The GTC Shopping Mall is Skopje's partly open-air shopping mall designed by Živko Popovski. It's located just by the main square in Skopje. Being built in 1969 (International Design Competition), the construction completed 1973. It is the oldest shopping mall in Skopje. GTC as people call it, has a lot to offer and stands up pretty well toward both the new Skopje City Mall and Capitol Mall.
The GTC mall, located metres from the central Macedonia Square, is the biggest and most visited mall in the capital. Unlike the others, the state-owned mall, built in the 1970s, has open entrances from all sides, making it an essential transit route for people traversing the city centre each day. Last June, the AAM condemned the government plan to close many of the mall’s entrances and coat the facade with pillars and domes inspired by Classical Antiquity, in line with the city-wide revamp, “Skopje 2014”. The government also wants to construct an additional floor for the mall and erect sculptures on the roof.
Dramatic alterations which will irreparably transform this central shopping mall have been proposed as part of the Skopje 2014 building campaign. Protests against these changes have been active as recently as late December 2014. Local architects have formed the “I Love GTC” protection campaign and been quite successful in organizing support for the building. Numerous protests have been held since the alterations were first proposed in early 2012. The Association of Macedonian Architects, AAM submitted an initiative for a referendum to the municipality of Centar in Skopje The fight for GTC symbolizes the fight for what’s left of Skopje. The campaign was called “I Love GTC”.
Irate protesters formed a human chain around the GTC, joining hands in a symbolic embrace to mark the launch of the “I Love GTC” campaign, which for two months gathered professionals and public figures at debates in the open air near the mall. Meanwhile, “Skopje 2014” remains a work in progress. More than 20 buildings and dozens of statues and fountains are in place or are nearly finished. Among them are a new national theatre, a history museum, a foreign ministry and a concert hall. Supporters say it will transform the image of a city blighted by decades of dreary Socialist architecture and neglect. Critics object to the chosen artistic style as well as to the project’s high estimated cost, unofficially standing at €500 million.