Number 10

October 2020

Kosovo transition

Shortly before the wars of genocide in Yugoslavia, the spirit of independence had used architecture as a nationalistic, ethnic and religious symbol. On the one hand the modernism of the Catholic glass and concrete churches in Slovenia and Croatia, on the other hand the Orthodox stone and brick churches of the Serbian tradition. Then the destruction and bombardments of the decade 1991-2001.

In the current political geography of the former Yugoslavia, post-war reconstruction is once again using architecture as a vehicle of identity. Not only religious and residential buildings, but also airports, infrastructures, schools and public facilities: all mediated by attempts at an urban planning project regulating the individual territorial realities.

The case of Kosovo is emblematic of the difficult transition to effective political and cultural independence. The society is characterised by the presence of multiple religions and ethnic groups that require adaptation and respect. Hence the complex search for balance and coexistence. Kosovar architecture itself oscillates between brutalist experimentalism , as seen in the National Library in Pristina by Croatian architect Andrija Mutnjanović, and the neo-Romanesque cathedral of Mother Teresa, completed in 2017 to a design by Italian architect Livio Sterlicchio.

An example of how architecture can free itself from the narrow straits of vernacular localism to confront the international scene is the recent construction of the Emerald Hotel in the young capital of Kosovo. Here the Diagonalstudio has designed a structure with clear, rigorous forms, giving the interiors a high degree of scenography.

Marmi Ghirardi oversaw the supply of materials and all the executive phases of the installation. The coordinated image of the coverings and floors was translated into an elegant setting, where the types of marble make up a very evocative spatial unit. Almost 2,000 square metres of Breccia Marina Blue (an exclusive Marmi Ghirardi) were laid in open stain and with a glossy finish: almost a dialogue with the vertical garden of the hall and the antiqued finish of the lift cladding. On the outside, Botticino Classico with non-slip finish was chosen.

Brescia Beige

Among the varieties of Botticino stone, Brescia Beige belongs to the so-called “fiorito” type. The organic and inorganic inclusion of the micritic limestone creates the slight ivory white arabesques, hence the name Brescia Beige. The high qualities of durability, combined with the beauty of the veins, make this a stone of great value. It is in the architectural applications that the chromatic characteristics of Brescia Beige stand out, especially when used in a contemporary tonality.

The delicate nuance blends into a homogeneous base suitable for ornamental inserts, it also becomes a carpet upon which the furnishing elements stand out. The vibrant brilliance of Brescia Beige amplifies the visual perception of living spaces, both in horizontal surfaces and wall coverings. The homogeneity of color, soft and refined, becomes an assurance of elegance and preciousness.

Today’s honing and polishing techniques, together with the possibility of obtaining very thin slabs, make Brescia Beige an ideal material for interior design. If at one time the aesthetic value of this marble was expressed through sculptural and decorative artifacts, today innovative solutions involve the world of everyday living and public architecture.

Marmi Ghirardi is at the forefront in the creation of coordinated elements: floors, walls, kitchen tops, sinks, shower pans, stairs and bathrooms. This is how Brescia Beige marble reaches its maximum prominence thanks to its masterly treatment and care in execution. The result is projects of exceptional charm, settings almost timeless but marked by the values of modernity and aesthetic delight. Not the least, a confirmation of a material among the most versatile for its radiance

Emerald Hotel colours

This interesting project, where Breccia Marina Blue (an exclusive stone by Marmi Ghirardi), is featured with its unique character, reveals its essence through book-matched execution, in a vertical garden, which is perfectly and harmoniously integrated.

Almost 2,000 square meters of Breccia Marina Blue, polish finished for the lobby flooring and antique finished book-matched for the elevator shaft cladding; Breccia Aurora Classica polish finished for the elevator cladding at the five upper floors and Autumn Brown brushed finish for presidential floor. Eventually, 1500 square meters of Botticino Classico with anti-skid finish for the outdoor flooring will be provided in the swimming pool area.



Architectural design

Prishtina, Kosovo


Stone contractor

Ghirardi team


Breccia Marina Blu

Breccia Aurora Classico

Botticino Classico

Autumn Brown


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