The Butrint National Park Visitor Center International Design Competition is a global search for a dedicated and gifted architectural team to design a new visitor center for Butrint National Park, an exceptional UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) on Albania’s Ionian coastline.
Located in the south of the country, approximately 20 kilometers from the modern city of Sarandë and overlooking the Straits of Corfu, Butrint is the most significant archaeological site in Albania, and its chief cultural attraction.
The new center, of up to 1,000 sqm, must receive, welcome and orient visitors, interpret the site, convey the Outstanding Universal Values of the WHS, and be a gateway to the wider National Park and a regional hub for other nearby natural and cultural visitor attractions.
Other aspects of the competition include a new or extended ticket office (including staff workspaces and support facilities); improvements to the core heritage area entrance and secure boundary; wayfinding and interpretation; and improved mooring facilities.
The competition will also encourage participants to consider further opportunities within the wider park in the form of a landscape visioning masterplan. A proactive and forward-thinking approach to sustainability throughout will be key, to tackle the many challenges of the climate emergency, with rising sea levels being a particular threat to Butrint’s low-lying peninsula.
The project’s initial funding of USD $2.45m has been secured and the project has a fast-track timetable: the finished building is due to open in September 2025.
The two-stage competition requires integrated multidisciplinary design teams comprising as a minimum: architect (and lead designer), landscape architect, masterplanner, exhibition and interpretation designer, archaeologist, engineering disciplines including sustainability, cost consultant and a wayfinding consultant.
The official language of the competition is English. No design is required at the first stage — rather designers will need to study the Search Statement (available to download from the competition website) and submit their team composition, approach to the project, relevant experience and pre-qualification questionnaire through a digital form on the website.
At the second stage four teams will be shortlisted, and these will receive an honorarium of USD $10,000 for their design work when the competition concludes with the selection of the winner.
Full details of how to enter the competition are available on the dedicated competition website at competitions.malcolmreading.com/butrint.
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