• New Istropolis

    CITYFÖRSTER and KCAP design a new cultural district for Bratislava, Slovakia. Trnavské mýto will house a state-of-the-art concert and congress venue and the area will be transformed into a modern open neighbourhood including a series of green and public areas.

    Immocap, the owner of Istropolis, has presented its vision of New Istropolis, developed in cooperation with the international architectural studios KCAP and CITYFÖRSTER. The project aims to bring Bratislava a world-class multifunctional cultural and social centre with top-level architecture, creating a long deserved cultural landmark for the Slovakian capital.

    The new multifunctional hall enables Istropolis to meet Bratislava's real needs and leverage the potential of Trnavské mýto, and will foster cultural and congress tourism. New Istropolis offers the capacity to host various events simultaneously, such as acoustic, rock, jazz, pop concerts, numerous events and cultural events, and conferences and congresses of all sizes. The hall will be able to hold three different events simultaneously and have a maximum capacity of 3000 seats and 5000 combined seats for sitting and standing. The unique in-the-round seating configuration brings the audience close to the stage, creating a sense of intimacy and connection with the performers.

    Trnavské mýto is a key location in Bratislava in terms of pedestrian movement, traffic, and potential contribution to urban development. The project aims to bring new life to this important part of the city that has been neglected too long. Besides the world-class cultural venue, there will be a park with promenade, fountains, and cycle paths. Public areas will be accessible to visitors throughout the day, while the square will support and develop community activities such as seasonal markets.

    in progress
    Trnavské mýto 1
    831 04 Bratislava
    Slovakia
  • Drymades Villas

    Located in Drymades beach, the holiday resort Drymades Villas is composed of a series of stepped courtyards framed by the architecture blending the project into a cohesive village feeling.

    The site has a 15-meter height difference and is situated in front of the beach, where some of the surrounding buildings (Morina Palace and The Radisson hotel) partially block the direct sea view. Today, the site is being occupied by a "wild forest" of olive, cypress, and pine trees.

    The masterplan is arranged based on the villas and their orientation towards the sun as well as on the overall visual connection to the seafront. Following the topography, the architecture articulates the ground levels to the stepped courtyards bringing an introverted feeling, while in the three upper floors, the units incorporate extended terraces and balconies, expanding the public life to all the levels.

    Typologically the villas are approached by the study of the predominant architecture of the location and the aim to find a different output to a resort project where individualization breaks a monotonous design.
    Both approaches are bridged together by using vernacular architecture present in the Mediterranean coast, such as Santorini, Greece; where individual units adjust to the topography and bring flexibility to vertical and horizontal combinations.

    The iconic image of the Mediterranean villages will be communicated in the architecture with pre-determined elements, such as roofs and facades that compose a catalogue to personalize the villas. Mainly three differently sized units form the masterplan varying from studio units to large family units. They can also be joined horizontally and vertically, widening the possibilities to the future owners.

    In total, six plazas are interlaced to each other, forming a large interior courtyard that articulates the private with the public space through openings in the architecture. Located at different heights and alternating one to the other, they open up the views to the seafront and offer a range of activities to the visitors. The Access and the Café Plaza offer an urban feeling to welcome the new arrivers and give them the chance to enjoy a drink. The Pool Plaza contains the recreational elements for the resort, whereas the Olive Forest and the Spa Plaza offer the possibility to exercise and connect the visitors with the landscape.

    The main approach for the landscape is to keep as much as possible existing vegetation. The landscape changes its composition from a dense forest in the lowest part of the plot to an urban plaza in the highest part. Native species (cypress and olive trees), and plants with low maintenance (Bougainvillea, Cacti), constitute the selected vegetation.

    Thick walls combined with whitewashed plaster will compose the outer layers of the units isolating them from the direct radiation. Roofs built in a thin concrete layer with vaulted shapes will help to acclimatize the interior by storing the heat in the vaults and releasing it in the nights. The facades with an additional layer of plaster will save the units from rain and wind. In addition, wooden shutters block the heat and decorate the facades with vivid colours.

    Villas: 164 Units
    Retail: 20 Units
    Technical: 7 Units
    Sports: 1 Unit
    Reception: 1 Unit

    Total: 193 Units

    in progress
    Drymades
    Albania
  • Orange Headquarters Mali

    Bamako is in a phase of rapid urban development, with the population growing expansively; telecommunications are an integral part of this growth and are a marker for upward social mobility. The height, visibility, and clean volume of the new Orange Mali Headquarters express this situation, thus creating a landmark for the new, mobile urban class.

    At the same time, the building sets the bar for offices and urban planning in Bamako, by creating a zero-energy building that incorporates greenery and improves the working environment of the Orange employees. The new Orange HQ is surrounded by a public garden, a layout that makes the office building more accessible and simultaneously creates a social space for gatherings and events. The green spaces continue into the interior of the new office building as a sequence of open terraces. By using 'stacked' office floors, and by interspacing these with high-quality open spaces, employees feel more connected and floorplans can be optimized.

