Project name:
Construction year:
Floor Area:

Atelier4 studio

Tiranë, Albania

– m2
Ervin Bërxolli

The building originally served as a laboratory of hydraulics where hydropower models that produced electricity were made. This project aims to preserve the memory of the old building and convert it into a turbine that produces art, hence the name art + turbina. Almost all spaces of the building are multifunctional. Together with the new public plaza, arTurbina will form an endless art platform.


ArTurbina is located in a former industrial building, on the southern part of Tirana.
Before the project, the site consisted of an office building, next to it an abandoned industrial hangar and a backyard used informally as a parking lot.
Like cutting a paper, we took out part of the existing office building to open the view towards a new pedestrian plaza. All the entrances are open facing the plaza. The project folds the plaza with new full length stairs, reaching the abandoned ground level of the residential building creating a link between them. It acts like an auditorium, a place to sit or hang out, composing a series of flowing transitions between stages, cafes, exhibitions, extending the inner and outer space as one, as an inviting tool to the cultural building. In order to enhance these dynamic relationships, the entire facade of the building facing the plaza is opened up with big vertical windows, which connect the stage with the outdoor space.

Upon reaching the site, at the most visible upper corner, stands a transparent cylinder, which creates one of the most suggestive elements of the building for visitors and artists. The cylinder has served as the artistic signal of many art events by now.
The entrance hall is reserved not only for the bar, but is also easily adapted for exhibitions, ceremonies and other activities.

The water tank and the terrace of the old pump room are converted in attractive spaces for contemporary performances and temporary exhibitions. The small water deposit behind the building is transformed into an open air stage for art performances.
Two multifunctional stages with 400 and 150 seats auditoriums form different configurations which define stage-auditorium relationship.
The acoustic envelopment varies based on the art form.
In this project, the energy of the coexistence between the new and the old gives a magical atmosphere to the art scene.

Suddenly all the ground floor once abandoned is converted in less than 2 months in artists cafes and shops
arTurbina is not just a reconstruction, it is not just a new architecture building, it is not just a theater, it is not just scene or a dance. Arturbina is an endless form of creation and recreation.All the positions and juxtapositions of artistic typologies give multiple possibilities to the artists to express their innovations and uniqueness.


The theater is an extraordinary important, physical manifestation of love for culture. In a poor country like Albania, building a new theater is perceived as a process of strengthening and reflecting on the future of art. It is therefore required more than to simply design the building, but to create an inspiring architecture with innovative force, rigorous intellect and bold execution.
More than twenty years after the fall of the totalitarian regime, the need to invest in a new theater for the young generation became reality. In order to realize this project, we had to channel all the new energy into an inspiring and emancipating building.
The aim was to create a cultural podium to develop social life, art, interactive relations and to make building belong to the neighbourhood and to the city.

The project consists of 3 buildings and 2 existing water tanks, one above the pump room and the other just behind the building at the ground level
The urban concept is enforced by a plaza that spans the full length of the arTurbina facade, creating a link with the buildings around.
The stage and the plaza communicate through many openings in the facade resulting in a dynamic relationship between the public and the artists during the rehearsals. The plaza is also projected like a variable and reversible space where the public and residents will feel a stronger sense of place and community.
The urban concept is determined by creating a public space which generates relations between the building and the city.
ArTurbina in just 4 months has hosted theater performances, temporary exhibitions, cinema, public debates, fashion shows and other activities.


The project aims at a unique architecture in the function of the technology of artistic performances.
Since the old inspires the future, we have preserved a palette of materials from the original building.
The facade is made of exposed concrete slender columns to create a communication with the old shell of the existing addition to concrete, another important element is the use of rusty metal, which brings back the memory of the use of water in the previous life of the building.
The communication between the 400 seats auditorium and the plaza is made flexible through the use of a wooden double skin behind the windows facing the plaza.
The entire renovated site is placed on a layer of Albanian local stone.

post a comment

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial