MVRDV breaks ground on albania's tallest building 'downtown one' with pixelated façade
 

MVRDV breaks ground on albania's tallest building 'downtown one' with pixelated façade

construction has began in tirana on ‘downtown one’ – the 459ft (140m) tall mixed-use skyscraper designed by MVRDV. the structure, which is set to become albania’s tallest building, has been developed to symbolize the country as the façade features a pixelated ‘map’ of projections and cantilevers, each representing a different town or city. the concept behind the 37-storey tower aims to celebrate albania and is planned to reach completion in 2024.

MVRDV breaks ground on albania's tallest building 'downtown one' with pixelated façade

image © MVRDV / REDVERTEX

 

 

designed for developer kastrati construction, MVRDV has envisioned a rectilinear tower featuring a series of cantilevered houses and offices, forming a pattern on the building’s surface. the push and pull of these cubes produces a variation of depths and results in an interesting aesthetic. when viewed from a distance, these extrusions form an abstract map of albania. the projections also serve to offer impressive panoramic views of the city and mountains, while the terraces created enable communication and connection between residents, giving the feeling of a vertical village. 

MVRDV breaks ground on albania's tallest building 'downtown one' with pixelated façade

a series of cantilevers on the building’s main façade form a pattern in the shape of an abstract map of albania

image © MVRDV / REDVERTEX

 

 

with a floor area of 828,820 ft2 (77,000 m2), ‘downtown one’ aims to boost the local economy of tirana through the mix of apartments, shops, offices, and restaurants. at the base of the tower is a park with local vegetation and an educational playground, while the inside of the building is divided into several layers: above the ground floor comprises of commercial spaces and underground parking, the lower half of the tower is devoted to office space, while apartments occupy the top 18 floors.

MVRDV breaks ground on albania's tallest building 'downtown one' with pixelated façade

at 459ft (140m) tall, the building will become a landmark in the center of tirana

image © MVRDV / REDVERTEX

 

 

‘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,’ comments 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.’

MVRDV breaks ground on albania's tallest building 'downtown one' with pixelated façade

the cantilevers create the feeling of a vertical village, offering connections between neighbours

image © MVRDV

MVRDV breaks ground on albania's tallest building 'downtown one' with pixelated façade

the building is layered, with offices on the lower floors and apartments above

image © MVRDV

 

 

project info:

 

project name: ‘downtown one’

location: tirana, albania

year: 2016 +

client: kastrati construction

program: 828,820 ft2 (77,000 m2) mixed-use tower to include apartments, offices, a commercial plinth and underground parking

design: MVRDV

principal-in-charge: winy maas

director: stefan de koning

design team: sanne van der burgh, ronald hoogeveen, guido boeters, boris tikvarski, thomas boerendonk, stavros gargaretas, akshey krishna venkatesh, katarzyna nowak, manuel magnaguagno, angel sanchez navarro, christy li yu wai, johannes pilz, christine sohar and sanne van manen

visualizations: antonio luca coco, davide calabro and pavlos ventouris

copyright: MVRDV 2018 – winy maas, jacob van rijs and nathalie de vries

 

partners:

client: kastrati construction

investor: kastrati group

structure: LEAL & arup

MEP: arup, elteknik

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