The judges have selected nine designs from the forty-nine entries to receive an honourable mention. 



Photographs from a research trip in Skopje

Judges comments

The collective entries produce interconnected pools of architectural and cultural knowledge. Entries explored a range of ideas which the judges categorised as: the roof, the carpet, the hearth, the table, the kitchen and the ritual. Within each category, designs individually contribute to a collective exploration and similar designs resolve and sharpen ideas, producing a wealth of knowledge which no design could do alone.


The entries have contributed to the wider research project: The Intimate City. The nine designs with an honourable mention will be used as part of the collective investigation to further develop the knowledge generated within the competition.


The collective research aims to contribute to contemporary questions such as the role of the architect in 2020 and interdisciplinary collaboration within education and practice.



The garden of earthly delight


Play Feast Grow

Grow Play Feast

Feast Grow Play

By Tomos Owen and Jeremy Yu


A collection of complementary rituals which can be assembled in a multitude of ways, creating collective social bridges across culture and generation. The community oven is a tradition that dates back throughout time but disappeared as the advent of modern technology allowed appliances to be fitted within the home which led to greater atomisation within the increased densities of society. This intervention brings back not only the community oven but ways of cultivating the raw ingredients in the heart of our city.


Creating a harvestable landscape design approach builds in learning opportunities at the heart of our cities. This space not only functions as a community oven but creates spaces that are informed by the geometry of dining furniture that allows a natural adoption of play within these structures as a child does at home. The wall draws you from the street into the park whilst defining spaces.

Created as a framework structure for appropriation by visitors, it provides utilities and adaptable shelter for the space to function throughout the year. Critical to this intervention is the methodology in which it is developed, working with local communities through a co-design and delivery process developed by CO’ X we will investigate the relationship between food and place. Informing the form and aesthetic pallet which in turn will lead to a community build. This process builds the micro-networks within the community which are vital in bringing people together for shared experiences. 



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By Boris Netsov and Despina Kaneva

FreeДОМ (n. дом [dom] from Macedonian: “home”) is a project that opens the door between the restrictions and the tension of the city and the privacy of your own home, and invites you to share your knowledge, local products and ingredients, chairs, ideas and stories with the community. It aims to create a sense of place using a variety of methods that can be implemented in different contexts and scales.

The project defines three main zones within the Mother Teresa Park in Skopje:

Introduction, Togetherness and Intimacy. They are explored in the spatial context between the public and the private.

Introduction: It represents a Slow Food Marketplace which invites you to stop and to interact with the local producers in order to support local ingredients and products.

Togetherness: By revealing social and cultural knowledge this zone brings people together in cooking classes, workshops and performances that explore the traditional food preparation.

Intimacy: In this zone the project implements some of the Shared Economy principles for more democratic use of the place based on the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party scene from Alice in Wonderland (2010). Here you are invited to bring your own chair and share it with the community for common use. In combination with an Open-Air Food Corner with a diversity of options for sitting the project outlines outlines various opportunities for urban cuisine. Within a series of open invitation urban dinners, the project aims to continue a public discussion about the future of the Feudal Tower.


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Dining in the Urban 
By Ana García López & Martín De Pablo Esteban


Empire and The Ottoman Turks, among others. As a government initiative, Skopje 2014 aimed to reclaim aspects of the country’s history, appealing to the patriotism of many ethnic Macedonia’s and omitting the multiple historical developments of the city. It excluded all those who did not agree with the interpretation it represented, including not only Albanians (20.50% of the population) Roma people (4.6%), Serbs (2.8%), Turks (1.7%), Bosniaks (1.5) and Aromanians (0.5%), but also large parts of the ethnic Macedonian population as well.


Domestic rituals and people’s interaction with the public environment varies among these ethnic groups, which should be represented in the open space. Despite sharing our habits and culture through dining brings us together, each ethnic group has particular traditions and ways of approaching the public sphere. The proposed intervention aims to integrate, represent and act as an intermediate point between the private domestic space and the public environment, including different intimacy degrees. Social dining is aimed to become a celebration to share our habits, rituals, and ideas while sitting at the same table. Unlike Skopje 2014’s empty, monumental façades, we propose an inclusive, participatory inhabitated facade. The elongated modular pavilion will serve as a shared space to symbolise cultural elements and domestic traditions. The mutual influence exchange among Skopje’s ethnic groups is expressed in the composition of the spaces and the formal appearance of the intervention. In the interior, the ritual of cooking and eating is celebrated as a social event, mixing spaces and elements from different cultures which will be re-appropriated and re-interpreted by the visitors.


