Agjensia Kombëtare e Planifikimit të Territorit
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3 Football Stadiums

February - April 2023

Manifesto

Sports are central to the culture and tradition of Albanian cities. In the post-war period, many major cities were equipped with new football stadiums and sports facilities. These buildings became dynamic hubs of sports, cultural and social activity for their citizens, promoting sports and physical activity, and creating invaluable social capital. Over time, as cities continued to develop, these buildings experienced depreciation and no longer meet the requirements of contemporary football stadiums and city life.
This competition comes at a moment where, as a people and as a society, we have reassessed the importance of sports and of the success in sports, resulting in a series of sports investments throughout the country.
Football teams and their clubs in Durrës, Korça and Vlora will have the chance to play on their home ground in a few years. After the reconstruction of Elbasan Arena, “Loro Boriçi” Stadium in Shkodra, Kukës Stadium and the redevelopment of “Air Albania” Stadium in Tirana, the Albanian Government, in collaboration with these three municipalities and the Albanian Football Association, has initiated a process to re-conceptualize and redevelop the sports complexes and football stadiums in the cities of Durrës, Korça and Vlora.
The stadiums in these 3 cities are unique, due to their central locations. The Albanian Government, in conceptualizing the “Air Albania” Stadium, incorporated the football stadium into the surrounding urban fabric, thus creating a successful precedent in seamlessly integrating sports complexes into the existing dynamics of a vibrant contemporary city. The football stadiums in Durrës, Korça and Vlora carry the same potential. As such, the redevelopment of these stadiums, abiding by international criteria, will serve as a catalyst for polycentric development and the creation of new city hubs, where sports can coexist with cultural, social, educational and commercial activities.
Stadiums are categorized as significantly massive infrastructures that occupy considerably large areas within cities. They require outstanding resources to be built, operated and maintained. In addition, most of the time, their lights are off till the next game.
The vision of the Albanian Government and the Ministry of Education and Sports is to turn the stadiums into new city centers where life takes place 24/7 and throughout the year.
The goal of this competition is to generate new ideas and proposals for the redevelopment and revitalization of the football stadium complexes in Durrës, Korça and Vlora, creating mixed-use, contemporary facilities that accommodate both sports as well as a variety of commercial, business, retail facilities and services. Cultural and educational activities should be part of the program of the new football stadium complexes, as well.
We are looking for design proposals that will serve as urban catalysts, improving the connectivity of each area with the surrounding city life, and facilitating new exchanges, dynamics and activities. These interventions should be unique for their design identity, urban sustainability and their integration of sports, commercial, cultural, educational, and human synergies — ultimately transforming these football stadium complexes and their surrounding area into new city hubs, where life takes place fully throughout the day and the year. As well, we are looking for design proposals that strive to preserve and protect the cultural and sports history.
"... The stadium was built for football; it creates social life and employment.
The stadium belongs to athletes, tourists; a monument on the touristic map of the city... "
(Prime Minister Mr. Edi Rama at the “Air Albania” Stadium Inauguration)

The new football stadiums in Durrës, Korça, and Vlora will hold 10,000 spectators each and abide by the UEFA regulations for Category 3 stadiums. The projects will holistically reconceptualize and redevelop the sports complexes, including the Indoor Court Facilities, the Swimming Facilities (in Korça and Vlora), and the rest of the sports terrain.
These landmark projects will be a high return on investment for their respective cities, as we are certain the redevelopment will transform them in revered stadiums in Europe in the future that  will not only be state-of-the-art “temples” of football but also will provide new squares and public spaces, accompanied by facilities open to the general public on days when there are no matches.
"This competition aims to attract the most talented architects around the world to submit creative and functional proposals.... not simply seeing stadiums as playgrounds, but as new city centers integrating sports with culture, social and commercial activities, similar to the model of "Air Albania" Stadium in Tirana." (Minister of Education and Sports, Ms. Evis Kushi at the “Best of 2022” Ceremony)

EXTENDED DEADLINE

Phase I: 10 March ( 17:00 C.E.T)


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