Casanova+Hernandez architects | A126_Ethnographic Museum Of Gjirokastra


A126_Ethnographic Museum Of Gjirokastra

Gjirokastra, Albania

Symbiosis between old and new

The Ethnographic Museum of Gjirokastra is located in the Palorto Quarter, which is one of the oldest and better-preserved neighborhoods of the old city. It has a very dense urban context characterized by steep and narrow streets.

The architectural project preserves and restores the existing building and adds a new architectural layer that dialogues with the existing without modifying it. The new architectural layer is conceived as a light intervention that produces a soft impact in the building. But at the same time this new layer does not try to imitate the old architecture, on the contrary, it shows its uniqueness to allow visitors to differentiate between old and new, between the original building with its artifacts and the new facilities that allow exhibiting them in a proper way to the public.

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Museographic project

The protagonists of the permanent exhibition of the new Ethnographic Museum of Gjirokastra are the artifacts. Each object of the collection has a use, a meaning, and a rich hidden history to be communicated. The museological project has the aim of transforming the artifacts, considered until now as “muted objects”, into “alive storytellers” who are in charge of communicating a varied range of information to the visitors.

The exhibition design aims to emphasize the individual quality and beauty of each artifact of the collection by framing it in the appropriate way in relation to its size, material and context, and choosing the background and lighting that reinforce its colors and textures.

Organization in thematic sections

The permanent exhibition is organized in thematic sections:

Section 1: ethnological zones of gjirokastra

Section 2: enver hoxha’s birth room

Section 3: religious symbolism

Section 4: social symbolism

Section 5: habits & rituals / the traiditional dance and Gjirokastra wedding

Section 6: the traditional house

Interior design: symbiosis between archetypical rooms of a historical house of Gjirokastra and functional exhibition rooms

The architectural concept preserves the valuable interior spaces that represent the typical rooms of the historical houses of Gjirokastra such as the kitchen, the winter room or the guest room. Other rooms that are considered not representative of typical houses are equipped with showcases that help to exhibit and interpret the collection of artifacts.

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World Bank / Municipality of Gjirokastra / Albanian Development Fund (ADF)
Definitive phase delivered
767.4 m2