BIG selected to design a major cultural Center in Albania

BIG, in collaboration with Martha Schwartz Landscape, Buro Happold, Speirs & Major, Lutzenberger & Lutzenberger, and Global Cultural Asset Management will design a 27,000-square-meter cultural complex in Tirana, Albania. This complex consists of a Mosque, a Islamic Center, and a Museum of Religious Harmony. Albania is a ethnically homogeneous country with small minorities — Greeks, Vlachs, Montenegrins, Serbs, Macedonians, Bulgarians, Gorans, Balkan Egyptians, Roma and Jews. The country is mostly Muslim, with 70%, followed by Eastern Orthodox 20% and Roman Catholics 10%.
Cultural Center in Albania © Team BIG

The complex will sit a site, precisely the Scanderberg Square. It will respect the urban tissue. Recent years are seen an increasingly number of constructions of new public and private structures.
Cultural Center in Albania © Team BIG

Not only will not the complex only respond to the Muslim community's specific needs, it but also educates the public about Islamic values, the agency says.
Diagram © Team BIG

The Mayor of Tirana, Edi Rama presents the winning entry as follows: "The winning proposal was chosen for its ability to create an inviting public space flexible enough to accommodate daily users and larger religious events, while harmonically connecting with the Scanderberg square, the city of Tirana and its citizen across different religious.
Diagram © Team BIG

Additionally the project shines through its beautiful garden surrounding the new Mosque and Center of Islamic Culture which symbolically features additionally vegetation described in Islamic litterature. Finally the team's awareness of the economic aspects, of this important development, features contribute successful of this project."
Diagram © Team BIG

According to Bjarke Ingels, this project of mosque will complete Orthodox and Catholic Cathedrals. The construction of this mosque will make Tirana "an example for the rest of the world as a global capital of religious harmony". It will accommodate up to 1,000 people performing their daily players.
Diagram © Team BIG

The façade consists of multitude of rational, rectangular windows finds its inspiration in Islamic mashrabiya.

Building fact
Program: Cultural Center in Albania
Architects: BIG
Collaboration: Martha Scharwtz Landscape, Buro Happold, Speirs & Major, Lutzenberger & Lutzenberger, and global Culural assess Management
Partner-in-charge: Bjarke Ingles, Thomas Christoffersen
Project leader: Leon Rost
Project Team: Marcella Martinez, Se Yoon Park, Alessandro Ronfini, Daniel Kidd, Julian Nin Liang, Erick Kristanto, Ho Kyung Lee
Client: Municipality of Tirana, Albanian Muslim Community
Size: 27,000  sqm
Images: Courtesy of BIG

Source: BIG

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