Leotrim Shala
University of Prishtina

Project idea

The Wave is a cultural center facility designed for the city of Skenderaj, Kosovo. Growing up in this city, where cultural spaces were limited, made me develop a project for a multifunctional cultural space that would serve as a gathering place for the city's community. This project tries to present a solution to the current issue regarding cultural facilities. This building is proposed to be situated close to the river and the city park, to enhance the connection between public spaces and make possible the housing of more significant events that the municipality organizes, such as folkloric festivals and a 42 days rally for the expatriates. This close proximity to the city park makes possible the use of the existing open auditorium that adds to the organization of outdoor events. As for the structure itself, it contains diverse spaces dedicated to a broad range of activities, such as a multifunctional hall, library, art gallery, ethnology museum, offices, community spaces, supporting spaces, and underground parking.

Project description

The entire design is intended to create a landmark in the city. The structure itself is a fluid form designed to connect to the flat terrain, maintain the continuity of the view, and channel the wind and precipitation. The spaces are organized around two lobbies that connect the entire building units. The multifunctional hall is of average capacity, the stage is an arena stage type that enhances the connection between the audience and the performers. Seats are spread asymmetrically so that most of them are on the same side. The supporting spaces are located right under the auditorium to ease the communication between respective spaces. This hall is connected to the main lobby through a tampon zone which contains toilets and is naturally lit and ventilated. The main lobby is the central unit in terms of spatial composition. It includes an information desk, stairs and elevators to the library, and extents to the cafes and restaurants on the same level. A separate space is dedicated to the stairs and elevators that connect other spaces to the ground floor. The main space is the library. It is developed as a separate space that rests on the base construction. It is a double-skin spherical shell that stands on columns connected to the lower structure. The space between the two shells is used as a structural element to reinforce the structure and also as an intermediate space for placing vegetation and improving the natural light and ventilation performance of the unit. The inner space of the library is an open space spread on multiple levels and with no full division among floors. It consists of a cell replicated multiple times, both horizontally and vertically. The library has 28 of these cells that house 2 readers each, with the possibility to add one seat per cell to facilitate the future readers according to the population growth trends.

Technical information

The whole project is designed considering the biophilic design principles, to ensure the creation of spaces that improve the well-being of occupants. This improvement is intended to be achieved through direct contact with nature, complexity and order, natural forms, materials, natural light, and ventilation.
The structure is conceived to be predominantly wood, but also steel and concrete. The wood is supposed to be of native types of trees that are dominant in the region.

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