Mimoza Nestorova-Tomić is a Macedonian architect, planner, and urban designer, who played a significant role in the masterplan and reconstruction of Skopje after the 1963 earthquake. Initially she worked specifically in the team for social planning with Polservice, the Polish consultants, alongside Kenzo Tange, the winner of a United Nations international competition for the reconstruction of Skopje. In the period 1986-1989 Nestorova-Tomić was director of the City Institute for Planning in Skopje. As a female architect working within socialist Yugoslavia, Nestorova-Tomić presents a different trajectory to her counterparts in the West.
Nestorova-Tomić was born in Struga, a small town in the west of the Republic of Macedonia, where her family provided a privileged support for her childhood and education. She attended the Ohrid High School and her family financed the first three years of her studies in Belgrade, the post second World War capital of the Federation of Yugoslavia, until she received a scholarship. She completed her architectural studies with the major project on ‘Urban resolution for the touristic district Trsija in Ohrid,’ under the supervision of Professor Branko Maksimovic in Belgrade. This sense of a world open for her education and learning became a pattern in Nestorova-Tomić career and she travelled widely.
Her architectural career is summarized in the first volume of the 2004 encyclopedic publication City Builders in Macedonia, which covers the pioneering period of architectural production in the Republic of Macedonia written by Georgi Konstantinovski. In the period between 1954 and 1962, after a brief period in the office of Drago Galić in Zagreb, she pursued a series of study-related practical training in France (1957) and Britain (1960) - funded by British Council, and in 1964 with her husband, Ljubomir Tomić, to the USA (New York, Berkeley, and Chicago). During this time she worked with her husband on the design of the apartment block in Albert Einstein Street, in Skopje.
In 1964 she joined the Institute of Urbanism and Architecture in Skopje where she worked in a team with architectural conservationists, consultants, and engineers on the project for the reconstruction and restoration of the Stara Charshija (Old Bazaar), a large area of Ottoman urban morphology, including significant Ottomon architectural edifices, mosques and hamams, on the north side of the Vardar river in Skopje. This was a key component of the reconstruction of Skopje. It was followed with the project on the restoration of the historical Ottoman structure of Sulei Inn and constructing the department store, ‘Skopjanka’ in Skopje.
One highlight of her career is the design for the Museum of Macedonia (1972) in Skopje for which she collaborated with Kiril Muratovski. The museum project has been noted in publications including Tokarev’s 100 Years of Modern Architecture, Volume 3: Contributions of Macedonia and Yugoslavia (1918-1990) and Kulić’s 2011 book on Yugoslavian architecture, Modernism In-Between.
Mimoza Nestorova-Tomić got the Andreja Damjanov award in 2011, a national award given to an individual who has made significant contribution. She has been a model architectural figure in the Republic of Macedonia. In the first volume of Konstantinovski’s encyclopaedic publication, one of the very few publications on Macedonian architects, Mimoza Nestorova-Tomić is one of 39 female architects out of 276 architects represented. Along with a few other women, Nestorova-Tomić played a significant role in the production of Macedonian architectural modernity.
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