Stefano Boeri Architetti
2017 - ,on going
PPP Agikons Construction Company – Municipality of Tirana
Total surface: 29.609 sqm; Don Bosco School Complex: 9,812 sqm; Kodër-Kamëz School Complex: 11,898 sqm; Shqiponja School Complex: 7,898 sqm
Stefano Boeri Architetti
Founding partner: Stefano Boeri
Partner and project director: Francesca Cesa Bianchi
Project leader: Carlotta Capobianco
Team: Jacopo Colatarci, Julia Gocalek, Jona Arkaxhiu, Orjana Balla, Daniele Barillari, Moataz Faisal Farid, Yulia Filatova, Paolo Russo, Mario Shilong Tan, Elisa Versari, Mattia Tettoni, Besart Gjana
Photo: Lorenzo Masotto, Mendi Selmani
An Open School: at the heart of Stefano Boeri Architetti’s project, the idea that the School of the future can become an epicenter in the urban life of the neighborhoods, as a place open to everyone, for all ages, every day of the year. This concept guided the realization of three new educational facilities in Tirana, designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti as result of an international competition promoted by Tirana city council, within the framework of Tirana General Local Plan 2030.
The three buildings, the first of which was inaugurated in December 2021, are located in the north-west quadrant of the city – in the Don Bosko, Kodër-Kamëz and Shqiponja areas – and accommodate five different schools, dedicated to a pre-university educational cycle. Their realization contributes to reducing the shortage of school facilities in the city and makes it possible to accommodate – no longer on separate shifts – the nearly 1,400 students in the area who attend these institutes.
The Don Bosko complex includes a middle school, a high school, pre-school education spaces and a nursery and covers an area of 9,812 square meters;
The Kodër-Kamëz Schools, for which a similar range of educational services is planned, cover a total area of 11,898 square meters;
Shqiponja Schools include pre-school education facilities, a middle school and a nursery and cover an area of 7,898 sq.m.
The new Tirana schools also include canteens, multifunctional rooms, libraries and sports facilities which can be used by both students and the community at different times of day, located on the ground floor and along the perimeter of the buildings, so as to ensure access from both the building’s interior and exterior areas.
The result is a network of permeable and accessible urban spaces, in open dialogue with the surrounding squares, streets and parks. As a true complex urban device, the role of the school as a local epicenter is thus made explicit through the activation of a new neighborhood centrality, active as a reference point of public life, 24/7 and 365 days a year.
“An open school means osmosis with the territory, exchange of knowledge and experiences, with an important reverberation on neighborhood life. The three new schools in Tirana, although built in extraordinary economy, have been designed to become true epicenters of social life and spaces of intergenerational and social connection” Stefano Boeri.
During the design process, great attention was paid to calibrate the presence of traditional spaces dedicated to teaching required by the ministry – and therefore responding to the needs and indications of local regulations – with hybrid areas more suitable for experimental educational systems, capable of encouraging the introduction of innovative educational systems and inter-generational interaction between students of different ages and cycles.
“The volume was conceived starting from the open spaces, which were given the same weight and importance dedicated to the interiors. With a perspective of creating an accessible building, which dialogues with the surrounding urban context, through a careful study and control of access in order to ensure safety, the spaces that house public functions will be open to the city and used by the inhabitants of the neighborhood during non-school hours.” Francesca Cesa Bianchi, Project Director.
From a constructional point of view, the buildings are characterized by red stoneware facades, in contrast with a white basement: a combination of materials and colors that recalls the tradition of Italian architecture in Tirana. In the design of the interiors, great attention was given to colour, capable of fostering comprehension and social interaction, and tonatural lighting, in order to create a comfortable environment for students.
In the Don Bosko School, the tower acts as a landmark, that enhances the public dimension and the presence of a new common space for citizens.