Offener Wettbewerb | 04/2008
Scanderbeg Square Revitalization
Albania and Tirana are opening themselves. With this momentum it has the possibility to evaluate its po-tentials. That includes its history and the values of its history. This allows Albania to differentiate itself from other surrounding countries. How to combine this special-ness with new welfare, democracy, free-dom, consumption and internationalization? Europe needs differentiation.
It helps to enlarge its poly-cultural quality that is so special in the world.
THE NEW SCANDERBEG SQUARE
In that perspective Tirana’s Scanderbeg Square, the nation’s representative public space is operating.
What square can stage and serve this transformation?
How can such a space not only stage, but activa-te and contribute to this progress too? How can it remain, and even become more special?
How can its history become more visible?
And can it maybe become as known as other national squares as the Place de la Concorde, Trafalgar Square, The Red Square, Tiananmen Square, Brussel’s Grand Place and others. And how can it become very different from them as well ?
A sequence of ele-ments are proposed. Some of them to be made as a first phase others in a later one. Together they create a perspective or Scanderbeg Square.
THE GRAND STAGE
How can the Scanderbeg Square and district serve the emerging democracy? Shouldn’t it be as open as possible? So that large crowds and groups can come to discuss, to support and to protest and to or-ganize a wide variety of other manifestations and cultural events? It should thus the place were the community wants to present itself.
For young and old. With heritage festivals, luna-parks, memorials, concerts, fashion shows, youth festivals. An open floor. The underused elements of the square should be removed. And a new pavement can be made to stage the users.
THE DISTRICT THE SCANDERBEG DISTRICT
But it should not be a secluded space. It should be connected wherever possible. To feed the square, to give it a place in the surrounding, and as well to escape from it when necessary.
The introduction and development of the ring road leads to the possibility of regulating the car traffic in the heart. Do we want that? Should the city centre be for cars or for pedestrians (like in other European cities). It enables a better usage of the area.
THE PINE PLANTATIONS
By planting pine trees in a fine grid within the Ring road, a distinct ‘green’ quarter can be developed.
The trees provide for shadow, for cleanin of the air from the ring road. It reduces the sound of the ring road towards the centre…
A park-like environment emerges. Towards the centre, the grid of trees has been opened, thus allowing for bigger gatherings and more overview. It causes a revealing scenography.
THE TOPOGRAPHIC PAVEMENT
By using one type of pavement throughout the district the remarkability can be enlarged. Three types of stones are used so that a topographic appearances emerges, reflecting the Albanian landscape.. it creates intriguing different perspectives, especially from the cable car.
THE EAGLE’S DANCE FLOOR
By positioning a grid of floor lamps in the pavement, all activities and people are illuminated from below, from Albania’s Ground. They create a stage set for the usages and the users, dramatizing the effect. It becomes the dance floor of Albania.
This grid of light enlightens and monumentalizes this floating foliage of trees. This grid is accompanied by a box of technical features that allow for more usages (markets, festivals). The body of the lamp is specially developed. In the steel an eagle has been carved out so that thousands of eagles will be lit. People can sponsor a lamp. Maybe that should be organized more strongly. Thus gradually all Albanians can have a presence in the square.
By reducing the width of the streets, the speed of the traffic can be reduced and more space can be given to the pedestrian. By organizing the traffic in five ‘loops’ that are accessed from the ring road, all destinations can be easily accessed while through traffic is avoided.
The square has two major components:
It is clear that the statue of Scanderbeg is one of the important elements of the square.
But isn’t it better that the statue is more a part of the society? By removing the suckle, Scanderbeg becomes part of the Albanians. Maybe all street furniture can be made out of and with the same kind of horses, so that a hurdle emerges symbolizing the collectiveness of the country. Thus everybody should feel like the hero.
and THE EAGLE
On the centre of the open square an ‘imprint’ in Albania’s ground of the national Eagle has been created. This area is a bit lowered, to allow for a more intimacy and for water basins in summer.
Mist is created to allow for coolness. Thus the Eagle starts to fly out of the square and the fog.
A dense grid of floor lamps, mounted in the pavement, illuminates the pergola. It turns the centreinto a denser dance floor, the epicentre….
THE NATIONAL BUILDINGS
The square is the address for national institutions, thus giving the square national meaning. Some of these institutions are already there. They are very special. They are historic icons. For better and for worse. They should not be hidden; no they need to be reinforced. They deserve not only preservation but also restoration and illumination. They thus form the billboards of Albania’s history.
This does not mean fixation of the existing buildings only. Maybe they do need space for their proper functioning. Can they obtain higher extensions, in such a way that the square becomes even more sur-rounded with program, in such a way that even more functions can look to the plaza?
By lifting these elements, as a series of bar like volumes, they would give the square more scale.
They articulate and strengthen the form of the square. They could house extensions of the buildings below as they can serve new elements: a national museum of history, a cultural institution, the national library, archives... but also bars, galleries, and restaurants can be positioned there, thus enlivening the square, with terraces overlooking the square. Stairs and escalators connect them with the square.
THE INFORMATION WALL
By covering the fronts of these volumes with screens, the square can obtain more information.
On the screens all kinds of information on Albania could be shown; financial developments, new pro-jects, news, culture, art, everyday life, history... They light up in the evening and night, making the square safer and more exciting. Theywork like big billboards.
By making the new buildings, given by the Master Plan, in such a way that their roofs are designed as public accessible tribunes, they will serve a wider audience. People can sit and enjoy the view or an event from higher up. In the big building on the western side, a cinema or a theatre can be hou-sed. On the northern side the new Tirana exhibition space with the touris information can be positioned. Under the tribunes the storage spaces for the square can be positioned.
If extra program is needed, or if an extra national institution is seeking for space, then a new building can be imagined on the place of the statue, if it takes the shape of the statue.
Thus Scanderbeg will be enlarged. It will be visible everywhere……
For a relative small budget the existing cable car to the mountains could be prolonged via the station till the Scanderbeg square. It would go around the enlarged statue with a station on the square. It would connect the mountains with the centre. But in the future could also connect to the greater Tirana in the North.
Blick aus der Seilbahn
Blick aus der Seilbahn
Blick aus der Seilbahn
Blick aus der Seilbahn