Mario Cucinella Architects (MC A) has just received the go-ahead for the Ekspozita Building, an urban oasis in the center of Tirana, Albania. Comprising commercial, residential and public amenity spaces, the 93m tall mixed-use statement building is scheduled for completion by 2023.
With construction works starting in 2020, the Ekspozita Building takes on an unusual form with a partially encircled green space. Inspired by the lack of open areas in the city, MC A, an architectural firm with offices in Bologna and New York, has imagined a mixed-use development with a central green oasis.
“Generous planting to the residential upper floors enhances the sense of a green oasis, while the inward-facing balconies give a feeling of enclosure and protection from the busy city”. In order to generate more public spaces, the design proposed to cut off the angles of the plot. The green courtyard opens to the south, onto the tree-lined Blv Gergi Fishta, one of Tirana’s major roads. 24-story high, the building’s ground floor, occupying only 44% of the plot, will be used as a nursery/kindergarten.
As the building rises upwards, it withdraws back into itself, creating the smaller footprints that are most suitable for residential use. A ‘notch’ in the rear of the building provides a diagonal route through, dividing the two sides of commercial development on the ground floor and offering permeability to the site. — Mario Cucinella Architects
Fitting into a humid climate, the Ekspozita Building is highly insulated. Solar shading minimizes heat in the glazed building during summer times, while large terraces to the apartments act as passive solar regulators. With these strategies, the building aims to use 30% less energy than other, comparable developments.