Casanova+Hernandez architects | L073_Albania Park


L073_Albania Park

Durres, Albania

The site is located four kilometers south of the central square of Durres and communicated through pedestrian routes, public transport and bicycle paths in a way that it is easy to reach for all the inhabitants of Durres. Also, the site is centrally located in the densest area of the beach of Durres allowing easy access for the permanent residents of Golem and Kavaj√ę and for a large number of visitors during the summer.

Historically, the site was a holiday area where private holiday residences were built. During the communist period, the zone was fenced, the public access was forbidden and it was transformed into a holiday area for the members of the government. After the communist period, the site remained fenced avoiding the large-scale urban development experimented in the last years in the near context.

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As a result, the site of the Park is perceived as a large green area that has preserved most of its trees and that presents a big contrast with the high density of the surroundings and its lack of vegetation. The project conceives the site as a green oasis to be preserved. Most of the interventions will be built in the open areas located among the existing trees, emphasizing in this way the visual, structural and environmental importance of the existing vegetation.

Programming the park with recreational and sociocultural activities that are not available in Durres could attract daily many citizens of Durres and the near towns and villages. The design is focused on achieving the following aspects:

– Regional park that should attract visitors from Tirana and the region

– International park that should attract international visitors

– Multi-scale park with different programs for three target groups

– Albania Park as a place for mass sports events

– Albania Park as a place for mass cultural events

– Albania Park as an interpretation tool of the rich history of the site, Durres, Albania & the Adriatic sea

– Albania Park as a new recreational, cultural & tourist pole of Durres

– Albania Park as a branding tool for Durres & Albania


Zoning with preservation of the green areas

The master plan has two main objectives: the preservation of the green character of the area transforming it into a public park and the activation of its public use with new recreational, sport and cultural facilities. The site is historically and spatially fragmented into four distinctive strips: the forest zone, the residential zone, the beach zone, and the water zone. The functional zoning of the park protects, regulates and transform these zones.

Forest zone: The existing vegetation in the forest zone is preserved, new constructions are not allowed, new vegetation is planted, and the area is open to the public with new recreational facilities.

Residential zone: All the existing private residential buildings are preserved and new constructions are regulated to a maximum height of two levels.

Waterfront boulevard & buffer zone: A waterfront boulevard is created along the beach that could be extended in the future towards Durres port on the north and towards Golem on the south forming a continuous public space along the whole beach of Durres. A dense green buffer zone 10metres wide is created to protect visually the residential zone from the waterfront boulevard.

Waterfront plaza: The beach zone is enlarged and transformed into a large public space for cultural, recreational and sports activities that due to its position will become the central plaza of the beach of Durres.

Waterfront plaza as a space for events: cultural events + mass events + sport events

The Waterfront Plaza is a hybrid and unique public space that mixes architecture with landscape design, cultural with sports facilities, and natural elements with artificial ones.

Both sides of the Waterfront Plaza are reserved for recreational and sports facilities and they are equipped with tribunes integrated into the landscape to allow spectators to contemplate cultural and sports events.

The central zone of the plaza has been reserved as a large open space for the celebration of mass public events such as concerts, markets, competitions or festivals.

Public facilities for visitors are integrated into the architectural elements, which are mixed with the landscape creating expressive visual accents that offer different appearances when they are perceived from different points of view.

Symbiotic program of activities

Albania Park offers a varied program of activities to attract different target groups of the metropolitan, regional and international context.

The program has been divided into cultural, sports-recreational, and tourist activities. The mix of activities will make Albania Park more attractive for different groups and will provide a richer experience for families with children who can easily expend a whole day enjoying different activities.

Recreational & sport activities inspired by the albanian landscapes

The Path of the Albanian Landscapes connects the main recreational and sports facilities of the park that consist of 10 landscape interventions inspired in 10 iconic Albanian landscapes.

A walk along the path can virtually be experienced as a walk through Albania and its rich landscape diversity. Each landscape has an information board that informs visitors about its location and characteristics. In this way, a walk along the path works as an introduction of Albania for locals and visitors alike inviting visitors to discover the nature and landscapes of the whole country.

Cultural & touristic activities concentrated on two cultural landmarks

Two interventions placed at the Waterfront Plaza host the main cultural and touristic activities. The two interventions are conceived as cultural landmarks with different characters integrated into the Waterfront Plaza to take advantage of the views over the Adriatic sea and over the port of Durres.

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Albanian Development Fund (ADF) / Municipality of Durres
Definitive phase approved
37.5 Ha