The Closed International Competition presented a demanding and very ambitious goal: the creation of a new highly sustainable city district, anchored well on the present day City but capable of organizing a series of new public spaces to host various community aspirations.
The Municipality’s goals are not limited to size growth but take into consideration the quality of urban life and its diverse forms of articulation. Viewed with the ever-increasing connections between Tirana and other European cities and worldly centers, the proposal sees the empty space as the true generator of the new urban structure.
Voids are the object of the design exercise, be it a park, a garden, a square, a street, its section, its material qualities, or its borders. Thus, the two main components of the masterplan area are the Tirana Boulevard Extension and the River Corridor whose distinct natures will characterize the urban growth around them.
Formal urban space distinguishes the Boulevard Extension; “catalysts” or district centers concentrate non-residential and mixed-used destinations to bring urban quality into the existing fabric. New public functions and institutional facilities, such as the City Hall, Museums, a Philharmonic Complex lie within the high-density developments. “Superblocks” are the envisaged strategy for the reform of built up areas and the accommodation of an appropriate road network to support the development.
The River Corridor, on the other hand, is an ecological park that incorporates water-cleaning phytoremediation and provides a regional scaled pedestrian and bike route network with leisure destinations along the way. On the southern edge, for example, derelict industrial areas punctuated between informal settlements grant opportunities for urban re-development and new important public amenities. Completing the urban framework, on the northern edge, the urban pattern transformations include low-density residential areas that take advantage of the outstanding location on the hillside enclave.