European Prize for Urban Public Space

Monday 9, July 2018

Winner European Prize for Urban Public Space

Winner

[K056] Renovation of Skanderbeg Square – Tirana (Albania), 2017 – Author: 51N4E – Developer: Bashkia Tiranë , Government of Albania

Skanderbeg Square has a centrality in Tirana and the Albanese collective memory, as the main space of representation of the socialist dictatorship, and as the symbolic centre of the capital and the nation. The decision to leave the square empty and slope it gently towards a small elevation in the middle, is part of a strategy to counter its previous symbolism. Water from small fountains trickles down the slopes, which are paved with stones from across the country. This offers an intentional yet unassuming connection with Albania’s national identity; otherwise the space is notably free of ideological imagery. The empty square is surrounded by a green perimeter which acts as a filter and absorbs a variety of social functions. The informality of the green zone spill over to the square and helps to strip it of the monumentality its size implies and gives it a casual atmosphere. This is one of a number of fine Albanian projects submitted for the Prize, showing that despite limited resources the country understands the importance of investing in public space.

+info: HERE

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