Zejnullah Bey’s residential house is situated in Balincë village of Vushtrri municipality. This building is enlisted as a monument of architectural heritage under the Law on Cultural Heritage. It was built in early 20th century, being one of many properties this wealthy merchant has owned. It is believed that this house was originally built as a villa–holiday lodge, since the family was living in other houses and properties they’ve owned in Vushtrri region. As a great patriot and education passionate, Zejnullah Bey endowed this house to be used as a school. Records tell us that before and during the war in Kosovo this house has functioned as a police station, with prison chambers established on the upper floor.
Due to its age, lack of maintenance, abandon and damages incurred during the war, Zejnullah Bey’s house was found at risk, in deplorable state and in great need for intervention and investment.
This building has been selected as one of the priorities of Local Plan of Cultural Heritage of Vushtrri developed in the framework of Local Cultural Heritage Plans Program in 7 municipalities of Kosovo and Program of Emergency Interventions for 50 cultural heritage sites in Kosovo.
Emergency and restoration works in this house were carried out during the summer of 2014. Interventions in the building started with the demolition of the most damaged or decayed parts, followed then with their cleansing. The damaged parts of the ground-floor walls are consolidated with stone and mortar similar to the original. The main wall on the first floor was completely destroyed and as such was consolidated. The cornice of the first floor was reconstructed at the same time, based on the earlier pictures as well as based on a part of cornice remained westwards. During consolidation of the walls, the décor of the facades was also repaired. In the existing situation it was encountered also with the closure of the original window openings with bricks and stones. These closed areas were reopened and prepared for fixture of new windows. After repointing the ground-floor stones, the walls on the first floor were rendered with lime mortar. In addition to the walls, the cornices and decorations of the facades were treated as well.
Next stance was to consolidate the timber floor structure. Existing wearable beams were reused, while those obsolete were replaced with the new ones. After setting the beams, they were fixed and then coated with insulation material against moisture. Afterwards, the floor was planked and additional pillars were set to begin with the reconstruction of the roof.
Reconstruction of the roof structure was done according to the original structure. In addition to that, the plank floor, hydroinsulation and Mediterranean “Tondach” roof tiles were put. At this intervention stage, reconstruction and cleaning of both existing chimneys was done.
As the window frames were highly decayed, new windows were placed on the entire building based on their existing pattern.
In the end the timber staircase was consolidated, as well as stone steps, were reconstructed.