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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Tirana Rocks masterplan, Tirana, Albania

Striking Albanian masterplan will feature architecture on a tilt
The city of Tirana and an international jury announced MVRDV winner of the competition for the urban masterplan creating a new dense urban neighborhood with a park and public facilities at the shore of Tirana Lake, in the south of the Albanian capital. MVRDV won the competition over Bolles + Wilson, David Chipperfield Architects and Carlos Ferrater among others.

Tirana Lake is one of the highly valuable green areas of the city. The project foresees the regeneration of a 20ha site on the north shore of the lake by creating a dense urban neighborhood liberating space for a park, recreational facilities, new public spaces and ecologic interventions.

The cantilevered and leaning buildings allow for a great variety of apartment types, shopping and offices and ‘echo’ the Tirana typology. The stacked and twisted volumes create spectacular public spaces and provide dramatic vistas. Clad in local stones the buildings turn into a series of ‘rocks’, the ‘Tirana Rocks’.

Dense clustering of the program on the lake side allows the site to become part of the chain of parks surrounding the lake. Planting a park of Jacaranda trees will add a new characteristic element to the area and provide natural shade; the tree’s long lasting blue flowers will appear as a ‘blue cloud’. A promenade along the water creates an active social zone that contributes to the idea of a ‘Copa Tirana’.

Edi Rama, the mayor of Tirana who received the 2004 World Mayor Award presented the winning scheme on national television.

The masterplan consists of 225,000 sq m housing, 60,000sq m offices, 20,000 sq m public buildings, 60,000 sq m retail, a hotel of 15,000 sq m and 20,000 sq m sport and recreational facilities and a car park. Start construction is envisioned for 2010, the total estimated investment is 600 million Euro. The client is a group of Albanian private developers; the project is managed by Ambito Project Management, Madrid, Spain.
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