Skanderbeg Square Tirana, Albania landscape architecture, New buildings and public realm, Property urban design news

Skanderbeg Square Tirana Renewal Design

Contemporary Albania Public Realm Development design by 51N4E architects

13 Feb 2019

Mies Award 2019 Finalists

This building is one of the 5 finalists:

Skanderbeg Square Tirana, Albania
photo © Filip Dujardin

Skanderbeg Square Tirana Albania
photo © Blerta Kambo

Skanderbeg Square Tirana Renewal, Albania
photo © Filip Dujardin

Skanderbeg Square Tirana – EU Mies Award Finalists 2019

European Prize for Urban Public Space 2018

18 Jan 2019

Mies van der Rohe Award Shortlist 2019

This building is one of the 40 shortlisted works:

EU Mies Award Shortlist 2019

Skanderbeg Square Tirana
photo © Filip Dujardin

11 May 2018

Skanderbeg Square Award

European Prize for Urban Public Space 2018 Award for Skanderbeg Square

The international jury of the European for Urban Public Space, which met at the CCCB on 18 and 19 April, has selected the 25 finalist projects for this year’s award.

Skanderbeg Square
Tirana (Albany), 2017

Skanderbeg Square in Tirana Albania
photo © Filip Dujardin, image courtesy of CCB

11 Jun 2009

Skanderbeg Square Renewal

Design: 51N4E architects

It is very important to realise that this project is – in the end – not about the square. It is about Tirana. Tirana is a city which has changed enormously the last years, at some places beyond recognition. The city is pushed to its limits, not only in size, but also in terms of what the city structure can handle. The city is congested, exploited, consumed.

Skanderberg Square Skanderberg Square
images from architect

Given the chaotic and informal character of the city, a very simple and clear gesture will have a very strong impact. The city not defined by its edges sprawling outwards, but by its core. We see the Skanderberg Square as a space formed by the city surrounding it. The city giving way, like if it holds its breadth for a moment. The Skanderberg Square as a space where the bustle and the chaos stops, allowing for something else to happen, whatever it might be.

The openness of a very clear and simple form will bring to the fore immaterial qualities, like light and shadow, sounds, a gust of wind… It will trigger the citizens to refocus, realizing that they are in the middle of the city, but at the same time in a different place.

The center is stressed as a void in the chaos of the city, providing mental and physical space for its citizens. The square enables the people of Tirana to retract from their city in the heart of it, offering a space to look back to the city and, as a consequence, allowing them to live in it.

Skanderberg Square Tirana Tirana public space design by 51N4E architects New Albania public space design by 51N4E architects Contemporary Albania Public Realm Development design by 51N4E architects
images from architect

The masterplan proposes to disconnect the car traffic from the square, and to create a pedestrian square with newly built constructions. We take up these ideas, but we change their scope completely. We strongly doubt the idea that the new square should include some of the existing buildings -like the mosque-, and exclude others -like the national museum, however unattractive it may be-. We redraw the shape of the square to allow all buildings to be addressed.

However, more than a shape, our proposal is suggesting a square which is brought forward from its belt, its surrounding. This belt is made out of green and shadows and buildings, existing or to be built. The biodiversity of the green will be as rich as the collection of buildings: a pantheon of vegetation. The belt functions like an antechamber to the main square: negotiating between the congestion of the city and the openness of the square, it offers a variety of ways to enter it. The square will be sealed and invisible until the moment when one steps in – a void in the chaos of the city, a concentrated space where the experience of time is intensified.

The belt is also a retreat in itself. It contains gardens, open air event spaces and the occasional bar or café. The edge of the square will become a loop of different spaces and atmospheres. This loop can become a natural part of the central boulevard of Tirana, which people are used to walk up and down on their day off.

Skanderberg Square Tirana Skanderberg Square Tirana Skanderberg Square Tirana Skanderberg Square Tirana

Skanderbeg Square Renewal Tirana – Building Information

Location: Tirana, Albania
Competition: 1st prize
Design: 2008
Completion: 2010
Client: City of Tirana
Architect: 51N4E
Design team: Jonah Anrys, Freek Persyn, Peter Swinnen, Maddelena Treccani, Emmanuel Debroise
Artist: Anri Sala
Light designer: Roland Jeol
Program: Public space and public buildings for the city
Site: 170,000m²
Cost: 10 million euro

Skanderbeg Square Renewal Tirana images / information from 51N4E architects

51N4E architects

Skanderbeg Square, Tirana

Location: Tirana, Albania, southeast Europe

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image © MVRDV
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