Mortal Cities & Forgotten Monuments

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.




Edited by Arna Mačkić and Rosa te Velde. With contributions by Arna Mačkić, Bogdan Bogdanović, Chris Keulemans, Thomas A.P. van Leeuwen, and Rosa te Velde

1st edition

, 2016

Text in English


160 pages, 31 color and 123 b/w illustrations

17 x 23 cm

ISBN 978-3-03860-009-1


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.

Autoren & Herausgeber

Bogdan Bogdanović

Chris Keulemans

Thomas A.P. van Leeuwen

Arna Mačkić

, born 1988 in Čapljina near Mostar, lives in Amsterdam and works as an architect, designer, and researcher.

Rosa te Velde

 is an Amsterdam-based design researcher.