Restructuring of Skanderbeg Square by 51N4E

Looking back at the history standing on the square at the core of the city

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Appreciation towards 51N4E for providing the following description:

这个对Skanderbeg广场的更新改造项目是2008年国际建筑竞赛的获奖方案,该项目位于阿尔巴尼亚的首都地拉那,由建筑事务所51N4E设计。组委会与来自阿尔巴尼亚的艺术家Anri Sala共同提出了该竞赛的主题,即希望能够通过一种简单但彻底的方式,重新组织地拉那的中央广场——一个广阔的前共产主义空间。广场地处一个复杂而密集的城市环境中,它不仅是阿尔巴尼亚首都地拉那的核心空间,也是整个国家的象征,因而建筑师在其中设计了一个宽敞的步行区域。该广场由一系列新旧公共空间和花园空间组成,是这个混杂的城市环境中的一片空旷的场地,也是由拥挤的周边环境围合出的一片略微抬起的金字塔般的城市空间。由此产生的绿化带就肩负起了前厅的职责,充当着拥挤的城市和广场之间的过渡空间。共产主义建筑的巨大的压迫性则被构成广场的宽阔而低矮的金字塔所抵消:当人们站在金字塔的顶端时,市民们会惊奇地发现自己甚至可以与曾经的权威建筑比肩。他们可以通过这个新的角度去审视这些定义了阿尔巴尼亚过去的建筑,同时以它们为基础,建立新的城市历史。

This project for the restructuring of Skanderbeg Square is the result of an international architecture competition won by 51N4E in 2008. The competition’s proposal, conceived in collaboration with Albanian artist Anri Sala, reorganizes Tirana’s central square, a vast ex-communist space, in a simple yet radical way. In a complex and dense urban context, on this site that is both the core of the Albanian capital city and a symbol for the whole country, the project installs a generous pedestrian area. The square presents itself as a void in the chaos of the city, a flat pyramid lined by a densely planted periphery, formed by a collection of old and new public spaces and gardens. The resulting green belt acts as an antechamber negotiating the transition between the congested city and the square. The oppressive monumentality of Communist architecture is counteracted by the ample and low pyramid making up the square: when standing at its tip, the citizens find themselves at par with the authoritarian architecture of the past. They can contemplate the buildings defining Albania’s past, suddenly opened up to new ways of reading, and embrace them as a history on which to build on.

▼广场鸟瞰图,bird-eye’s view ©️filip dujardin

该项目于2010年开始动工,随后在行政变动的影响下,不得不突然停工。直到新选举后,项目才于2015年底得以重新开工。城市环境的演变以及对更高耐久性的重新评估为该项目提供了一个更新设计方案的机会,建筑师可以在保留初始概念的本质内核的前提下,再次完善方案。建筑师重新研究并设计了该项目的景观,将其转变为一个本地的生态系统,以期待其可以为城市创造一个新的城市生态环境。通过对持续的气候变化作出应对,建筑师选择当地物种来增加生态系统的自然抗性。树木、灌木和多年生植物相结合,以促进城市生物多样性并控制市中心的微气候。因此,阿尔巴尼亚大自然丰富多样的物种和其生物多样性得以保留,从而使公共空间能够承担起娱乐和教育的功能。

▼广场局部鸟瞰,当地的植物物种形成绿化带,充当着拥挤的城市和广场之间的过渡空间,partial bird-eye’s view of the square, the green belt made of local species acts as a transition between the congested city and the square ©️filip dujardin

After the start of the works in 2010, and following a change in administration, the implementation of the project was abruptly halted. Yet a new election relaunched the project end of 2015. The evolution of the urban context as well as a reevaluation of the ambitions of durability offered an opportunity to refine the proposal while keeping the concept’s essence intact. The project’s landscaping was studied anew, and turned into a local ecosystem anticipating the creation of a new urban ecology for the city. Local species were chosen to increase the system’s natural resistance by reacting to ongoing climate change. Trees, shrubs and perennials were combined to foster urban biodiversity and control the city center’s microclimate. Albania’s nature’s richness in diverse species and varieties is thus valorized, allowing public space to assume bot recreational and educative functions.

