• 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
  • 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
  • Dürres Beach Hotel

    When designing the Durres Beach Hotel in Golem, Albania, CITYFÖRSTER faced the challenge of creating quality within an unpromising context. Golem, a popular beach resort, enjoys a prime location on the sea and is set in a mountainous landscape. However, the village has suffered from uncontrolled development, resulting in a sprawling blanket of buildings. The site for the new hotel is located in the third row from the beach and faces a highway on the other side.
    On the other hand the site boasts a beautiful forest of mature Mediterranean pine trees and forms an anchor to a potential urban plaza in the south. In order to overcome the challenges, we designed a building rooted in the Modernist tradition, a compact building block surrounded by greenery. This layout provides the entire building with light, air and space, and secludes the rooms on lower floors from their direct surroundings. An elevated roof gardens compensates the footprint and adds to the overall quality of new hotel.
    All rooms have highly finished interiors, as well as balconies offering different views – either towards the sea, towards the mountains, or towards the trees. Each balcony is cladded in natural stone from different regions in Albania, which creates a distinct rhythm in the façade. The west façade corresponds to the adjacent buildings, whilst the east façade follows the patterns of trees. The end result is positive eyecatcher, clearly visible from the highway and the sea.

    under construction
    2017
    Shkembi i Kavajes, Rashbull, 2021, Albania
    Golem
    Albania
  • Park City

    The project is located on the western outskirts of Tirana, an area which has seen major development in recent years due to its prime location close to the main entrance corridor to Albania's capital. With a total of approx. 400.000 m2 built floor area the new district will house approximately 7.000 inhabitants. It stretches between two large parks, whose conceptual design also formed part of the competition brief. Runway Park is a 1,1 km long former landing strip and Lana Park is an extension of the city's main green axis. The design proposes an urban layout that forms a hinge between these two parks, making them accessible, as well as connecting them, whilst strengthening the distinctively different character of both. The urban structure reflects a combination of three typologies: 4 storey stripes, 12 storey towers and 8 storey 'urban rocks'. The aim is to offer a broad variation of lifestyles, as opposed to the prevalent development paradigm of 9 storey broken perimeter blocks in Tirana.

    completed
    2009
    rruga Abedin Rexha nr 167, Tirana 1033, Albania
    1000 Tirana
    Albania
  • Perspectives Gütersloh

    Over the past decade, many gaps in building blocks have been closed in the city of Gütersloh. Various areas have been upgraded or restructured. With the integrated action plan not only the urban design of the city will be further sharpened. With the participation of diverse actors new prospects for long-term development of the city are presented. Strategic decisions are prepared to make the city center adaptable for changing spatial requirements in the future. The integrated action plan defines key objectives for development. Conceptual and design requirements are defined for e.g. functional mix, open space planning, or traffic issues. These recommendations are implemented and spatially located in a strategic master plan. On this basis, future developments and project proposals can be tested and evaluated and individual measures can be derived.

    completed
    2013
    Berliner Straße 70
    33330 Gütersloh
    Germany
  • Traveller and the Olive Grove

    With its amazing food, its multitude of untouched nature and its rich ancient history Albania deserves a much broader public that comes to visit, than the 'off the beaten track tourist'. International tourism is a sector in constant development: More and more travellers are looking for authentic experiences which enrich them as individuals and also do something good for the country they are visiting. Sustainable tourism can provide these experiences through unique learning experiences directly tied to a country's people and culture. Having this in mind the Dutch Embassy supported a cooperation of Cityförster with MVO Nederland and partners, to work on an inspiring concept for sustainable tourism in Albania, combining it with agriculture. The goal was to strengthen one destination by a multi -stakeholder approach to create a better place to live and to visit. After comprehensive analyses Qeparo, an old village along the coastline of Albania, has been chosen as a concrete area and in March 2016 a one-week workshop consisting of field visits, interviews with local entrepreneurs and design and business planning sessions with entrepreneurs on agriculture, hospitality, tourism services, urban planning and product design was organized. It resulted in potential projects, business cases and future scenarios for Qeparo. The project is currently being prepared for follow-up, up-scaling and replication.

    in progress
    2016
    Qeparo
    Albania
  • Office Building. New Lands Commission

    The design for the landmark building of 5.500sqm, housing the New Lands Commission, will be a symbol of the new spirit of transparency and efficiency, bringing together the currently dispersed Land Sector Agencies. The building has an important symbolic impact due to the recent nationwide establishment of the land registry and is to represent a new All-Ghanaian identity. The design responds to local climatic and social parameters throughout all scales. All design-elements, from the urban setting out to the building's shape and its materialization aim towards natural and sustainable performance, fulfilling several functions at the same time. The circulation system forms the core of the building, spiraling upwards between two rings of offices on different levels. By breaking the clear separation between floors this system provides a continuous movement, bringing the NLC together on one continuous floor, with a variety of perspectives in and throughout the building. The parametric design of the outer appearance of the building guaranties functional performance whilst allowing for aesthetic variation. The diamond-shaped bamboo panels all follow the lowest sun-angle providing shade and filtered natural light at the same time.

    in progress
    2010-2015
    Ghana Survey School, Achimota Rd
    1757 Accra
    Ghana