This construction is located on the left side of the river Vardar and is one of the most beautiful buildings in the capital.
As part of the post-earthquake reconstruction of the downtown area, in 1967 a competition was announced for preparation of an architectural-urban solution of the Cultural Center on the quay of the river Vardar. More than 40 architectural plans were submitted for the competition, and the first prize was awarded to “Bureau 77” from Ljubljana, to the authors Shtefan Kacin, Jurij Princess, Bogdan Splinder and Marijan Urshikj.
Casper David Friedrich’s painting “Sea of Ice” is thought to be the inspiration for the exterior of the building. The building has a cascading shape, which adds certain dynamics to the space. Its exterior complements the orthogonal new buildings located in the immediate vicinity. The front of the NOB opens to a square that unites the surrounding buildings and forms a connection with the river, the other side of the city and its visitors. The building is a massive constructive system (load-bearing concrete walls) with white facade finishes. It includes a Great Hall housing over 700 seats, a lobby, as well as spatial capacities for visitors, for preparation and performance of arts.
The construction of the building was completed in 1979. The complex today includes: Music and Ballet School, Komercijalna Banka, Philharmony etc.
The National Opera and Ballet has been the center of Skopje’s cultural life for more than 40 years.