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World NEWS

MVRDV begins construction on Downtown One in Tirana, a skyscraper presenting an image of Albania Rotterdam, The Netherlands – MVRDV has begun construction on Downtown One, a 140-metre-tall mixed-use skyscraper in Tirana that will become Albania’s tallest building. The most striking element of the 37-storey tower is its relief of cantilevered houses and offices, which form a pixelated ‘map’ of Albania, each representing a town or city, turning this building into an icon in the heart of Tirana, Albania. Completion of the building, which was designed for developer Kastrati Construction, is expected in 2024. Downtown One is envisioned as an expression celebrating the progress of Albania, located in central Tirana on the Bajram Curri Boulevard, to the south of the Lana River. On its principle facades the 140-metre rectilinear tower features a series of cantilevered houses and offices, forming a relief pattern on the building’s surface. Every house or office represents a village or town, so that when viewed from a distance, these cantilevers Photo Copyright: MVRDV 2018 - Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie form an abstracted map of Albania. de Vries The importance of the cantilevers is not only iconographic; for occupants of the building, the projecting bay windows offer With a floor area of 77,000 square metres, Downtown One will spectacular panoramic views of the city and the mountains, while give the centre of Tirana an important boost through the mix the terraces created enable communication and connection of apartments, shops, offices, and restaurants. The 37-storey between residents to give the feeling of a vertical village. tower does not sit parallel to Bajram Curri Boulevard, but is Residents will also be able to identify their home by reference to rotated on its plot so that its principal facade faces toward the geography of the Albania: somebody will live in the ‘Tirana Skanderbeg Square. At its base is a park with local vegetation pixel’, somebody else in the ‘Durrës pixel’, and so on. and an educational playground, while the inside of the building “Albania has come a long way. Ten years ago it was the poorest is divided into several layers: above the ground floor commercial country in Europe. Now it is a country with energy and ambition, spaces and underground parking, the lower half of the tower working towards great economic improvements. We want to is devoted to office space, while apartments occupy the top express this with our building,” said Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV. 18 floors.

Groundbreaking for 77,000 square metres mixed-use building in Bremen Nordhavn, Denmark – On 14 February 2019, a groundbreaking was held for the 77,000 square metres Europahafenkopf on the harbour front in the German city of Bremen. The project, designed by COBE, is a milestone in the transformation of Bremen’s industrial port to a new city quarter. With its prominent position at the end of the harbour and its characteristic saddle roof skyline the project is going to connect the historical city core with Bremen’s new urban neighbourhood.   The Europahafenkopf project consists of four buildings, all containing a series of halls on the ground floor that invite passers-by in with a wide range of public functions, including cafés, shops, galleries and a sprawling street food market. Housing and offices will be placed on top of the halls, which encircle green and intimate courtyards.    The project is financed and built by the local Gustav Zech Foundation and scheduled to be completed in 2021. Illustration: © COBE

MAY-JUNE 2019 SEAB

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