Shiroka is a fishing village located on the shores of Shkodra Lake, near the border with Montenegro. Its inhabitants lived for centuries from the lake, men fishing with small rowboats and women tending orchards and weaving carpets by hand. The reaction to the end of a communist regime that had deprived citizens of living from traditional “private” activities was widespread mistrust in the public sphere, which led to a period characterized by uncontrolled occupation and privatization of public space. As result, the public space of the waterfront of Shkodra lake was occupied with illegal constructions such as private houses, restaurants, private parking areas, and kiosks. “Albanian Carpet” returns the waterfront to the citizens demolishing the illegal constructions, opening the views over the lake, and creating an alive public space with a domestic character.
▼项目整体鸟瞰，overall aerial view of the project ©Ergys Zhabjaku
The “Albanian Carpet” project not only aims to physically and functionally restore Shiroka waterfront but also to rebuild the feeling of belonging and attachment to the public space, which is conceived as a large house made of different open rooms inspired by the traditional Albanian room (ODA), characterized by a long, low U-shaped bench where family members seat, lay and even sleep. These rooms open the views over the lake and stimulate citizen’s interaction with different uses such as playground room, picnic room, lounge room, amphitheater, and the fisherman’s room.
▼不同的开放房间，different open rooms ©Ergys Zhabjaku
▼可以享受湖景的公共空间，public space open to the lake view ©Ergys Zhabjaku
The interior side of the U-shaped rooms is introverted and made of wood while the exterior is made of stone and forms steps for seating that transform the central square into an improvised theater. Pavement, seats, and steps are covered with black and white granite stones following the traditional pattern of the Albanian carpets, which provides a unique and domestic identity to the public space.
▼面向湖面的石阶，享受开阔的湖景，stone steps facing the lake, providing open view of the water body ©Jesus Hernandez Mayor
▼石阶形成看台，stone steps forming a spectators stand ©Orestia Kapidani
▼中央广场，central square ©Jesus Hernandez Mayor
▼黑白花岗岩铺地形成传统Albania地毯图案，black and white granite paving following the traditional patterns of Albania carpets ©Ergys Zhabjaku
The large existing trees are preserved and integrated into the design of the square. New small trees are planted in the open rooms to bring shadows to the seating and playing areas. The center of the square has been kept free of trees and urban elements to allow public events.
▼游乐场，playground ©Jesus Hernandez Mayor
▼滨湖座椅，树木提供阴凉，waterfront seatings, trees providing shadows ©Jesus Hernandez Mayor
▼开阔而丰富的公共活动空间，open public space for various activities ©Orestia Kapidani
▼景观细部，减少机动车入内，landscape details, minimizing the circulation of cars ©Jesus Hernandez Mayor
The waterfront of Shiroka is transformed into a pedestrian-oriented square, minimizing the circulation and presence of cars. The whole central axis of the entire village is transformed into a share-pavement area. A new parking for visitors.
▼鸟瞰，铺地统一，aerial view of the share-pavement area ©Ergys Zhabjaku
▼设计尽量减少车辆的出现，design minimizing the presence of cars ©Ergys Zhabjaku
▼夜景，night view ©Jesus Hernandez Mayor
▼总平面图，site plan ©Casanova + Hernandez Architects
▼中央广场平面图，plan of the central square ©Casanova + Hernandez Architects
▼细部，details ©Casanova + Hernandez Architects
Architects: Casanova + Hernandez Architects
Area: 30000 m²
Photographs: Ergys Zhabjaku, Jesus Hernandez Mayor, Orestia Kapidani