MVRDV rarely seems content to play it safe and with its latest work, Downtown One Tirana, the firm shows another example of its out-of-the-box thinking. The mixed-use building is defined by a pixelated facade that depicts the map of Albania.

Downtown One Tirana is located in Albania's capital city, near MVRDV's Tirana Pyramid project. It'll rise to a height of 140 m (459 ft)-tall and have 77,000 sq m (around 828,000 sq ft) of floorspace, spread over 37 floors.

The building's grounds will include a park and a playground, with car parking hidden underground. The ground floor will host restaurants and shops, and the rest of the building will be given over to office space and apartments. Sections of facade will protrude to produce the pixelated map and create terrace spaces.

"The tower brings the feeling of a vertical village to the busy city center, individual housing where communication with the neighbors is encouraged," says Winy Maas, MVRDV co-founder. "Maybe it could even be seen as a vertical country. Every house or office adopts a town or city, together forming this map of Albania. The building will be visible from the nearby Skanderbeg square at the heart of the city. It forms part of the ensemble of towers that surround the square, the epicenter of the country."

Construction on Downtown One Tirana has already started and is due to be completed in 2024. The project also involves Arup and local firms Elteknik and Leal.

Source: MVRDV

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