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.