In the Lost Architecture - Envisioning New City Squares competition that took place during Tirana Architecture Week 2014, students and working architects under 40 got to send their ideas on how to improve Pyramid Square in Albania's capital city, Tirana.
The open competition sought design solutions that would both improve public space and redefine the evolving identity of Pyramid Square -- while also acknowledging the structure's complex political history.
Architect Naiji Jiao and landscape architect Seven Xiru Chen from Canada won 1st place with their approach.
Scroll further down to check it out.
"The Pyramid of Tirana, located at the center of Albania's capital city, has an emotional and political resonance that makes it a significant landmark. While the square in front of it has been perceived as a public space for the citizens of Tirana, the building has been suffering from dilapidation since its loss of identity in the history. With the building isolated from its surrounding, the site as a whole needs an urgent redefinition, which will make it a civic attraction, rejuvenating the city center."
"The center of Tirana has experienced a successive developments under the impacts of different regimes. It has served as a means of expressing political visions and ideologies. With the political and economic transformations in the past decades, the role of Tirana city center needs to be transformed from a single community serving land to serve public in a multi-functional manner."
"Our strategy is to open up the Pyramid Square, including the building itself, transforming the symbolic yet solemn site into a welcoming city central park – The Pyramid Park. This former exclusive site, a mystical land shrouded with memories, will be redefined as a people’s parkland and exposed to public thoroughly in a way to celebrate the new urban lifestyle yet not to forget about the past.
With the remarkable built form and historical value, the Pyramid itself will perform to public as a massive sculpture with the existing main structures being completely preserved. With the rearrangement of landscape, the former isolated pyramid will be embraced into a green land. The preserved existing structures will perform both as a sculpture and a multi-function activity center."
"The symmetric layout of the plaza and elevated Pyramid created a cold and unfriendly atmosphere. To create spaces more affinity to public, the former rigid lines on site will be replaced with new circulation defined by gentle fluid pathways. The berms with naturalized planting will weaken the condescending feeling associated with the elevated Pyramid. With the landscape flowing into the Pyramid, the tough structure will be soften and properly fit into the surroundings."
"The underground level of the Pyramid will be exposed and redefined as a monumental space. With the amphitheater ramping down to the underground level, people can easily access. The ground level will be used as an activity center for the major public gatherings. The second and third floor will sever as a multi-purpose space.
The Pyramid Park is a great public destination. From daily uses to special events, the new park will accommodate variety of activities. The multi-purpose lawn in the park can accommodate events like music festival, outdoor film night, marketing events, and etc. While public speeches, monumental events, exhibitions can be held within the pyramid structure. Open spaces, amphitheater, playground, sports land are programmed into the park for daily uses."
Images courtesy of Naiji Jiao and Seven Xiru Chen
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