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Dining in the Urban 
By SqW:Lab, Vishwa Shroff, Rosanna van Mierlo, Charlie Levine and Katsushi Goto

This research reacts upon Household Manuals from the 1800 and 1900 to document the ways in which we eat in the 21st century with particular attention to dinner wares and table arrangement. The aim to create a drawn record that stylistically mimics historic Household Manuals and permits us to catalogue and observe transformations and cross-cultural influences within current dining practices.


This project invites individuals from the neighbourhood of Mother Teresa Park to bring along a dining object from their homes to create an installation on the proposed Urban table. The Table itself is a conglomerating of individual dining units linked together with the intention to synchronise public and personal acts. The linked structures compel close proximity, whilst permitting a myriad of table arrangements: from individual dining to family gatherings, to those that mirror cabaret halls and even be arranged akin to large Ballrooms, to name a few.


Together the temporary installation of dinner wares and the more permanent Urban table juxtapose the intimate act of dining with that of public spaces, simultaneously creating a conversational centrepiece and a congregational space. The project is aimed at sanctioning an encounter of strangers or other with an act usually performed with kin, thereby opening up cross-cultural dialogues and conversation that bisect class, colour and creed.


Furthermore, the catalogue created and the urban table is intended as a study of shared domestic materiality and common practices that are usually understood as disparaging peculiarities. Using dining practices as a sampler of embedded social enactments and commonalities, the project allows us to observe shifts within domestic practices, whilst reassessing spatial organisation of domestic space.


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Dining Carpet
Benoît Marcou


Skopje’s Mother Teresa Park and its surroundings offer a number of seating furniture and occasions to be static in public space.


The dining carpet is an invitation to occupy the lawns of the Mother Teresa Park. The picnic act is an opportunity to gather collectively and share food and drinks while enjoying the intimate proximity between skin and ground. The dining carpet is a fragile intervention made of wooden planks woven into the complex stone patterns of Skopje’s public ground. Located on the three grass “patches“ of the park, it allows the users to enjoy the shade of the nearby trees when sunny days come.


By petrifying the picnic carpet and making it almost durable, but not totally impermanent either, the intervention questions the ephemerality of the urban picnic, its exceptional banality and the multiple ways of appropriating a piece of urban furniture open to interpretations.


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Picnic Ritual
Chenhao Ma and Yutan Sun

Collective dining in the urban is not only a celebration of the richness of urban life, but more importantly a feast for information exchange, a boost for local food culture, and an opportunity for social cohesion. Unfortunately, in a country where the ethnic segregation and social polarization consistently discourage the fusion of dining activities across different social groups, the dining scenes, the family rituals, the homely cuisines that rarely appear outside family kitchens remain undiscovered, and the value of vernacular food culture is much underrated.


This proposal tries to transform the once insufficiently utilized plaza to a picnic garden as an invitation to the display of homemade food and family rituals. The picnic/table cloths, as a symbol of equalization, formally unify the all dining spaces and perceptually connect all diners, are the initiator of dining activities on site, and the catalyst for the migration from tables to the lawn with their different layout. The lawn is also a test ground for public awareness - the spontaneous occupation and usage of the picnic garden which contains much negotiation, cooperation and compromise could be the enlightenment in participation in democratic process for Skopje dwellers.


Picnic cloths are placed on the lawn for the use of food truck customers at early stages, and are later provided to picnic-seekers. Those unplanned and intentional picnics jointly create the regional tradition of picnic, and eventually encourages picnickers with their own food and cloth to join the stunning scene of collective dining. The delight of having the company of families, the novelty of picnicking in a room of the city, the proximity of geographically close yet cognitively remote food culture, will gather all the fragments of local food footprint and awaken the once barren ground. The ‘picnic ritual’, as an intervention to excavate cultural traditions and potentially a replicable public space development mode, retrieves the attention on the neoclassical façades that face the past of the city, and aims at the contemporary urban environment created by the living generation.


