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HIGHLIGHT: ARTAN RAÇA

HIGHLIGHT: ARTAN RAÇA

Artan Raça was born in 1964 in Tirana, and graduated from Civil Engineering Faculty of Tirana with a Architecture degree in 1987. He has worked until 1993 as an architect near the Institute of Construction of Urban Design Studies, Tirana. After that, he established the studio Raça Arkitektura based in Tirana and began his career as freelance in the field of architecture and architecture design, activity that continues until today. Since 2013, he has been a visiting professor at Faculty of Architecture, Polis University.

Among 120 projects realized, the most important are the collective housings, such as the “Yellow Palace”in the street Hoxha Tahsim, which was nominated for the European Award Mies van der Rohe 2013 in Barcelona. Some of his works have been praised and highlighted by different international professional magazines in the recent years. The “Yellow Palace”was chosen in 2008 to be the front page of the professional architecture website Europaconcorsi. Selected works were analyzed in the book of Andrea Bulleri: Suspended Contemporaneity, QUODLIBET STUDIO 2012, Italy, as well as in magazines AREA 118, and Paessaggio urban – Urban Design 6/2011.

The Yellow Palace, 2002

The Yellow Palace is a rather small and intimate facility if compared to the other buildings constructed over the recent times in Tirana. It is a “palazzetto” for six households, each in a floor of 120 m2, while its ground floor is reserved for shops. Being such, it risked being more of a private object, rather a property of the ones living there, than an asset of the city. Therefore, the architectural intervention, through a plastic treatment, aimed at transforming this small building into a public landmark, a sign for the road it was located into and for the entire city.

Residence Building

This apartment building was designed with the intention to be in harmony with the surrounding buildings, since the location where it was going to be built had an already established physiognomy with its red brick buildings built prior to the ‘90s. As such it should have a simple and unobtrusive design for that zone, with straight lines, but using also a contemporary architectural play to show the time of its construction. Built with a reduced budget, like many other buildings, it too could not escape the improvisations made by the investor, which affected also its final architecture.

Twin Villas, 2010

It was the first time in about 70 years from the construction of King Zog’s Villa in Shiroka, on the banks of Shkodra Lake, that two Albanian investors decided to build two individual holiday villas, using a real architectural design and an architect. In the motley of illegal constructions without any architecture design, built on the slope of Taraboshi Mountain in Shiroka, overlooking the fascinating view of the lake, this project was too inspiring to miss. Hence, the design of these two villas was focused on capturing the view of the lake, orienting all its interiors on that side.

Lingoto Center, 2011

Lingoto Center  was designed and intended to be an offices building. Nowadays a private university is ‘sheltered’ in its premises. Placed on a narrow and long parcel this object wants to express with its movement ‘matter, “physicality” and “sensuality”. In turn this movement is as an adaptation to the context and the objects “hitting” it on both sides. Its floors plan is conceived as an open space, to unify and extend the work surface, placing work stations at the edge and in ‘touch’ with the nature.

Titanic, 2012

This facility is built on the Adriatic coast on the Shkëmbi i Kavajës beach, where the Titanic restaurant was located. Situated facing the sea, it is meant to house residential apartments as second homes and for vacation.

If we would summarize the basic concept of this project in few words, it is a response to conditionality, which is also the basic idea of our studio’s work. The building is conditioned by the urban study of a maximum of 4 and 6 floors, with a central placement on the parcel. The main architectural idea intended to use these “restrictions” to create a “deconstruction” of the volume where the two upper floors are pulled inwards on three sides, which makes the 4-floor volume more readable. The volume interpretation has taken into account minimizing the impact on the surrounding environment, making not a palace, but a “palazzina”.

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