MVRDV has begun construction on Downtown One, a 140-metre-tall mixed-use skyscraper in Tirana that will become Albania’s tallest building. The most striking element of the 37-storey tower is its relief of cantilevered houses and offices, which form a pixelated ‘map’ of Albania, each representing a town or city, turning this building into an icon in the heart of Tirana, Albania. Completion of the building, which was designed for developer Kastrati Construction, is expected in 2024.
Downtown One is envisioned as an expression celebrating the progress of Albania, located in central Tirana on the Bajram Curri Boulevard, to the south of the Lana River. On its principle façades, the 140-metre rectilinear tower features a series of cantilevered houses and offices, forming a relief pattern on the building’s surface. Every house or office represents a village or
The importance of the cantilevers is not only iconographic; for occupants of the building, the projecting bay windows offer spectacular panoramic views of the city and the mountains, while the terraces created
“Albania has come a long way. Ten years ago it was the poorest country in Europe. Now it is a country with energy and ambition, working towards great economic improvements. We want to express this with our building,” says Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV. “The tower brings the feeling of a vertical village to the busy city centre, individual housing where communication with the neighbours is encouraged. Maybe it could even be seen as a vertical country! Every house or office adopts a town or city, together forming this map of Albania. The building will be visible from the nearby Skanderbeg square at the heart of the city. It forms part of the ensemble of towers that surround the square, the epicentre of the country.”
With a floor area of 77,000 square metres, Downtown One will give the centre of Tirana an important boost through the mix of apartments, shops, offices, and restaurants. The 37-storey tower does not sit parallel to Bajram Curri
MVRDV believes Albania is a region with tremendous potential for progressive development. The tower is just a short distance from another project by MVRDV which will transform the face of Albania’s capital city: the Pyramid of Tirana. In both projects, the Rotterdam office seeks local architects and engineers as
MVRDV designed Downtown One on behalf of Kastrati Construction, a company of Kastrati Group. Arup is the supervisor for structure and MEP, with Albanian firms Elteknik as MEP engineers and LEAL as structural engineers. DEA Studio is local partner and co-architect.