Material and semantic qualities come in pairs. Architecture is expressed through and can be described by them. In vernacular architecture and modernism they support each other, whereas in postmodernism they started drifting to fulfill specific roles.
Whilst below granite wall cladding (seen in new café Metropolis in Sarajevo) is pleasing from a material point of view, it seems unsuitable at a semantic level.
The hammered granite plates display great haptic qualities. Irregularly placed holes break the strict geometry of the plates and the back-light shining through the holes contradicts the heaviness of the granite. On a semantic level the form alludes with the post-war aesthetics. The geometry of holes can be read as bullet holes that are seen at so many buildings in Sarajevo. These interior elements utilize post-war aesthetics to create coziness.
Post-war aesthetics became an integral part of Sarajevo’s identity (from pencils in form of bullets offered as souvenirs in Bascarsija to the children playground with military artifacts at Café Tito). Detached from the original context (the cruelty of war and its aftermath), the post-war aesthetics serves business without a critical debate about its nature.