The Elegant Secession Style of the Parliament

Many of the classical fortresses throughout history were built in the form of pentagram. For e.g. such are Fortezza da Basso in Florence or the building of Pentagon in USA. One of the buildings that were built within this pattern is the building of the Parliament of Northern Macedonia. Although built before the WWII it still remains as one of the largest buildings in Republic of North Macedonia.

How and when was this lovely building built? On the concourse in 1930 won the Czech architect Viktor Lukomski, but the building was later built according to the design of another Czech- Victor J. Hudak. In this period very popular architectural style was Art Nouveau (or Art Deco). These artists, architects and designers lived in Central Europe. They were almost unexceptionally from the high class, liked to enjoy the joy of living and the joy of many vices. One of them was the cocaine. Some theoreticians claim that the drugs had big inspirational effect on the designers of this group. The first hallucinogenic prints were also produced within this artistic movement.

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However there was (were) another perhaps less rich group(s). They “invented” the style of Secession which is somewhat not so decorative, far more functional and less decadent. All art historians agree that this style is a branch of the previous one, but they have different theories for its origin. Some are locating it in Dresden – in more particular in the group of artists that were gravitating around Paul Klee; some in the Viennese group of artists etc. This art and architectural style later gave birth to the functionalism, reductionism and to many other stylistic and artistic tendencies. This architectural style is considered to be one of the rarest. What is typical for Secession (as an architectural stylishness) is that (unlike Art Deco) it doesn’t have any floral depictions- just the geometrical decorations. This is not the case with some of the interior designs in the parliament, such as the wood-carvings of Glisha Kostovski from Tetovo with his troop – also before the WWII.

There is a lot of opposed information about the Parliament building during the WWII. Some say it was then used as headquarter for the occupier. I remember that once on TV I saw information that some researchers found corpses in the basement of the building. The building was also used as facilitation for the local government and as headquarter for the people’s government of the People’s Republic of Macedonia – that existed within Yugoslavia.

However the authentic beauty of this elegant building was severely damaged by many inconsistent reconstructions throughout the years. I visited this edifice and its interior in the 90’s. I was impressed by its shiny corridors and luxury stairs, that accompanied by the specially designed wood furniture gave an impression of an aristocratic castle. I also remember the wonderfully geometrically decorated metal fence of the stairs. Everything was just in 2 colors – white and light brown.

Igor Pop Trajkov

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