Albania and Tirana are opening up socially and economically. With this momentum, it has the possibility to evaluate its potential. That includes its history and the values of its history. This allows Albania to differentiate itself from other surrounding countries. The design of the space seeks to combine this specialness with new welfare, democracy, freedom, consumption, and internationalisation. The small horse figures scattered around the square symbolise equality, contrasting the statue of the military commander Scanderbeg riding a horse. The concept of the project tries to answer the following questions:
- How can a square stage and serve this transformation?
- How can such a space not only stage, but activate and contribute to this progress too?
- How can it stay, and even become more special?
- How can its history become more visible?
- Can it maybe become as known as other national squares like the Place de la Concorde, Trafalgar Square, The Red Square, Tiananmen Square, Brussel’s Grand Place, and others?
- And how can it become very different from them as well?
A sequence of elements is proposed creating a perspective or Scanderbeg Square as an open grand stage. By planting pine trees in a fine grid within the Ring road, a new distinct ‘green’ quarter is developed. The trees provide for shadow, clean air, and sound reduction. Three types of stones are used for the pavement so that a topographic appearance emerges, reflecting the Albanian landscape, building intriguing different perspectives, especially from the cable car. The proposal extends the existing cable car connection to the mountains to the Scanderbeg square. It goes around the existing large statue with a station on the square. At the centre of the open square, an ‘imprint’ of the National Eagle has been created. This area is a bit lowered to allow for more intimacy and for water basins in summer.