Cubo di Blloku: the first project by Stefano Boeri Architetti in Tirana
Located in the central area of Tirana, the Blloku Cube is the new multi-purpose center designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti. The project - currently under construction and entirely curated by Stefano Boeri Architetti office in Tirana - joins the town planning of the Albanian capital “Tirana 2030”, with UNLAB and IND. As winner of an international competition, the team will also be committed in the construction of three schools that will become the new hub of sociocultural life in the northwestern area of the city.
The building stands exactly at the crossroads of Pjeter Bogdani and Vaso Pasha, in the heart of Blloku, one of the most important districts of Tirana. During the communist period, it was a military restricted area; then it became the hub of city public life with the spread of services, shops, cafés and restaurants, which characterize its regular blocks.
In these two streets, you can find the main entrances of the building, for both the commercial part and the offices. On the ground floor, the square plan, about 30 meters per side, has a significant variation: at the intersection of the major roads and the main entrance, the cutting edge creates a semi-covered square in continuity with the sidewalk, inviting citizens to join the commercial space, thanks to the uniformity of the floor, both outside and inside.
The plant exception in the ground spreads to the first floor of the building: it is occupied by shops and the west side of the building inclines to link up to the upper floor, which is a square instead. The folding of the glazed façade and its pillars generates a resting space on an inclined floor, where a seating system (literally resting on the façade structure) gives the possibility to appreciate the city and the public space below from an extraordinary perspective.
The building is built with a regular square diagram for the next five floors, used as offices; it ends on the seventh floor, with the Roof Garden Restaurant. The identity of the building is strongly characterized by its special shell that makes it unique within the skyline, besides offering high thermal performances thanks to the technology system “double skin”.
The “first skin” consists of a curtain wall, a continuous glass façade that gives the building the highest thermal and acoustic insulation. The “second skin” has a sophisticated technological system of anodized aluminum shielding consisting of square modules of 110 cm on each side, which obscure their surface only for half thanks to the three-dimensional triangles welded inside them.
“The final effect is a vibrating and changing surface, a weave of aluminum triangles that play with the sunlight, reflecting with different shades of colors”, Stefano Boeri explains. Each small metal rib vaults making up the cladding has a different orientation that filter the sunlight, ensuring interiors the optimal lighting according to the intended use. Moreover, in this way, the building appears always different, depending on the several urban points of view.
“This particular shell - specifically designed for our first Albanian project - is essential in determining the uniqueness of the building and helps to underline its role of new landmark within the district”, adds Francesca Cesa Bianchi, project director at Stefano Boeri Architetti.
- Design: Stefano Boeri Architetti
- Location: Tirana, Albania
- Year: 2017 – in progress
- Customer: INVEST SOCIETY shpk – project manager: Ermal Hasa
- Counsels: SCE Project, E.S.A. engineering, Albana Kocollari (ANK ARCHITECTS), engineer Helidon Kokona, engineer Llambi Karamani (Xhenlux), engineer Petrit Hoxhaj.
- Project area: 1,116.80 sq.m.; Gross surface area: 6.052 sq.m.
- Pictures: © Stefano Boeri Architetti