Jul 27 - 2011
In cooperation with the Swiss Heritage Society, CHwB has started restoration and conservation works on the Kulla of Shaban Binakaj in Dranoc. The work started on 24th 2011 and is expected to be completed by the end of July 2011.
CHwB has engaged a team of three qualified craftsmen and three support labourers to conduct the masonry, carpentry and plastering work in traditional techniques using local materials of stone, slaked lime and wood.
The aim of the works is:
1. To conduct Emergency Preventive Interventions in areas that pose a threat to the stability of the building.
2. To adapt the accommodation space on the top floor – the Guest Room (Oda e Burrave) – traditionally the most important space in the house.
The works have consisted of:
1. Site clearance
2. Roof consolidation works
All tiles existing roof tiles have been removed and replaced with Mediterranean style tiles. Although not the same as the original (which can no longer be found in Kosovo), they are accepted as an adequate replacement.
Replacement of board layer under tiles. Rafter replacement
The primary roof structure has been strengthened and stabilized as a whole. All damaged rafters have been replaced with new treated chestnut wood rafters. Traditional beam joints have been used.
3. Works on the top floor
Plastering the walls
This has been done from a mixture of limestone, slaked lime and river sand, on the walls of the Guest Room and partly in the part of Hall known as divanhane. Special attention has been paid to the plastering of two fireplaces (kamini). After plastering, the whole surface will be rendered with lime milk following traditional techniques.
Setting the ceiling boards
Removing and replacing floor structure
The original floors are constructed of two layers of planks with soil between them. The existing flooring has been damaged and in some places altered from the original, such as in the Guest Room where the layer of soil has been replaced by a layer of concrete. Timber floorboards have been damaged in the divanhane. It has been decided to remove the layer of soil and damaged boards, replacing damaged boards and using gravel in place of soil.
Restoration of the separation wall
Replacement of wooden panelling in the dyshekllak. All boards in interiors part of stone gallery known as dyshkellak have been replaced with new boards.
4. Other restoration works
e.g. A shelf in the Guests Room has been repaired and returned to its original position.
New electrical wiring has been installed on the top floor.
6. Masonry work on stone external walls
Restoration of damaged sections
About 3m² was in very bad condition, posing a danger to the roof and the whole façade. The same techniques and materials of local stone and limestone mortar have been used. In addition, a crack of about 2-3m in length has been consolidated and filled with lime mortar.
7. Restoration of the Stone Gallery (dyshekllaku)
All missing stones have been replaced resulting in the full restoration of the gallery, which is the most characteristic element of the Kulla façade. The new stone sets were carved by the well-known craftsman, Mr. Nezir Musa.
8. Recovery of the stone arch in the window frame of the Guest Room
A stone matching the dimensions of the window frame was found near the kulla, and although there is no firm evidence to say if it is the original or has been brought from another building, it is the most likely option and a suitable reuse of local material.