TID Tower, Tirana

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TID Tower, Tirana

Design: 51N4E architects

The tower is part of the ambitious new master plan for the city, which converges around ten iconographic towers. The main program of the TID Tower consists housing program. Offices, shopping and restaurant facilities are located in the base. At the top of the building a panorama restaurant.

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Our first investigation was to resolve the dilemma of elegance – a clear ambition stated in the master plan – and square meters. We propose a volume for the TID Tower based on a super ellipse: starting as an ellipse and ending as a rectangle. The subtle transition between these two basic shapes makes a tower which fully captures the Mediterranean light of Tirana, and creates ever changing shadows.

The main views towards the site from the boulevards entering the centre are diagonal, showing the tower in its most dramatic angle. From the top corners the facade slopes 6 m inwards, resulting in a gentle cantilever. Seen from Kavajes Boulevard, the grand shape of the tower gracefully complements the urban ensemble consisting of the mosque, the clock tower and the cultural palace.

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The specific position of the building in the cityscape demands for a facade that works on two scales: on an urban scale and on a private scale. The façade is developed as one system, emphasizing the tower as a whole, while allowing for diversity and variation when zooming in. It becomes a mediator between the public and private. The facade generates diverse conditions in response to the inside and outside environment.

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The apartments are organized around a functional core. Due to the play of the paneling of the façade, each room gets filtered views and (most importantly) shadow. Depending on where one stands/sits/lies in the apartment the views are focused on the city scape (downwards view) or the sky (upwards view).

To develop a high-rise for Tirana is to deal with the reality of Tirana. Merely importing models that already have been established will not do the trick. The opportunity that the specific reality of Tirana offers is to construct a building that would be unimaginable in Europe. To achieve this goal, means setting up a process. The final building will never look like we’ve initially envisaged it: it will absorb all influences and change accordingly, to become in the end truly site-specific.
Thinking outside the box, this high-rise project can turn things upside down: not importing European standards, but making a real contribution from Tirana to Europe instead.

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TID Tower Tirana – Building Information

Location: Tirana
Architect: 51N4E
Partner: Atelier 4
Design team: Johan Anrys, Freek Persyn, Peter Swinnen, Jeroen Beerten, Bob De Wispelaere, Aglaia De Mulder, Konstantinos Pantazis
Consultant: Van Santen & associés (facade) – Ney & partners
(structure) – Cenergie (climate control)
Structural Eng.: Helidon Kokona
Program: offices – residential – commercial – restaurants – car park
Client: Tirana International Development
Site: 4.240 m²
Built surface: 37.000 m²



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