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Tirana Cultural Complex Competition, Albania
Tirana Mosque Competition : Albania Architecture Contest
26 Feb 2012
Tirana Cultural Complex Competition Shortlist
During the 25th and 26th of February, the short-listing committee composed of architects, representatives of the civil society and Muslim community has looked through all and each of the submitted applications in order to create the short-list of studios that will continue competing in the second stage of the competition. The high quality and the rich variety of the studios that have applied made it not so easy for the short-listing committee to decide.
After thorough study and discussions, keeping always in mind that each selected team should have the potential to develop creative, imaginative and innovative responses to the design and programmatic opportunities of the task, the short-listing committee decided to select the following five teams:
1. ANDREAS PEREA ORTEGA – Madrid, Spain
2. ARCHITECTURE STUDIO – Paris, France
3. BIG – Copenhagen, Denmark
4. seARCH – Amsterdam, Holland
5. ZAHA HADID Architects – London, UK
The shortlisted teams will be invited to Stage II and they will be asked to provide design solutions for the New Mosque and the Museum of Tirana and Religious Harmony.
31 Jan 2011
Tirana Cultural Complex Competition
MUNICIPALITY OF TIRANA
OPEN DESIGN COMPETITION FOR A CULTURAL COMPLEX: NEW MOSQUE & MUSEUM OF TIRANA and RELIGIOUS HARMONY
The City of Tirana is pleased to announce the international design competition for a new Cultural Complex in Tirana consisting of a new mosque and a joined museum of Tirana and religious harmony.
Geographically speaking Tirana is known as the capital city of Albania. While in the art, architecture and urban oriented milieus Tirana, throughout the last decade, is widely known as the city of colors and international competitions. During the past 6 years, Municipality of Tirana has initiated several competitions of urban planning for the development of significant areas in the city, competitions of architectural and urban design for landmark buildings and of important public spaces.
The latest international competition aimed the rehabilitation of Tirana’s main square, Scanderbeg Square, where the history of the Albanian state – not yet 100 years old – was written. It is a fact already that these competitions have attracted many talented and well known architects in Europe and worldwide.
The religious practices of the people living within the borders of Albania are heterogeneous. There are Muslims – which constitutes the majority – and Christians, each with their diverse communities of distinguished religious practices like: Bektashi, Halevy, Catholics, Orthodox, etc. It is very particular of Albania that these diverse religious communities have lived harmoniously and very close to each-other in centuries.
The motivation of the current competition comes due to the situation of the Muslim Community in Tirana in the absence of a new mosque to fulfill needs of Muslim citizens wanting to participate in the city mosques life.
Tirana needs a new mosque, not only for the Muslim Community, not only to fulfill the growing needs of an increasing number of Muslim citizens that are served today by a modest network of mosques, but also because our capital should fill in a missing corner of the triangle that makes Tirana a unique place, the triangle of religious harmony among three main religions, that since ever have been points of reference and have mainly mirrored the local tradition of Tirana citizens of solidarity and mutual respect. While the other two religious communities have already received their contemplation places, today, under such conditions, Muslim community lacks its own space.
The urgency of this competition is put forward to complete the religious triangle enveloping the city center, where a New Mosque will be finally build after the Catholic and the Orthodox cathedrals.
From 1967 till 1990 Albanian religious institutions were closed down by the regime of the time and the clerks were persecuted or eliminated. The absence of God was propagated in schools and the theory of Darwin was to compensate any theory of creation and existence. Religious men and women were not permitted to practice religious rites and during that period the Communist Party was the only god allowed to believe in, at least in public.
Most of the religious institutions were demolished or transformed into warehouse for military uses, or either in centers of communist culture propaganda. Only few were kept untouched –those buildings that had architectural and historical significance- and surprisingly the regime was sensitive towards their beauty and values. After 1990, when the communist regime collapsed, the religious institutions re-opened their doors again.
Till now, there is not a permanent museum like space to exhibit this particular aspect of the Albanian modern history. Nevertheless is a museum or space to show the special harmonious relationship among different religions in Albania.
The Municipality of Tirana, after having worked closely with the Muslim community and other religious communities, decided also to build the New Mosque and jointly a museum that will expose our painful religion history and emphasize the unique value of harmony among religious communities in Albania. The Municipality of Tirana, after having worked closely with the Muslim community and other religious communities, decided also to build the New Mosque and jointly a museum that will expose our painful religion history and emphasize the unique value of harmony among religious communities in Albania.
The City of Tirana wants the New Mosque to became not only the city 21st century spiritual space for prayers, but a place of knowledge of the Islamic Culture with spaces dedicated to informing and educating activities for everyone interested in the history or actuality of the Islam World.
Tirana wants to have this new space, to have this new indication, this new angle, and thus to convey to the whole, to its citizens, to its visitors, to younger generations as an expression of its own uniqueness, as an expression of a value, for which we all, regardless of beliefs, will be proud and aware of; the priceless value of that asset.
Considering it as a worthy project for the community and, a Mosque to be an image of a new century for Tirana as a full cohesion throughout times, to store all the necessary physiognomy features of an Islamic worship building physiognomy, but also in full accordance with the ambition of Tirana to be represented as a city with a unique history of coexistence, dialogue and understanding between different religions.
Based also on the experience of many countries that have built mosques, whether in West or East, I think we have all possibilities to give the Muslim Community an excellent New Mosque, in all related terms, and to give Tirana a Mosque to be another reflection of a new century and in the meantime we can make a complete cohesion among the ages, from Et’hem Bey on one side, where the expression of all traditional gene finds its most beautiful coverage till the New Mosque in Tirana on the other side, where the expression of the contemporary must find its most beautiful coverage, of course while maintaining all the necessary features of an Islamic worship building physiognomy.
We should never forgot that like any cult building, this New Mosque should interact with all city, with the entire community and should mean something even to those who do not belong to this faith and this “something ” of course, much more than in words, lies in the image of a cult building.
We want the new mosque not only be a place of spiritual rituals in the service of Muslim religious men but also a reference point of a magnetic force, to bring people closer to God, trust and universal values of mankind. We want the new mosque to be an open edifice inviting the entire community, not simply a closed-door service building in the city. The New Mosque will be a place of worship, knowledge and culture, opening it up to become a center of Islamic Culture. The New Mosque should be a place of spiritual peacefulness and individual as well as social reflection.
Next to the New Mosque, the Museum of Tirana and Religious Harmony will house the documented history of our city as well as the way it has voyaged, as an indivisible part and even essential in Tirana civic coexistence; coexistence among religions.
The design of the New Mosque and joined Museum of Tirana and its religious harmony will be based on the prepared and approved Master Plan of the Center of Tirana.
Municipality of Tirana wants to encourage all and everyone inspired architect to respond to the call for participation to this competition that will make possible to have very soon a wonderful project of new museum and new mosque and for Tirana to complete the religious triangle enveloping the city center, where a New Mosque will be finally build after the Catholic and the Orthodox cathedrals.
CONTACT: T: +355.04.22.53.053 F: +355.04.22.28.430
E-mail: mosquemuseumcompetition(at)tirana.gov.al Website: www.tirana.gov.al
Tirana Cultural Complex Competition images / information from Municipality of Tirana
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