    The iconic, geometrical 'zig-zag' exterior is the result of a smart and site-specific design, avoiding direct sunlight on the facade.

    in progress
    2019
    Bamako
    Mali
  • Kenniseiland

    DARE TO INNOVATE!

    As a part of a workshop procedure, Cityförster, together with Openfabric Landscape Architecture and Mijn WaterFabriek Systemen voor duurzam water, proposed an integral strategy for the Business & Science Park of the Kennispark in Enschede that tackles not only the challenges of extreme weather conditions but also the energy transition towards a CO2-free built environment by 2050. The concept is based on the construction of a blue buffer around the location that creates more space for rainwater, recreation and reinforces the identity of the location. Together with a network of smart rain barrels and 'The Hub' arises an inclusive system that celebrates conscious water and energy consumption within a green-blue-minded environment.

    CHALLENGES AROUND WATER MANAGEMENT
    The capacity of our current sewerage system is not designed for extreme downpours. If there is an overload, in a mixed system, the untreated wastewater is dumped into the surface water together with rainwater. That is why it is better to retain the rainwater locally. By temporarily retaining rainwater locally, damage can be limited. The peak of the discharge of rainwater towards the sewer is shifted in this way: the rainwater only flows slowly towards the sewer pipe when it is empty again. Rainwater can be retained by constructing wadis, ditches, above-ground water buffers, green roofs, rainwater ponds, underground storage facilities, water squares, or rainwater use installations. Where soil conditions allow, the rainwater can also be infiltrated directly by softening and greening as much as possible. However, to limit damage during heavy cloudbursts, this must always be combined with other water-retaining facilities, especially in places where infiltration is not possible due to high groundwater levels.

    On average, we use almost 135 liters of drinking water per day. Most of the drinking water is used for showering, flushing the toilet, and washing machines. Drinking is really just a little bit. A family pays an average of almost € 750 for the water supply: 30% of this is for the supply of drinking water, 26% for the sewage charge, and 44% for the purification and water system charges. Instead of disposing of clean rainwater with the sewer, you can also store and use it. Rainwater that falls on roofs is relatively clean. You can use it for the washing machine or the toilet, but also to water the garden. This way, it does not immediately disappear into the sewage system and it also saves drinking water. Furthermore, the consumption of water could be reduced by raised awareness among the citizens and businesses. It is also important to improve the efficiency use by e.g. installing water-saving showers and toilets. Greywater treated in wetland or through filters could also be reused.

    You can find a link to a reader (Dutch) with all the results of the workshop here.

    completed
    7511 AH Enschede
    Niederlande
  • Dhermi Plaza Hotel

    The Dhermi Plaza Hotel has been designed as a 5-star hotel along Dhermi's promenade. The project optimizes the square meters available within the plot whilst merging with the context, and offers publically accessible facilities.

    Its elongated volume is situated ideally between the beach to the south and the mountains to the north and is characterized by a dynamic facade. The shading system, composed of double-facing sliding shutters, plays with the shadows created by the thin walls. This creates a sense of movement, and reveals the life inside the building, making the hotel guests the 'accomplices' of the architecture.

    The hotel hosts different functions which can be separated if necessary, such as the restaurant, spa, and beauty salon on the -1 floor level;5 shops, a pool bar, a swimming pool, a bar, and the hotel lobby on the ground floor level; and an array of variously sized rooms on the first, second and third floor. The top floor has been designed as an active neighborhood/village, with various leisure facilities for both adults and children. It stands out from the rhythm of the facade and offers the guests panoramic views The hotel grounds have been designed so as to offer a range of different sports activities, from swimming in the 25 m pool to playing basketball on the shaded field.

    in progress
    2018
    Dhermi Beach, 1001, Dhërmi, Albania
    Dhermi
    Albania
  • Jale Waterfront

    The rural south of Albania is gifted with a spectacular coastline, unspoiled natural areas, and rich cultural heritage. Travel is an important driver of the economic development of Albania. However, developments of the past 20 years have been haphazard and do not match the touristic potential of the region. Being part of the Albanian Government initiative of 'Urban Rebirth', the main objective of this project was the regeneration of the waterfronts of the villages Jalë and Dhërmi. Starting from the outstanding natural beauty of both locations, our aim was to structure and strengthen the coastline and connect it with its surroundings, both physically as well as ideally.

    In Jale this included freeing the main promenade from car traffic, providing basic infrastructures such as benches, bins, showers and fountains, but keeping the promenade at a low profile, seeking a continuation with the beach. As the beach is very deep and the bay mainly attracts the younger generations, we have been inspired by some of the existing beach-bars that were embedded in rich flowering gardens. Between the beach and the promenade, we have provided a strip of gardens housing 6-7 beach-bars, each with a stable structure to survive the harsh storms in winter. The bars come in three different sizes and allow for all furniture to be stored inside during the cold season.