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The Banquet Room
Alexander Petrounine


A banquet for the city. The Banquet Room is a collective intervention with a ritualistic character. A democratic space where dining becomes an infrastructure for interaction and sharing of knowledge. The intervention explores the idea of the traditional hearth: a focal point and gathering place in a home. The project therefore engages the hearth as a tool to expose the boundaries between the public, communal, and private space within the urban landscape.


The intervention, round in plan with a tall conical wooden frame, acts as an urban marker, positioning itself in between the amphitheatre and the Mother Teresa Memorial House. The intervention encloses the space on the north, whilst defining the fragmented and diverse character of the Mother Teresa Park on the remaining sides. The threshold is defined by a raised floor that leads through a series of doors, each of which can be opened. At the heart of the intervention a huge open hearth dominates the space with a long chimney that makes its way up to the apex of the roof. Surrounding the hearth is a ceramic kitchen counter for people to prepare, clean, cook, and boil food, whilst the cabinets below offer storage for essentials. Inspired by the theatrical qualities of the round banquet table, this ceremonial setting creates a moment of awareness of the domestic ritual in a public setting. Through the act of dining people are encouraged to cook together and exchange knowledge through which new social interactions arise outside the traditional households.


(1. Referring to the hearth, as defined by Gottfried Semper in his book)


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One Table as a Manifestation
Benedikt Benker


Perhaps Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting of Jesus Christ’s Last Supper can strongly evoke the metaphor of a ritual. Thus the table is in the centre as a serving element of a community. It is eaten and talked about together. This image is played out in many of Skopje’s spatial sequences in the most diverse scenarios.


A table in Mother Teresa Park in Skopje, The idea is to bring the society together at one table. Your table. Everyone is welcome here and everyone is invited to eat, play, talk. At the same time the table is a fireplace for cooking. It’s probably where peppers are grilled to prepare them for the ajvar. But also the fireplace or, as Gottfried Semper describes it, the “stove”, is to be interpreted symbolically as a social link. A 30-meter blackboard forms the table and is positioned in the centre of the buildings in Mother Teresa Park in Skopje. The table sits in the alignment of the Mother Teresa house and in the axis of the entrance of the new Orthodox Church in the south. The tower that survived the earthquake is dissected with elements for lingering, with the elements in a row as a gesture sequences.


Shaped stone The long table is under the protection of a tiled roof, which is supported by tile pillars. They form a pavilion which has a square shape. It consists mainly of bricks of one format. The supporting elements, like the lintel, are bricked in a special bond. In this case the brick is a new interpretation and homage to the buildings in Skopje that have existed for several generations and are made of natural stone.


Symbol and intention In Skopje there is a certain tension. The design tries to mediate at this special place as a bridge and to create an atmosphere socially as a kind of resting place. Care has been taken to ensure that this design can be created at a reasonable cost. Easy to build with new means


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The Picnic on the Hill
Dearbhla Mulligan


It’s the height of summer. You decide to meet friends for a picnic. You walk across the green, past the fruit bushes and spot them in the shade of a tree on the hill - already lounging eating berries. You join them and settle down for a day of idle chat and watching the world go by.


Now pause for a moment and rethink. What if the picnic were not in the park or the countryside but in the middle of the city instead? The green is reimagined as a city square; the fruit bushes are replaced by hanging planters; and the shade of the tree is recreated through fabric draping. Instead of a hill, you sit on the what was once graffiti-covered, tiered concrete seating. The picnic blanket remains.


In my proposal, a lightweight timber frame is constructed around the tiered seating in Mother Teresa Square. It frames the public space in front of it. Fabric representing the picnic blanket is draped over the top to create shade and shelter. It is knotted around the side of the structure and through it to create hammocks and hanging baskets for plants, and then it is draped over the existing seating and secured. The lightweight structure adds an element of playfulness to the city, contrasting with the predominantly Modernist buildings nearby. It provides an informal spot for people to come and eat their lunch or simply while away time watching the activity of the square.

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Photographers: Andrés Stohlmann, Hilary Yeung, 

Holly Dale, Szuju Chen, Nina Vlasblom,