Albania's Tirana Pyramid is a building with an interesting past. Opening in 1988 as a museum honoring the country's former communist leader Enver Hoxha, it was subsequently used as a temporary NATO base, a nightclub, and more, after the fall of communism. Following a period of disrepair, it will now be turned into a technology education center for young people by Dutch firm MVRDV.
As its name suggests, the pyramid-shaped building is located in the Albanian capital Tirana. Though a local landmark, it was left to decay for over a decade after a plan to turn it into a theater fell through. During this time it became a focal point for protests, a graffiti magnet, and a favored hangout for teenagers, who would climb to the top of the building.
MVRDV will leave the basic structure of the 11,800 sq m (127,014 sq ft) pyramid in place, but make it more accessible to the public. As well as the technology education facilities, the interior will host temporary events and pop-up structures, including pavilions, while lots of greenery will be added to soften the look of the harsh concrete decor.
Members of the public will be allowed to climb to the top of the building and take in the views via large new external staircases.
"The Pyramid of Tirana will rise again by becoming a new center of technology and learning for young people," says MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas. "It is a symbol for many Albanians. For the older generation, it is a memory to the cultural events during communist times, for the recent generation it became the place to celebrate the new era."
The Tirana Pyramid renovation is due to be completed by June, 2019.
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