unexpected ways.

image © joel tettamanti




the primary structure of ‘nautilus’ spans 20 meters over and around the stone embankment wall that wraps the river, without touching it. the framework is made from steel and has been strategically and carefully clad in a woven and painted textile, which is used as both a projection surface and a delineator of different transitional spaces. a narrow timber staircase — ranging in width from two meters on the lower ground floor to 20 centimeters at roof height — follows a five meter level change between the river and road. the public path is enclosed by a canopy, creating a series of spatial experiences, offering framed views of the river, and protecting visitors from the hot sun. on the riverside, it extends 6 meters above the bicycle path, presenting a tall screen to the water upon which images can be projected; on the road side its height remains modest and unimposing, inviting discovery and inhabitation.


the intention of the two creates is to enliven an overlooked part of the city and endow it with the much-needed possibility for people to gather in public space. 

image © joel tettamanti

image © joel tettamanti

image © joel tettamanti

image © joel tettamanti

image © joel tettamanti

photo © ana lazarevska

image © joel tettamanti

image © joel tettamanti

image © joel tettamanti

image © joel tettamanti

image © joel tettamanti







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