Stefano Boeri Architetti
2017 - on going
INVEST SOCIETY shpk – project manager: Ermal Hasa
SCE Project, E.S.A. engineering, Albana Kocollari (ANK ARCHITECTS), engr. Helidon Kokona, engr. Llambi Karamani (Xhenlux), engr. Petrit Hoxhaj
Concept design, preliminary project, final and executive project, art direction
Mixed: shops, offices, car parks
Project area: 1,116.80 sqm; GLA: 6,052 sqm
Stefano Boeri (founding partner), Francesca Cesa Bianchi (project director), with Jona Arkaxhiu, Orjana Balla, Marco Bernardini, Agostino Bucci, Carlotta Capobianco, Moataz Faisal Farid, Yulia Filatova, Shilong Tan, Andrea Zucchi
Located in the very heart of Tirana, in the same urban district as the historical residence of Albanian Communist Party leader Enver Hoxha, the Blloku Cube is the new multifunctional center signed by Stefano Boeri Architetti, now under construction.
The building stands right at the junction of Pjeter Bogdani and Vaso Pasha streets, in the heart of the Blloku, one of the most prestigious districts in Tirana which, in the post-communist era, has been transformed from a restricted military area into a nerve center of the social life of the city, thanks to the proliferation of facilities, shops, bars and restaurants lining its characteristic and regularly shaped blocks.
It is on these two streets that the main entrances of the building are placed, to serve both the retail center and the offices.
On the ground floor, the square floor plan of approximately 30 meters on each side presents a significant variant, namely the way the corners have been cut in proximity to the crossroads between the street axes and the main entrance creates a semi-covered square as an extension to the sidewalk, in which the uniformity of the paving between the outdoor and indoor spaces invites the passers-by to enter the retail complex.
The floor plan variant at ground level extends to the first floor of the volume, also occupied by shops, where the west façade of the building slopes to connect with the floor above, which resumes its regular square shape. The inclination of the glass façade and its supporting elements create a resting point on a slanting surface where a seating system, literally leaning against the façade structure, offers the opportunity to admire the city and the public area below from an unusual vantage point.
The building continues to rise with its regular square floor plan for another five levels, all of which destined to be occupied by offices, surmounted by a Roof Garden Restaurant on the seventh floor.
The identity of the building is strongly characterized by a special cladding, an outstanding feature that makes it recognizable and unique in the city skyline and, at the same time, highly performing, in terms of thermal efficiency, thanks to a “double skin” technological system.
The “first skin” consists in a curtain wall, an uninterrupted glass façade providing adequate insulation to the building, in terms of energy efficiency and acoustics, whereas the “second skin” is made up of a sophisticated technological shielding system in anodized aluminum consisting of 110 centimeter square modules, which obscure the light for just half of their surface owing to the presence of three dimensional triangles welded inside.
“The resulting effect is that of a vibrant and iridescent surface, a pattern of aluminum triangles playing with the sunlight to create reflections in different shades of colour”, explains Stefano Boeri.
Each of the tiny metal sails, making up the façade, is pointed in a different direction so as to filter the sunlight and provide an optimal natural lighting within, according to the programmed use of each space, as well as making it always unique, thanks to the multiple urban viewpoints it offers.
“This particular cladding solution, specifically designed for our first Albanian project, plays an essential role in defining the uniqueness of the building and contributes to underlining its importance as a new landmark of this urban district”, adds Francesca Cesa Bianchi, Project Director for Stefano Boeri Architetti.
The construction will be entirely managed by the Tirana branch of Stefano Boeri Architetti, which has already put its name to “Tirana 2030”, the new town planning scheme of the Albanian capital with UNLAB and IND and, after winning an international contest, will be engaged in the construction of three schools, which are to be the new hubs for social and cultural activities in the northwestern area of the city.