Casanova+Hernandez architects | A108_National Historical Museum


A108_National Historical Museum

Tirana, Albania

Open and accessible building

New public functions on ground floor and construction of an underground multifunctional space and educational rooms

The existing building is architectonically divided into two parts: “the plinth” and “the box” on top. The proposal adds new public program and redistributes the existing functions in the building in order to reinforce the conceptual and programmatic coherence of the building which will be divided into “a public plinth” and an “exhibition box” on top.
The new public program in the Public Plinth consists of a café-restaurant, a library, a shop-café and a multifunctional space and some educational rooms located in a new basement placed under the courtyard.

Read More

Exhibition box: continuos circulation around the courtyard by relocating the administration in the plinth

The administration area which is currently at the first and second level of the existing building, interrupts the possible circular circulation of public around the courtyard. By moving the offices and storage to ground floor and to a mezzanine located in the plinth, the administration can enjoy a modern space directly connected with the courtyard, an entrance hall and the exhibition areas.

Multifunctional landscape around the building:

Museum goes to the street and street enters the museum

Museum public functions expand to the street intensifying the public use of public space around the museum

The exhibition room expands onto the public space with an outdoor exhibition space equipped with street exhibitors.

Cafe restaurant expands with a terrace

History lounge expands with an outdoor history lounge

Shop-café expands with a terrace placed in front

Library and multifunctional space expands with an outdoor auditorium

Educational rooms expand with an outdoor educational space in the courtyard.

Street enters the museum: more accessible+new entrances

The new landscape design around the museum provides more access to the museum platform where the public functions of the museum have been expanded. New and independent direct accesses to cafeteria and museum shop.

“The exhibition box”

(upper levels)

– Permanent exhibition

– Ticket control

– Complete circulation around the courtyard

“The public plinth”

(ground floor and basement)

– Public area

– Free access

– Entrance hall, information, tickets, cloakroom, cafe-restaurant, shop-cafe, library, temporary exhibitions, multifunctional rooms and educational rooms

New public functions in the plinth and a renewed exhibition box on top

Public and iconic image: transparent public plinth by day + colorful exhibition box by night

Transparent public plinth

The project encourages as much as possible the visual relation between the public functions located at the ground floor and the street. The reflective glass used in the building is replaced by transparent glass with a high UV value.

Floating exhibition box and interactive lighting by night

Artificial light reinforces the current architectural composition of the building in two parts, stimulating the perception of a “light” and “floating” exhibition box.

The light movement and color combinations respond to predetermined time schedule creating different shows for different seasons, important high days, public holidays and such.

The lighting scheme will be time responsive, weather responsive and action responsive. The building appearance will change and live algorithmically in real-time with the changing weather patterns such as wind speeds and temperature.

The light movement and color combinations respond to the intensity of movement inside the building.

Facade art work : 2 pcs Opticalight projectors mounted onto street lighting poles. Even and precise lighting.

Wall lighting: Wall grazing linear lighting from above and below Integrated onto facade. Opaque light line on eaves.

Columns: Downlighting from above on all sides of the columns.

Street level: Down lighting from above. Wall grazing from above

Multifaceted exhibition articulated

Time line of albanian history Around “the path of history” + “thematic rooms” + “virtual windows”

The current permanent exhibition of the History Museum presents a series of historical periods mixed with different themes, which are not always organized chronologically. The new museographic project analyzes the history of Albania distinguishing the historical
facts, important historical dates, historical periods and historical themes. The exhibition is organized following this conceptual timeline which is translated into a continuous routing along the permanent exhibition. The path of history is a dynamic walking route that provides general information about historical periods. The “Thematic Rooms” are smaller spaces that zoom in specific themes and “The virtual windows” are technological tools that put in contact the visitor with other places and museums related to the exhibition.

Spatial translation of time line into a routing in the permanent exhibition

The path of history

Architectural element: floor and stairs.

Visitors action: walking.

Position: along the whole permanent exhibition.

Content: time, facts and art.

Media: texts, paintings, photos, artifacts, etc.

The path of history

Architectural element: rooms.

Visitors action: standing.

Position: in specific points of the “Path of History”.

Content: historical theme.

Media: text, photos, artifacts, videos, etc.

Thematic rooms

Architectural element: rooms.

Visitors action: standing.

Position: in specific points of the “Path of History”.

Content: historical theme.

Media: text, photos, artifacts, videos, etc.

Virtual windows

Architectural element: window.

Visitors action: seating.

Position: close to windows in the pockets in between periods.

Content: historical connections.

Media: text, photos, artifacts, videos, etc.

The path of history

The Albanian history is explained by walking following a continuous timeline path along the two levels of the permanent exhibition. The important dates in the Albanian history become an artistic graphic element with an educative and didactic purpose that plays also the role of orientating the visitors showing at any moment the period of history which they are visiting.
The sequence of historic periods follows the current organization of the museum and has been enlarged with “Modernity” in order to create a history line from prehistory to our days, linking past and present. The path of history starts with the “Stairs of History” at the entrance hall that guides the visitors to the first level around the courtyard, then to the second level around the courtyard and finally to the entrance hall again. Space and time and linked in an unique museographic element mixing architecture and exhibition, content and continent.

Museum identity linking architecture, interior and graphic design

The museum identity is inspired by the image of the strata as the abstract representation of history in which different periods or historical layers are accumulated on top of each other along the time. The museum presents a global and at the same time fragmented vision of the history. First as a solid sedimentation of layers of history during different periods, and second, as separated layers, which can be analyzed and understood independently. This conceptual vision of the museum of history inspired the programmatic design of the building following layers, the design of architectural elements such as the stairs of history, the exhibitors created by layers, information desks, and even the lamellas system that protect the interior of the building from
the natural light. The global identity of the project is also reflected in the logo of the building that combines a modern and recognizable symbol as the letter H from history with the layers or strata of different periods.

Hide Text
Restricted competition. First prize