▼广场空间,广场宽阔而低矮的金字塔般的造型抵消了共产主义建筑的巨大的压迫性,square view, the oppressive monumentality of Communist architecture is counteracted by the ample and low pyramid making up the square ©️filip dujardin

▼广场空间,广场周边博物馆的台阶可作为市民的休息空间,square view, the stairs of the museum around the square can be the seating area for citizens ©️filip dujardin

▼广场中的休息空间,the resting area on the square ©️filip dujardin

▼广场细节,铺设马赛克砖,广场上的喷泉水流被刻意设计成如图所示的波浪形状,details of the square which is paved on mosaic tiles, the fountain water on the square is designed in a waved shape ©️filip dujardin

▼广场布局轴测图,喷泉水流被设计成波浪形,partial axon of the square, the fountain water is designed in a waved shape

▼喷泉系统设计示意图,fountains system diagram

▼喷泉水流分析图,建筑师刻意使喷泉水流在广场上呈现如下图所示的波浪形,fountain water diagram, the fountain water is designed to present a waved shape shown as below on the square

广场周围的绿化带由12个花园空间组成,每个花园都与广场上的一个或多个公共或私人的机构相连。在该项目的数场设计讨论会中,主要设计人员对这些花园的空间组织和其技术方面的问题都进行了深入的研究和交流。最终,花园被设计成了一系列情境化的干预空间,使得附近公共或半公共的功能空间能够向广场外部的空间扩散。

The green belt around the square is made up of 12 gardens, each of them linked to one or more of the public or private institutions lining the square. The spatial organization of theses gardens, as well as their technical aspects, were studied in dialogue with all the main actors of the project over the course of several workshops. The result is a set of contextualized interventions, inviting public and semi-public neighboring functions to spread into the exterior space.

▼组成广场绿化带的花园空间,市民们可在此休息,the garden making up of the green belt around the square where citizens can have a rest ©️filip dujardin

▼广场上的喷泉,fountains of the square ©️blerta Kambo

在项目重新调整的框架内,建筑师对广场周边和更大范围的环境中的交通流线和投资问题给予了特别的关注。因此,建筑师与城市中的交通服务公司合作,共同开发出一个能够承载多种功能的地下停车库。此外,还建立了行人和自行车空间与公共交通网络之间的连接系统。最终,出于对后勤和当地特色的考量,当地的材料成为首选,这使得当地的采石场重新启动,从而使该项目在这个层面上不仅展示了阿尔巴尼亚丰富的城市环境,更刺激了城市生产能力的进步和提升。

In the frame of the readjustment of the project, specific attention was given to mobility questions and investments in the immediate and broader context of the square. An underground parking garage, able to host multiple functions, was developed in collaboration with the city’s mobility services. Similarly, pedestrian and bicycle connections and links to the public transportation network were established. Finally, local materials were preferred, both for logistic and symbolic reasons, which led to the reactivation of local stone quarries and turned the project also on this level into a revelator of the richness of the Albanian context and a stimulation of its production capacity.

▼广场局部,square details ©️blerta Kambo

▼植被细节,选用当地的物种,vegetation details, using local species ©️blerta Kambo

▼概念平面,concept plan

▼景观平面图,landscape plan

▼剖面图,section

▼植被系统示意图,trees plan

Location: Tirana, AL
Client: City of Tirana
Invited competition: 2008
Execution Design: 2015
Completion phase I: 2017
Programme: public space & cultural facilities
Built surface: 97,344 m²
Construction cost (excl VAT): 13,000,000 €
51N4E tasks: full process
Competition 2008:
Team 51N4E: Johan Anrys, Freek Persyn, Peter Swinnen, Ulrike Franzel, Valbona Koçi, Griet Kuppens, Tom Baelus, Marc-Achille Filhol, Philippe Nathan, Emmanuel Debroise
In collaboration with: Anri Sala
Execution design 2015:
Team 51N4E: Johan Anrys, Freek Persyn, Sotiria Kornaropoulou, Alice Babini, Guillem Pons, Charlotte Schmidt, Martin Pujol, Jolein Bergers, Guillaume Boulanger
Team iRI: Gent Agolli, Guust Selhorst, Ajmona Hoxha, Ardian Rapo, Olsi Pere, Xhorxh Shkurti
Team Plant en Houtgoed: Nicolas Vandenplas, Pieter Hollants, Jeroen Deseyn, Vincent Luscomb
Building Contractor: Fusha, AL
Fabric: Chevalier Masson, BE
Fountains: Aquafontal, BE; Gatic, BE
Lighting: Atelier Jeol, FR
Structure: Gentian Lipe, AL
Image credits: 51N4E & Sannah Belzer
Surface:
Project area: 97,344 m²
Built area: 90,509 m²
Square: 23,993 m²
Amount of tiles: 129,600
Gardens: 64,815 m²
Hardscape: 36,540 m² / 56%
Green: 18,456 m² / 28%
Compact Gravel: 9,819 m² / 16%
Underground parking area: 9,248 m²
Parking spots: 300
Equipment:
Fixed seating: 1,230 units
Movable seating: 250 units
Water fountains: 100 units
Jet fountains: 30 units
Drinking fountains: 7 units
Public Toilets: 22 units
Vegetation:
Trees: 1,973 (of which 223 existing / 1.750 new)
Shrubs: 7,382 (in an area of 963 m²)
Perennials: 75,881 (in an area of 13.516 m²)
Lawn: 5,335 m²
Photographer: Filip Dujardin (filip.dujardin@pandora.be), Blerta Kambo (blertakambo@gmail.com)

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