Mortal Cities & Forgotten Monuments
A revealing study of the effect of war damage on inhabitants of a city and on the potential of architecture and urban design to reconcile people with the loss of urban structure and cultural symbols.
1st edition, 2016
160 pages, 31 color and 123 b/w illustrations
17 x 23 cm
As a child, architect Arna Mačkić experienced firsthand the Bosnian civil war, and with her family she fled her native country for the Netherlands. In 1999, she was able to visit Bosnia and the city of Mostar again for the first time to witness the utter devastation—the war had left seventy percent of the buildings destroyed. This experience inspired Mačkić’s research to explore the emotional effects of war damage on a city’s inhabitants and the possibilities for rebuilding collective and inclusive identities through architecture.
Mortal Cities and Forgotten Monuments tells a moving story of architecture and history. The first two parts of the book provide historical background on the war in Bosnia and its relationship to the built environment of the region. The final section demonstrates Mačkić’s ideas for architectural interventions, applying a new design language that goes beyond political, religious, or cultural interpretations—an openness that allows it avoid tensions and claims of truth without ignoring or denying the past. Using this as a foundation, she proposes designs for urban and public space that are simultaneously rooted in ancient traditions while looking toward the future.