Albania's architecture is tied to the sea and the country's cultural heritage. Bordered by Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Greece, the republic spans both the Adriatic and Ionian Sea as it connects to the Mediterranean. Over time, Albania has seen a confluence of different civilizations and cultures, each shaping the built environment as we experience it today.
Tirana: The Latest Architecture and News
Mario Cucinella Architects (MC A) has just received the go-ahead for the Ekspozita Building, an urban oasis in the center of Tirana, Albania. Comprising commercial, residential and public amenity spaces, the 93m tall mixed-use statement building is scheduled for completion by 2023.
Stefano Boeri Architetti has designed a new offset multi-family housing complex in Albania. In conjunction with the opening of a new studio in Tirana, Boeri announced the start of construction on the new housing complex near the Albanian Presidential Palace. Designed as overlapped cubes, the project occupies a narrow lot on an important boulevard. The project's facade opens onto a large public space within the urban fabric of Tirana to put the housing complex in direct connection with the city.
Albania’s capital city, Tirana, is slated to receive the country’s first Vertical Forest in a scheme designed by Milanese architecture firm, Stefano Boeri Architetti. Originating as part of the city’s new development master plan completed by the firm 3 years ago, the building will greatly increase the amount of greenery within and around the metropolitan area. Tirana’s Vertical Forest will contain 21 floors above ground with 4 more below and will be populated by 105 apartment units above a primarily commercial ground floor.
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.”
Work has started on Stefano Boeri Architetti's multifunctional building Blloku Cube, the first element of a larger masterplan in Tirana. Located at the intersection of Pjeter Bogdani and Vaso Pasha streets, the project is sited in a up-and-coming center of city life in Blloku district. Taking cues from the Albanese capital, the design combines a multifunctional program of commercial, office and rooftop garden space. The project features an anodized aluminum double-skin cladding, a pattern facade that becomes a signature piece of architecture within the surrounding post-communist developments.
MVRDV has unveiled its vision for transforming the Communist-era “Tirana Pyramid” in Albania into a center for technology, art, and culture. Under the plans, the abandoned structure will be revitalized as a multifunctional technology education center for Tirana’s youth, with the existing dark interior becoming open, bright, and green.
The Tirana Pyramid was opened in 1988 as the Enver Hoxta Museum, designed in honor of Albania’s former communist leader. Since then, the building has transitioned into a NATO base during the Balkan Wars, a nightclub, and an event space. Though now in decay, the building remains a popular spot for young people keen to climb on its roof. As a nod to this unique appropriation, MVRDV has made the roof officially available for all visitors.
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has released images of its bow-shaped National Theatre of Albania, responding to a thriving performance art scene in the nation’s capital. Situated in the cultural heart of downtown Tirana, the scheme seeks to create new urban gathering places for a pedestrian-focused district, while casting the theater as a performer in its own right.
Situated on a cultural axis, adjacent to public landmarks such as Skanderbeg Square, the National Opera, and the National Art Gallery, BIG’s scheme will replace the existing theater while adding three new performance spaces, a rooftop amphitheater, and a covered public space underneath the building.
Stefano Boeri Architetti has revealed the design of three new innovative schools to be built in Tirana, Albania, that will be open 24 hours a day, everyday of the year, transforming them into essential social centers for residents of all ages.
The three new structures will be integrated into Stefano Boeri Architetti’s competition-winning masterplan for Tirana, positioned within key social nodes of the Albanian capital’s northwest quarter: the neighborhoods of Don Bosco, Kodër-Kamëz and Shqiponja Square. Multiple schools will be housed within each of the three structures, which will also contain meeting and social spaces open and available to the entire community.
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. Collaborating with UNLAB and IND, Boeri seeks to define a new era in the country’s capital, incorporating controlled development, advanced infrastructure, green corridors, and an enhancement of the city’s architectural heritage.
SADAR + VUGA and local partner PRG°B R Architektur have been awarded first prize in a competition for the new Headquarters for the Supreme Court and School of Magistrates in Tirana, Albania. The winning proposal, selected from a pool of over 30 international firms and from a shortlist of 5 finalists, renovates an existing 3,000 square meter Italian Rationalist structure while adding four light-filled courtrooms and a new educational block.
vGHcompany shared with us their competition entry for Mobilicity Tirana, which won an honorable mention. Their project outlines a utopia, which is based on the man who fell into one’s own trap: the notion of time. The rings showing the wheels of a watch in which each mean of conveyance (train, car, bike) are the hands covering the dial. Each of these conveyance flows has their own characteristics and its medium speed. More images and architects’ description after the break.
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.
Grimshaw Architects is one of two finalists selected in a competition for the master plan of central Tirana, Albania. The competition brief called for a comprehensive strategy that built upon the international identity of the city – particularly its waterways and the major boulevard running between them. It also called for an integration of transportation links – a city-wide transformation to streamline the infrastructure and bring vitality into the experience of the city.
Read on for more on Grimshaw’s strategy to enrich Tirana.