Grimshaw was selected to masterplan a large expansion to Albania’s capital city, Tirana. The Mayor of Tirana called for designs to extend the 1930s boulevard a further 3km and establish a new 7km riverside park, rejuvenating the river Tirana and the city in the process. The project area covers over a fifth of the overall area of the city, and represents a unique opportunity for a masterplan on this scale in a capital within continental Europe.
Grimshaw’s design proposes a robust sequence of public spaces threaded along the boulevard. The design of the proposed city structure is based upon an analysis of the existing informal urban settlement and patterns of land ownership. The urban design focuses on the creation of Urban Living Rooms, which reflect the Mediterranean outdoor culture of Tirana. The new network of public spaces will change the perception of the city rendering it more open and accessible. The river park is structured around the same concept of sequencing spaces which are open and green. The Mayor of Tirana wishes to build the boulevard and its ‘living rooms’ as quickly as possible to act as the backbone around which the redevelopment of the city will emerge.
The final phase of the competition involved presentations broadcast on national television and a public consultation, where citizens of Tirana were able to view scale models of competing schemes and leave feedback.