Television factory, Prishtina (Kosovo) - Vjollca Limani

Klan Kosova Television new premises, designed by the local studio Anarch, are located in the south-western part of the capital city, Prishtina, in the former industrial area, wherein the building is hardly visible in the densely built Shock Absorbers Factory Complex. The dual use of the building as administration and production hall, generous space, enough height for TV studios, fitted the basic requirements of the television. With 6672 m2, the television, occupies only 60 % of total building floor area (11000 m2) of the former factory. The other part of the building, located opposite the TV studios, will host two new functions: Klan News and aCultural Centre.

Built in 1960, the factory was a powerful economic stimulus for Kosovo, employing over 1500 people, during its heyday, in the 1980s. It was series of political set-backs as well as the war (1999) that left the industrial sector suffering, and eventually the privatization (highly debated and criticized process) of the industrial property, meant the end of the industrial activity for the Shock Absorbers Factory and many other factories in Kosovo. Anarch approached the conversion of the former factory in an integrated manner, through preservation of the existing building structure and reuse of building materials and elements while trying to create new contemporary studios. "This way they we are able to make a great cost reduction, from the first cost estimate of 8 million Euros, to 1.5 million, while at the same time reducing waste and preserving the old image of the factory. Most of the building elements from the factory were recuperated, like: lighting fixtures; radiators; different sized pipes were used for shaping in-house designed radiators, support and to accommodate the electrical and IT infrastructure; ventilation infrastructure is used for heating the studios and valves are used as handles. In addition, all the wood for the interior walls and doors, in office space, is discarded wood from sawmills, while the facade cladding was realized with reclaimed railway sleepers- cleaned, treated, cut and shaped to size, cross-linked into an attractive pattern." Here the architect explains that the television name "Klan Kosova” and the motto "Jemi një" is shaped by the window arrangement, in the long, frontal elevation, as a visualization of the words, when they are transmitted through a voice equalizer. Nevertheless the most powerful fragment of the interior design is the brick wall that stretches over 240m-in two floors and is 4m high. The architect wanted this wall to represent a part of Kosovar building tradition, but in the end it was much more than that.

Over 120000 homes were destroyed in the Kosovo war, and even now 16 years after, their remains can be found in some of the villages. These traditional mud bricks where used, joint together with mud also, and the result is a patterned and sensible surface. Some 60000 homes were destroyed in the Kosovo war, and even now 16 years after, their remains can be found in some of the villages. Traditional mud bricks, joint together with mud also, resulted in a patterned, sensible facade. When looking up close you can see bricks were used, as found, they are red, brown and black, cracked and burnt. The wall is not merely an elegant office wall, it tells a story of houses burnt, and the bricks that stick out represent the screams of people for help, it shows what these bricks have experienced, in their previous life says the architect.

Minding the original layout, were the building is split in two modules, furthermore opting for arrangement that will impose little or no changes to the existing structure, the television functions: main entrance, cafeteria, offices, recreation room, audio studios, audiolaboratories, sound effects and montage room, are organized in the two storey unit, spread along the front facade, where the administrative function of the factory was, and TV studios for live and recorded shows are arranged in the double height and open layout unit, occupying most of the floor area, where the production halls of the factory were positioned.

The project was design-and-build, the architect reveals. The process involved locating products for recycling, researching and testing them, in terms of constructability and design and in the end building templates, together with cost estimates, in series of workshops, that additionally served the designer for presentation before the investor. The method was aimed at cost savings and project quality, but at the same time achieved time savings and better communication. Obviously, the designing of Klan Kosova Television building, is a successful story of transformation, through salvage of what had been discarded as waste, but found meaning, all through an appealing design, but also an example many architects in Kosovo will be able to follow.

Office Klan Kosova Television, 2012-2015, Architect: Anarch, Established: 2004, Client: Klan Kosova Television, Address: Former Shock Absorbers Factory, Prishtina, Info: www.anarch.biz