    Photography: Lucas Hardonk

    under construction
    2016
    Himarë
    Himarë
    Albania
  • Dhërmi Waterfront

    The rural south of Albania is gifted with a spectacular coastline, unspoiled natural areas and rich cultural heriatage. Travel is an important driver of the economic development of Albania. However, developments of the past 20 years have been haphazard and do not match the touristic potential of the region. Being part of the Albanian Governments initiative of 'Urban Rebirth', the main objective of this project was the regeneration of the waterfronts of the villages Jalë and Dhërmi. Starting from the outstanding natural beauty of both locations, our aim was to structure and strengthen the coastline and connect it with its surroundings, both physically as well as ideally.

    In Dhermi this included freeing the main promenade from car traffic, providing basic infrastructure such as benches, bins, showers and fountains, but keeping the promenade at a low profile, seeking a continuation with the beach. At the entrance of the promenade an existing structure and a seasonal stream are integrated to form a watersquare, a landmark for the site which will include iconic lettering. A pier serves both for watersports but also as look-out and artificial cliff. The watersquare connects further inland through the 'valley of freshness' and invites for mountaineering and cultural activities.

    under construction
    2016
    Rruga Kosova, Vlorë 9400, Albanië
    Himarë
    Albania
  • Cape Square Durres

    The design of the square is based on the natural coastline of Albania which can be described as a sequence of capes. Our aim was to provide Durres with a placemaking public space that captures these characteristics of the city. The site is divided into three parts which strengthen the identity of the waterfront: The park, the square, and the urban cape. The Park with the green beds and local trees supports the uniqueness of Durres and is easy to maintenance.

    The Square connects the promenade and the urban cape. By using a specific paving pattern made of a local natural stone it invites people to slow down and stay. The cape divides two waterfronts with a different identity and provides a destination for flaneurs on the promenade. It allows watching both the sunset and the sunrise on its two shoulders. Following the geographical and ecological conditions, 'Cape Square' is seen from far away and invites to climb as play. It has quickly become a touristic attraction and is known as 'The Sphinx' all over Albania.

    completed
    2015
    Rruga Pavaresia 66, Durrës, Albania
    Durres
    Albania
  • Embassy Residences

    How to organize attractive family living and low energy housing in a high-density city center?

    Our award-winning design for the Embassy Residences in Albania provides high-quality, family-friendly, and low-energy housing units in the city center of Tirana, one of the fastest-growing cities in Europe.

    The project responds to the mayor's ambition to limit the growth of the city and to counter sub-urban developments with a more diverse range of housing typologies. On top of a commercial plinth and two parking levels rises a series of stacked villas, connected by a semi-public stair. This serves as alternative circulation and additional, shared informal outside space to the apartments. 



    The floorplans protect the privacy of the apartments but allow residents to sit on their porch or use the staircase to access their apartment when in the mood for a chat or a Friday afternoon drink. Research has led to a compact build-up of irrigated substrate layers that can support rich vegetation on the stair, balconies, and roof terraces.

    The facade consists of two layers arranged according to insolation. A basic glass layer is protected by a secondary shading layer of anodized aluminum where it is not protected by surrounding buildings or cantilevering volumes. This results in high transparency on the one and low energy costs on the other hand in addition to preventing the building from the hot Mediterranean sun whilst still guaranteeing an elegant look.

    under construction
    2018
    Rruga Asim Zeneli, Tirana, Albania
    8303 Tirana
    Albania
  • CLG Training Institute

    A very special project in our portfolio is the Chalimbana Local Government (CLG) Training Institute in Chalimbana, Zambia as it can be seen as a good example of a passive and self-sufficient city. The aim of the masterplan was to increase the quality of life of both students and academic staff of the Institute, to structure the campus for the long term, and to provide the grounds with a clear, recognizable identity.

Low-tech in construction but high-tech in designing, we created a plan that included everything needed for an autarchic project. In a very sustainable manner, we used the excavated soil to press it into bricks contributing to the buildings being passively cooled and heated. To achieve that we mainly used the sun energy. From a special angle and material of the roofs to the orientation of all buildings to strictly East-West, with the main facades (North & South) avoiding the low angles of the sun, CLG Training Institute became an eco-friendly vision made into reality. Also, we made sure that the rainwater and the cleaned sewage can drain into the groundwater locally, granting a precise water cycle.

    The existing road provides access to the campus by car. Simultaneously, a new main route for pedestrian connections is established as the new 'heart' of the campus. It runs between the mostly residential area on the North and the educational program on the South side of the grounds. These two clusters - housing and education - at the two opposite ends of the campus are surrounded by the lecturers' houses, and by leisure activities. By closing off some of the student housing blocks, small neighbourhoods are created, with inner gardens and courtyards providing atmospheric living quarters.

    completed
    2021
    Lusaka
    10101 Chalimbana
    Zambia