Construction has begun on MVRDV’s “Downtown One,” a 140-meter-tall mixed-use skyscraper for the Albanian capital city of Tirana. Set to become Albania’s tallest building, the 37-story scheme is defined by its “relief of cantilevered houses and offices, which form a pixelated map of Albania, each representing a town or city.”
Situated in the center of the city, on the Bajram Curri Boulevard, the scheme intends to boost the economy of the capital through a mix of apartments, shops, offices, and restaurants. In addition to manifesting as a map of Albania when viewed from afar, the iconic cantilevers also generate spectacular panoramic views of the city and mountains, and create a connection between residents of this “vertical village.”
The 77,000-square-meter scheme is rotated on its plot, rather than sitting parallel to Bajram Curri Boulevard. As a result, the principal façade faces towards Skanderbeg Square, while the surrounding landscape includes a park with local vegetation, and an educational playground. Inside, the building is divided into several layers, with ground floor commercial space, underground parking, a lower half dedicated to offices, and the top 18 floors occupied by apartments.
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Albania has come a long way. Ten years ago it was the poorest country in Europe. Now it is a country with energy and ambition, working towards great economic improvements. We want to express this with our building. The tower brings the feeling of a vertical village to the busy city center, individual housing where communication with the neighbors is encouraged. Maybe it could even be seen as a vertical country! Every house or office adopts a town or city, together forming this map of Albania. The building will be visible from the nearby Skanderbeg square at the heart of the city. It forms part of the ensemble of towers that surround the square, the epicenter of the country.
-Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV
The scheme was designed for developer Kastrati Construction (a company of Kastrati Group), with completion expected in 2024. MVRDV developed the scheme in collaboration with Arup (supervisor for structure and MEP), with Albanian firms Elteknik (MEP engineers) and LEAL (structural engineers.)
News of the scheme follows shortly from MVRDV releasing details of its proposed transformation of the historic Palais du Commerce in Rennes, France. Last month, the Rotterdam-based firm released images of their dual towers in Taipei, adorned with interactive media facades, along with details of their proposed mixed-use KoolKiel complex, designed to redevelop a post-industrial site in Kiel, Germany.
News via: MVRDV
Principal-in-charge: Winy Maas
Director: Stefan de Koning
Design Team: Sanne van der Burgh, Ronald Hoogeveen, Guido Boeters, Boris Tikvarski, Thomas Boerendonk, Stavros Gargaretas, Akshey Krishna Venkatesh, Katarzyna Nowak, Manuel Magnaguagno, Angel Sanchez Navarro, Christy Li Yu Wai, Johannes Pilz, Christine Sohar and Sanne van Manen
Visualization: Antonio Luca Coco, Davide Calabro and Pavlos Ventouris
Copyright: MVRDV 2018 - Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries
Client: Kastrati Construction
Investor: Kastrati Group
Structure: LEAL & Arup
MEP: Arup, Elteknik
In 1925, Italian designer Armando Brasini created a sweeping masterplan to transform the Albanian capital city of Tirana. Almost one hundred years later, the Tirana 2030 (TR030) Local Plan by Italian firm Stefano Boeri Architetti has been approved by Tirana City Council.