Grimshaw Architects recently announced that they have been selected to masterplan a large expansion to Albania’s capital city, Tirana. Grimshaw proposed a robust sequence of public spaces threaded along the boulevard that responded geometrically to existing patterns of land ownership. Tirana is a Mediterranean city with an outdoor culture. Each space or ‘living room’ was presented with a different use and character; a new ‘symphony of squares’. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The Mayor of Tirana called for designs to extend the 1930s boulevard a further 3km and establish a new 7km riverside park, rejuvenating the river Tirana and the city in the process. The project area covers a 14 km², over a quarter the size of the city area, and represents a unique opportunity for a masterplan on this scale in a capital within continental Europe.
The river park is structured around the same concept turned through 90 degrees but informed by the character of the river Tirana; a ‘young’ mountain river with a wide seasonal variation of water flow. Grimshaw explored the unique juxtaposition of culture and nature in the center of the city as key elements of the urban design.
Although the complete masterplan area will take many years to develop, the Mayor of Tirana wishes to build the boulevard and its ‘living rooms’ as quickly as possible to act as the backbone around which future development will emerge.