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.
Ekspozita Building by Mario Cucinella Architects
The building’s unusual form allows it to partially encircle a generous new green space that is particularly valuable in a busy capital where open areas are few and far between.
The building rises to a maximum of 24 stories, peaking at the rear in a way that refers to the nearby Mount Dajti and to other Balkan Mountains. The result of its unusual geometry is that the ground floor of the building, plus another much smaller two-story building which will be used as a nursery/kindergarten, occupies only 44% of the plot.
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.
The design of the building pays close attention to the climate of Tirana, which is defined as ‘humid temperate’, with summers peaking at 30C. The Ekspozita Building is highly insulated, with the intention that it will need no heating or cooling in the two shoulder seasons.
The architect has also paid close attention to solar shading, to minimize heat gain in the generously glazed building in the summer. The large terraces to the apartments act as passive solar regulators. The design team calculates that these strategies will mean that the building uses 30% less energy than other, comparable developments.