Tirana Rocks by MVRDV



Dutch architects MVRDV have won a competition to masterplan an urban neighbourhood on the shore of Lake Tirana in Albania.


Their winning proposal, Tirana Rocks, involves creating a series of giant stone-clad rectangular buildings arranged to resemble fallen stones.


Here's some info from MVRDV:


Tirana Rocks: MVRDV wins lakeside competition with dense urban and ecologic masterplan

(Rotterdam, September 3rd, 2008) The city of Tirana and an international jury announced MVRDV winner of the competition for the urban masterplan creating a new dense urban neighborhood with a park and public facilities at the shore of Tirana Lake, in the south of the Albanian capital.

Tirana Lake is one of the highly valuable green areas of the city. The project foresees the regeneration of a 20ha site on the north shore of the lake by creating a dense urban neighborhood liberating space for a park, recreational facilities, new public spaces and ecologic interventions.

The cantilevered and leaning buildings allow for a great variety of apartment types, shopping and offices and ‘echo’ the Tirana typology. The stacked and twisted volumes create spectacular public spaces and provide dramatic vistas. Clad in local stones the buildings turn into a series of ‘rocks’, the ‘Tirana Rocks’.

Dense clustering of the program on the lake side allows the site to become part of the chain of parks surrounding the lake. Planting a park of Jacaranda trees will add a new characteristic element to the area and provide natural shade; the tree’s long lasting blue flowers will appear as a ‘blue cloud’. A promenade along the water creates an active social zone that contributes to the idea of a ‘Copa Tirana’.

Edi Rama, the mayor of Tirana who received the 2004 World Mayor Award presented the winning scheme on national television.

The masterplan consists of 225.000m2 housing, 60.000m2 offices, 20.000m2 public buildings, 60.000m2 retail, a hotel of 15.000m2 and 20.000m2 sport and recreational facilities and a car park. Start construction is envisioned for 2010, the total estimated investment is 600 million Euro. The client is a group of Albanian private developers; the project is managed by Ambito Project Management, Madrid, Spain.

MVRDV won the competition from among others Bolles + Wilson, David Chipperfield Architects and Carlos Ferrater.

Posted on Wednesday September 3rd 2008 at 4:06 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • pf

    the link proves
    that mvrdv is making a copy of their own work
    more of the same – boring

    and far from genieus

  • Diegs

    Having seen the link provided by Besian which in my opinion I coin as ‘too much visual garbage’. I much tend to favour the monolithic monstrosities rendered above. Their obvious intention to posting those images was to create a very natural environment, its much easier on the eye viewing rocks than a colourful spagetti mish mash.

  • M

    My god poor ..poor Albanian peoples! Genetics failed this guys for sure.. what a denial of the structuralism heritage. If Aldo where alive he would get a hart attack
    Corb would have been happy about this one though!

  • pff

    to OLS:

    it’s still crap…even after the movie
    I would say: childish.

  • Dr Skruffknuckles

    This is amateur work from circus like architects. I was going to work with MVRDV once, boy im glad that didnt work out.

    Also I dont see how this references the struggle between Georgia and Russia at all, the blocks arent even damaged?

  • El Greco

    It reminds me of a grad school project a saw once… “I took some rocks off the desert floor and dropped them in a pile several times until I found an arrangement I liked”.

    It went over very poorly.

  • bak

    this is beautiful. superbly beautiful

  • bizzeb

    shameful at this stage…but this is not architecture so it doesnt even deserve comment in that sense.

    what are those poor interns going to do when they have to make this in to architecture?

    This project in no way is iconoclastic… if that was the attempt it fails.

    Randomness can be very interesting….but i belive it might need to seem a bit less forced. This is a building that if not designed very carefully from this stage on will become an eyesore and failure in the near future.

  • Bo

    It seems that there are a lot of easy opinions on this forum. How can you say anything about this project without knowing anything? Windows? What?
    It’s a competition people, for a masterplan… for now it seems like a unique project which could be a very interesting one.
    So leave your ignorant comments home, and talk with some arguments.

  • Stefan

    fallen stones in tirana? not the statement i would liek to seen built over there… the comments here are a bit harsh but this project looks very “fastfood” like… just throw a couple of blocks on the site and call it intereesting space and philosophical way to design? nooo… to fast foreward for me… i can agree on some of the “fuck context” projects but then they have to be strong on the content site! blocks as houses are not that strong…

  • Pity the poor, innocent Albanians…”Forward men, into the past!” Anyway, Heraclites was wrong, you can in fact step into the same river twice -or three or four times…
    Another case in which a moisturized, metrosexual jury premiates yet another big yawner.

  • Arli

    The greenest part of tirana it’s going to be a mass of rocks … a winy mass of rocks …
    People in there deserve it !

  • noei

    It’s not the problem on the renders, this are just to show an idea of the project.But Tirana doesn’t need a second downtown with some “rocks”
    that will destroy the only grean part of the city that is still intakt or
    some part of it.And the funi thing is that Tirana has 6% grean and this project will destroy 1.7%.
    Which city in the world has less than 5% vegetation ?

  • Henry

    Well in fact this is just a Masterplan, in reality it won’t be like this, the construction will start in 2010, MVRDV has a lot of time to project the windows…etc. A possible view of this project is this:http://bustler.net/index.php/article/tirana_rocks_mvrdv_wins_lakeside_competition_in_albania/

    This is part of a plan for Tirana’s rehabilitation and it’s a big investment.

  • kle

    I can’t see my earlier post here.

    What’s the problem with alternative ways of thinking ?

  • kle

    Sorry, I see them both now…Servers playing tricks.. :-)

  • kle

    PS. The usual way it works here is that the buildings you see as blocks, will not be necessarily projected by Mvrdv, but by other cheaper architecture studios. The concern is to project buildings respecting those volumes/shapes determined by the plan of Mvrdv.

    That’s why the renderings have no windows. Because windows do not matter.

    Now can you imagine the mess that other cheap architects and constructors will cause by building those extravagant and nearly-impossible (economically) structures, in a country where law is not strong enough to forbid abuses in speculative buildings and where the major said on TV : The winner is MVRDV but while building, we will change the project a bit…That’s horror. Im sure it will change for bad…So if you see some trees in the renderings, forget them…And if you see a beach there, it’s ridiculous..It wont be done, because nobody goes to swim in that lake from decades.

  • quasimoto

    this really rocks

  • eno

    the architecture is very stylish but what i need to say is that almost all the city is seeming as a concrete circuit..now they wanna stone also maybe the only green part of Tirana ..they would be better find another place

  • you are crayzy

  • D

    First of all, Tirana has many great architecture building like the sky tower, twin tower, tid tower, eyes of tirana, Tirana East Gate mall, toptani business complex, Millenium Building, CityPark mall, the new design of Albanian national stadium, the new parliament building, etc.

    Second of all, all cities code require windows, the picture that is shown here is just a simple render, the link shows how it will be in real life http://massengale.typepad.com/venustas/images/200

    The buildings won’t be stones and rocks, but metal buildings like skyscrapers. The reason is called Tirana rocks is because they represent rocks the way they lean to another!