The historic centers to retain their liveliness and vibrancy should be able to grow and change. It is a big challenge for the contemporary architecture to balance the socio-economic needs of the city and its community in one hand, and protection of the cultural heritage on the other. The aim of this study is to analyze the incorporation of the new structures in the historical context. How can the new structures harmoniously be incorporated in the historic centers without endangering their cultural heritage values? The paper discusses how to design a new contemporary shopping mall in the Historic Center of Prizren in order to create an attractive area and at the same time avoiding deterioration of the historical place.
The city of Prizren is one of the oldest settlements in Kosovo and in the Eastern Europe, located in the middle of the ancient Venice-Istanbul trading route, which has always been a crossroad of trade and culture for the whole region. It used to be called ‘Venice of Balkans’ thanks to its sophisticated system of channels that used to have, so-called ‘Jaze’, which were branched from the river and were scattered throughout the neighborhoods of the city, and further the channels were branched into smaller channels, which have carried water through small public streets to each house in Prizren.
The aim of this research is to identify the role, function and value of this channels system in the city life of Prizren, and whether these channels can be functionalized and restored for the today’s needs. This research attempts to present the social, economic, spatial and environmental values of the revitalization of this channels system in the city of Prizren and the importance of its restoration and integration into today’s modern life.