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 garden compensates for the footprint and adds to the overall quality of the 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 a positive eyecatcher, clearly visible from the highway and the sea.