Albania's new tallest tower conceived as a greenery covered mountain
The Albanian capital Tirana is currently undergoing a massive construction boom. Some of architecture's biggest names, including MVRDV, BIG and Stefano Boeri, are busy transforming the city with eye-catching new buildings, and now Danish architecture firm Cebra joins the fray with an ambitious mountainous skyscraper that will be covered in greenery.
The project is named Mount Tirana and also involves developer Nova Construction 2012. It will be situated near MVRDV's recently unveiled Tirana Rock and will reach a height of 185 m (606 ft), which is quite tall for a European tower, though not up there with the tallest, such as Russia's 462 m (1,516 ft) Lakhta Center.
The building's overall form is inspired by the mountainous landscape that surrounds the capital city. Reflecting this, its exterior will be finished in stone, which will be broken up by significant amounts of plants and shrubs. The building will also feature multiple terraced areas and taper off into a point at the top.
"Mountains are one of nature's most impressive features," said Mikkel Frost, Founding Partner and Architect at Cebra. "Everlasting, awe-inspiring and beautiful, they are the original landmarks. By using the mountains of Albania as our main source of inspiration, we tap into the local history, the cultural heritage and the identity of Albania. This symbolic landmark will create an elegant connection between the ever-transforming urban fabric of Tirana and the natural surroundings – an architectural hybrid between a tower and a mountain and an international typology, which is locally anchored."
The interior of the building will measure 70,000 sq m (roughly 750,000 sq ft) and will be split between housing, office space, a boutique hotel, some kind of business area, parking facilities, as well as restaurants and cafés down at the lower floors.
The building will be constructed using locally sourced materials and the greenery used will be native to the area. Air-conditioning needs will also be reduced through passive design, though Cebra has no more information to share on energy efficiency at this early stage.
The project has been selected as the winner of an international architectural competition and is now being developed further, though we've no word on when – or even if – construction is due to begin.