Tirana, Albania Proposal for Durana, Albania by Piovenefabi, YellowOffice, Archispace

Tirana, Albania


Monday 4 – Sunday 10 September 2017

Tirana is a city with multiple identities. Historically the city sits at a very important crossroads of the Balkans and today is a hectic center undergoing rapid transformation. After the fall of the communist regime (1992) Tirana experienced a booming and unregulated expansion and is currently striving to design its future development. The TR030 general plan conceived by Stefano Boeri and the transformation of central Tirana’s Skanderbeg Square by 51n4e are the two faces of this tremendous tour de force. The two projects, in different ways, address the productive diversity of greater Tirana – a metropolitan area of over 760,000 inhabitants. Envisioning an orbital forest surrounding the dense nucleus of Tirana and foreseeing territorial evolution with a constellation of punctuating projects, both the plan and the square look towards the future of Tirana through the lense of urban ecology. 

Starting from this premise our visiting school will explore an extreme scenario: The city of Tirana as a National Park.

This idea takes inspiration from a movement initiated in London by Daniel Raven-Ellison, a self-described ‘guerrilla geographer’ and National Geographic explorer, who is lobbying for the entire city of London to be declared a National Park.

Raven-Ellison has collected support from prominent London politicians, including mayor Sadiq Khan, for his idea of a ‘National Park City’. “London is the most biologically diverse place in the United Kingdom precisely because people are there,” he says. “Why shouldn’t that amazing diversity be valued alongside that of more remote and less altered places?”

Learning from London and discovering Tirana, our visiting school will investigate the delicate relationship between nature and architecture in an unprecedented context.  

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed

The workshop will operate at different scales: 

• at a territorial scale by means of cartography and topographic studies we will produce one large map

• at an architectural scale, with measured drawings and models, students will focus on a constellation of pilot projects 

An open day at the end of the workshop will present our findings.

The Visiting School is in partnership with the Municipality of Tirana and will be held in collaboration with Atelier Albania and Milan based practice active in Tirana, PIOVENEFABI


1) You can make an application by completing the online application found under ‘Links and Downloads’ on the AA Visiting School page. If you are not able to make an online application, email  visitingschool@aaschool.ac.uk for instructions to pay by bank transfer.

2) Once you complete the online application and make a full payment, you are registered to the programme. A CV or a portfolio is not required.

All participants travelling from abroad are responsible for securing any visa required, and are advised to contact their home embassy early. After payment of fees, the AA School can provide a letter confirming participation in the workshop.


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £695 per participant, which includes a £60 Visiting membership fee.

Fees do not include flights or accommodation, but accommodation options can be advised. Students need to bring their own laptops, digital equipment and model making tools. Please ensure this equipment is covered by your own insurance as the AA takes no responsibility for items lost or stolen at the workshop.

The workshop is open to current architecture and design students, phd candidates and young professionals.

Tirana, Albania

Programme Head
Vanessa Norwood is Head of Exhibitions at the Architectural Association, one of the world’s leading centres for architectural culture and learning. Commissioner and curator a range of exhibitions that celebrate architecture in a wider context. Co-curator of Venice Takeaway at the British Pavilion for the 13th International Architecture Biennale. Contributor to publications, magazines and blogs on the subject of art and architecture and member of panel advising the Albania Government on cultural competitions.

Tirana Coordinators

PIOVENEFABI is an architectural office led by Ambra Fabi and Giovanni Piovene. Based in Milan, the office works in national and international contexts and is active in the field of architecture, urban research, territorial visions and design, developing through commissions, competitions, publications, workshops and teaching.  The office is currently working on several projects in Tirana, including a park in the Tirana-Dürres economical corridor and a pedestrian path linking Tirana to its southern conurbations. Both projects represent a serious attempt to produce architecture in a very fragmented and unpredictable context.

Atelier Albania is an Albanian government agency charged with energizing urban development through a series of architectural competitions.

In partnership with the Municipality of Tirana


Programme Head
Vanessa Norwood

Tirana Tutors
PIOVENEFABI: Ambra Fabi and Giovanni Piovene

Visiting School Director

Christopher Pierce

T +44 20 7887 4014
F +44 20 7414 0782

Links & Downloads




Share |

Visiting School Prospectus


The Architectural Association, Inc. is a Registered Charity Incorporated as a Company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No.171402. Registered office: 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES, 020 7887 4000

Click here to read the AA’s latest review report.

Click here to read the AA’s latest action plan.