Maria Bourdi

The region of Prespa consists of two lakes, which are shared by three countries: Greece, Albania and FYROM. Starting a parallel journey through time and space, this design thesis attempts to define the identity of a place in constant transition. Deconstructing its long history, five time moments are selected. These moments define an imaginary journey throughout time and lead to the selection of seven points of intervention in space. Moment 01: The genesis of the landscape is described by the area’s myth. Two hydrogenerators that produce two vertical traces of light, like beacons, signal the sources of the rivers that flow into the lakes, reviving the myth.

Moment 02: In 986 a.C., the area became the capital of a kingdom that expanded throughout the Balkan peninsula. In order to emphasize the old basilica of Aghios Achilleios, the only trace of this period, a route and a balcony in the landscape are designed.

Moment 03: Isolated and with no economic interest under the Ottoman rule, Prespa was inhabited by many eremites. In Golem Grad island, small caves are carved to create shelters for the modern travellers of Prespa. Moment 04: In 1913, the borders were defined and the area was trisected. Each country took its own path. Albania’s isolation, Greece’s Civil war and Yugoslavia’s collapse are described through the degradation of the floor of three ghost buildings: a bunker, a school and a hotel respectively.

Moment 05: Experiencing nowadays the era of transborder cooperation, nature has been brought to the front line. Three observatories are placed at the closest points of land that surround the tripoint.