Mixed-use building in Albania to take form of national hero

Credit: Mvrdv

Work has started on an 85-metre-tall mixed-use building in the Albanian capital of Tirana that will serve to honour one of the country’s greatest heroes.

The building, designed by Dutch architects Mvrdv, has been made to resemble the bust of Gjergj Kastrioti (commonly known as ‘Skanderbeg’), who organised a rebellion against the Ottoman Empire during the 15th century.

The building, known as ‘Tirana’s Rock’, will sit in Skanderbeg Square in the centre of Tirana and will contain offices, retail space, and residential units.

It will be one of the world’s biggest buildings that double as figurative sculptures, with varying balcony lengths forming the contours of the man’s profile.

The bust

Skanderbeg’s form rises from a small base making use of the maximum allowable volume like a marble bust.

The figure’s shoulders align with the widest part of the site, while his head is turned to the right, facing the square that bears his name.

The base of the tower will hold one level of commercial space, with four levels of offices above at the lower end of the bust, and 20 floors of apartments creating the head.

Commenting on the development, Winy Maas, Mvrdv founder, said: “These days, cities around the world increasingly look like each other – I always encourage them to resist this, to find their individual character and emphasise it.

“To me, the Skanderbeg Building is an opportunity to do just that – it brings new meaning to existing elements of Albanian architecture.

“As Albania begins its negotiations to join the EU, projects such as this one are part of the European Project – it stresses Albania’s history, character, and presence in a unified Europe of many states.”

Image: CGI rendering of the completed ‘Tirana’s Rock’. Credit: Mvrdv


Read next: Berlin to build car-free housing and tech district on former airport

Are you a building professional? Sign up for a FREE MEMBERSHIP to upload news stories, post job vacancies, and connect with colleagues on our secure social feed.

Related posts

Why data is key to achieving construction’s net-zero goals

Build in Digital launches Top 25 Tech Partners at UK Construction Week

Site selected for UK’s first prototype fusion energy plant

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Read More