Architects Association of Kosovo and SHARE Architects are honored to announce the OPERA OMNIA distinction for lifetime achievement in architecture and urbanism was awarded to architect Sali Spahiu, by highly appreciating his contribution to the architectural and urban development of Kosovo. With an impressive career as an architect and professor, Mr. Spahiu has influenced generations of architects by contextualizing the language of modern architecture in Kosovo. His many projects, including the Kosovafilm, make his architecture stand out and become a landmark of excellence in Kosovar architecture.
SALI SPAHIU’S GREETING SPEECH, ON THE OCASSION OF RECEIVING THE “OMNIA” AWARD AT SHARE CONTRACTOR PRISHTINA 2022:
Dear Mr. Florin Mindirigiu, President of SHARE Architects,
Dear Mr. Masar Dushi, President of Architects Association of Kosovo,
Dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
Please let me thank you for your presence in this event!
It is hard to find the right words to thank Mr. Mindirigiu and Mr. Dushi, for nominating me for the “OMNIA” award for life achievement in architecture. I believe that this honorary award given to me by SHARE Architects and Architects Association of Kosovo, is a great honor for the practice of architecture and also for Kosovo.
Without doubt, this day is of great importance to me. Days like this are quite rare in our life and as such are forever remembered. I consider this day special, because today the practice of architecture and urbanism are being recognized as professional fields with great social impact – for humans and their everyday life.
Alas, this profession has not yet taken its rightful place in our country and society. I hope and strongly believe, that one day things will change for the better and this profession, this mission, will be properly and adequately appreciated.
When I started my studies in the field of architecture, I was not quite conscious for the architect’s social mission. During my studies, my honored professors at the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Sarajevo, taught me that architecture and urbanism are not and should not be considered as mere professions, but first and foremost, as a mission in the service of humans. I tried to respect this human, professional and ethic task, in the course of my career. How much I achieved this, I cannot know.
The profession to which I have devoted my whole life, as all of you could know, requires a lot of knowledge, engagement, will and sacrifices. It is neither easy, nor simple.
To design a neighborhood or a city, beyond professional knowledge, requires the ability to create a vision. The same is true also for the architectural design, starting with the hospital where a human is born, his school, university, work place and nursing home.
For this complex work, patience, dedication and professional ethic are required. Therefore, it is not easy to design or project. Yet, we should always have in our minds and hearts, the humans and their social, biological or existential needs.
Ever since humanity existed, urbanism and architecture had a special function and they always reflected their era, and the social and political conditions of their time.
Today, we must express with high respect, our gratitude to all late Kosovar architects, who with their works made an indisputable contribution to the affirmation of our profession. I also express my deep gratitude to all those continuing to act and work in the path of Kosovo’s first architects, and are contributing to the development of our country.
The conditions in which the first generations of our architects have worked and those in which are working our architects today, are not quite simple considering the complexity of our social circumstances. Within these conditions, we should appreciate their work in our institutions, as well as in the academic aspect.
Dear guests and participants,
In the academic year 1978-1979, started its work the Faculty of Architecture in Prishtina. Since then, Kosovo has many architects. Some of them have achieved great success in Kosovo, as well as in other, foreign, countries. I encourage them to continue their work and mission as architects.
All of us, especially the young generation of architects, have an ethical and professional obligation to preserve and advance our profession as much as possible.
The famous architect from Kosovo, Prof. Bashkim Fehmiu, said: “Space is life, life is space”. Sadly, in our country, this space is preserved little or not at all. Our role is essential, we have serious responsibilities towards past and future generations of our country.
One of the most important architects of the twentieth century, Frank Lloyd Wright, said: “Architecture should be valued as principle, not as a way of earning money”. He also said: “You must be willing to treat architecture as sincerely as you treat your mothers, your friends and yourself”.
I am closing my speech, by thanking you once again for this great honor to me and to architecture in Kosovo as a profession and a mission.
I wish you great success in your work with much responsibilities! Health and all the best in life!
Sali SPAHIU, Architect
28 February 2022