Remnants of the Socialist era, the large-scale architecture and urban spaces of the Eastern European Bloc still constitute a challenging legacy, at odds with contemporary urban environments and the values shaping cities today. This ideologically charged architecture is being reclaimed either through the reconciliation of the public opinion with this part of history, adaptive re-use, renovation, or through its re-contextualization as architectural heritage. By (re)introducing the human scale within these monumental architecture projects and public spaces, these entities are being restored to the urban and cultural life of cities.
514 Ne: The Latest Architecture and News
Brussels-based architecture firm 51N4E have won first prize for their Skanderbeg Square project in Tirana, Albania. The European Prize for Urban Public Space is a biennale competition that promotes creating, restoring, and improving public spaces within European cities, and have chosen this year’s winners for their impressive transformation of the city’s central square.
51N4E’s restructuring and renovation of the Skanderbeg Square is a result of winning an international architecture competition back in 2008. After the project was paused in 2010 for administrative changes, and resumed in 2015, the end result is a series of urban interventions, “inviting public and semi-public neighboring functions to spread into the exterior space”.