Atelier Albania – or how to redesign a country 18.11.15

  • Existing architectural projects, such as Cape Square in the coastal city of Durrës, designed by Cityförster and BOOM Landscape, have already captured the hearts of the public

  • One of Atelier Albania’s latest proposals is to reinvent the Faculty of Geology at the Polytechnic University of Tirana as the country’s new Supreme Court

  • The Albanian capital Tirana sits just to the west of Mount Dajti

  • Adeline Greca, the director of Atelier Albania

  • The 37km corridor from Durrës, a port city where cruise ships dock, up to Tirana is being refashioned as the “Durana” region. These are proposals for Durana by Milan studio Piovenefabi

  • Piovenefabi has proposed options to animate points along the Durana region, including a market canopy, an open pavilion and the introduction of play activity to a lake

  • A render showing new pedestrian infrastracture for the city of Berat

An unlikely government agency, involving a Belgian design studio and a Rotterdam research institute, is hoping to restore order to Tirana after decades of architectural anarchy.

After the fall of the Communist regime in 1991, there was a rush on Albania’s capital, Tirana, as people flooded in from the countryside. Every gap and green space was soon filled by illegal buildings – ugly, inadequate and improperly serviced.

Resolving this problem has become a core part of the Albanian government’s mission. Enter Atelier Albania: a collaboration, established in 2014, between the Albanian government, the research and development institute of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) and the Brussels-based design office 51N4E.

With a logo that looks as if it has been pulled from the portfolio of Dieter Rams, and a language more akin to a creative agency than a government department, Atelier Albania is perhaps an expected result from prime minister Edi Rama, who began his career as an artist.

But what are its prospects of success? For our latest issue, Besar Likmeta tried to find out. The photographs above of Tirana, by Jutta Benzenberg, accompany the article – as do the visualisations of some of Atelier Albania's proposed projects.

Flick through the online version of the new-look Icon here and request a hard copy of the magazine here 

 

Photography

Jutta Benzenberg, Blerta Kambo

 

Words

Besar Likmeta

quotes story

With a logo that looks as if it has been pulled from the portfolio of Dieter Rams, and a language more akin to a creative agency than a government department, Atelier Albania is perhaps an expected result from prime minister Edi Rama, who began his career as an artist

Leave a comment

Click to show