• 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
  • Neue Schule Wolfsburg

    At CITYFÖRSTER, we aim to create spaces for social interaction and exchange - places where people come together, but where they can also find a sense of security.

    For our school project in Wolfsburg, the existing buildings of the former Hermann-Löns-School were expanded to include a new building for the secondary school. The aim of the design was not only a respectful treatment of the existing architecture but also its logical and consistent continuation. The comb-like structure of the existing school building was continued on the ground floor level. The space in between can be regarded as the "heart" of the school: a three-story open space that connects all floors vertically and serves as the main gathering place. At the same time, the building opens up horizontally: Generous glass surfaces and entrances open the ground floor to the city, the schoolyard, and an adjacent park – creating fluid transitions between the inside and the outside.

    With the Neue Schule Wolfsburg, we've sought to create a school building that is open to the world, encourages its students to meet and collaborate, yet at the same time functions as a safe haven to learn.

    completed
    2016
    Heinrich-Heine-Straße 36
    38440 Wolfsburg
    Germany
  • 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
  • Primary and Comprehensive School Helios

    A new primary and comprehensive school (IUS) is planned for the former site of the Helios AG in Cologne Ehrenfeld. The school concept is based on the idea of a "university school", which spatially implements the educational objectives of inclusiveness: The school comprises the grades 1 to 13 and operates closely with the teacher training of the University of Cologne. This is architecturally reflected in an open learning environment for all grades. As part of a new high-quality and dense city block, the school should be an integral part and actor of the district: The school premises may be used publicly and the school offers a range of activities to the neighborhood.
    The school is designed as a compact structure, which is confidently positioned due to its clear-cut cubic form and at the same time contextualized by its orientation to axes and edges of the surroundings. It creates a clear address to the Vogelsanger Straße by a glass-enclosed foyer and a funnel-shaped, covered entrance situation. The inviting foyer and the localization of semi-public functions on the ground floor – such as the auditorium and educational center, the canteen, workshop and studio spaces – creates the desired integration of the school into the district and allows for important synergies of different usages.
    The common center - "the heart of the school" - spans over two floors and offers spacious stairs for meeting and seating: A great place for communication and leisure for all functional areas of the whole school.

    Excerpt from the jury report: "The jury praised in particular the optimal implementation of the educational objectives, which corresponds in a particular way to the intentions of the users. The learning environments are well designed and can be effectively used. Primary education is accessible as a separate unit on the first floor over short distances. The secondary education units I and II are localized on one level and are equipped with a spacious central communication zone, which provides space for a diverse range of activities. ..."

    Idea
    2015
    Heliosstraße
    50825 Cologne
    Germany
  • Martin-Luther-Schule

    The Martin-Luther-School is an upper secondary school with a special focus on musical education. It houses about 1600 pupils. The extension of the existing building became necessary to adapt to contemporary didactic concepts and to allow for all-day care. It contains classrooms, a natural science block, music rooms, a canteen and a gymnasium. The design translates the demands concerning resource efficiency and preservation in a sensual and sensible manner. The main climatic feature of the building is the shape of the building itself: So called solar-chimneys foster natural ventilation by stack effect and become a significant formal element. The expressive roofscape also em­phasizes places inside the building – large roof lights extend the space upwards and provide particular light. During school hours these areas are open spaces to be appropriated by different age groups for independent learning. The building is conceived as a timber frame structure with a larch-wood cladding.

    Idea
    2009
    Staatsstraße 2
    64668 Rimbach im Odenwald
    Germany
  • Educational Landscape Cologne

    The aim of the "Educational Landscape Altstadt Nord" in Cologne is the design of the neighborhood at the district park Klingelpütz: Here, a viable space - in an educational and physical sense - should be developed. The main concern is to improve the educational opportunities of children and young adults. The existing primary school will be renovated and expanded. Additionally several new buildings are planned: a secondary school, a nursery, a study house, as well as a canteen and a workshop building. The various functions are located around a common center - the heart of the campus. According to the specific requirements differentiated situations for learning, recreation and play are offered. Special emphasis is placed on the permeability of the campus, which fits into the urban fabric offering manifold ways and passages. A unique spatial edge is formed in relation to the park.

    Idea
    2013
    Gereonswall 75
    50670 Cologne
    Germany
  • 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