The pyramid in Tirana has been rebuilt. It is an icon of the city

Tirana’s iconic pyramid is one of the city’s most iconic buildings. Dating back to the 1980s, the building was rebuilt to a design by Dutch studio MVRDV

The famous pyramid was opened at the end of 1988. For the first few years, it housed the museum of Enver Hoxha, the dictator of Albania and first secretary of the Albanian Labour Party, who died in 1985. The unusual structure was designed by Hoxha’s daughter Pranvera Hoxha together with her husband Klement Kolanci and architects Pirro Vaso and Vladimir Bregu

After the political changes in 1991, a conference and intercession centre began to operate in the pyramid. In the mid-1990s, a discotheque opened there, and in 1999 NATO troops and humanitarian organisations were stationed there. However, the glory years are gone and for almost two decades the building stood abandoned. In recent years, residents have used the building as a meeting place. They climbed the sloping walls and sat on them spending their free time

The situation changed in 2018, when the site officials announced an architectural competition for a project to redevelop the pyramid and turn the place into a cultural centre

The architects from the MVRD studio left the original form of the building. The edifice was thoroughly renovated and the interior was given a new arrangement. A public space accessible to all has been created there, as well as special colourful boxes for workshops and events. Colourful boxes are also located around the pyramid. Half of the space will be managed by the TUMO Tirana Foundation, which will organise free educational activities for children there

This is how the building looked BEFORE the redevelopment

The highlight is the top of the pyramid. It is a vantage point for a panoramic view of the city and a place through which to peep at the life going on inside. The redevelopment, carried out in this way, is proof that the original architecture from years ago can be respectfully addressed and adapted to new needs

photos: Ossip van Duivenbode

source: MVRDV

Also read: Curiosities| MVRDV| City | Albania | Modernism | whiteMAD on Instagram

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