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)
CEBRA | ARUP | UNO Architects
Mikkel Frost | Tobias Mathiassen | Thomas Bang Madsen | Matthew Holden |
UNO Architects | Naxhi Bakalli | Elvis Uku
51N4E | Plan Comun
Johan Anrys | Felipe De Ferrari | Stela Velo | Freek Persyn | Ervin Paçi | Kumbima Collective | Ardian Rapo
XDGA | Consulting and Management Albania ltd | Jeshile Landscape | Bollinger + Grohmann Sarl | Ledia Kostandini
Xaveer De Geyter | Pieter Coelis | Admir Agolli | Gjergji Ikonomi | Henri Bardhi | Eni Ajdini | Klaas De Rycke | Etienne Antuszewicz | Samuela Hidri | Guust Selhorst | Ledia Kostandini
Niko Dovana Stadium
Bjarke Ingels | Joao Albuquerque| Giulia Fritolli | Frankie Sharpe | Vladimir Savcic | Stefania Fachini De Araujo | Alexandru Malaescu | Jason Chia | Erind Bejleri | César Azcárate | Katja Schenker
Marco Casamonti | Silvia Fabi | Giovanni Polazzi | Margherita Brianza | Luca Mazzocchi | Stefano Valentini | Helidon Xhixha | Armeda Gramos
The New City Center
Ricardo E. Bofill | Hernan Cortes | Ardi Dhima | Luna Paiva | Kristi Tashi | Eri Skëndaj | Bledar Zaho | Irina Branko | Xavier Saumoy
Winy Maas | Gent Agolli | Stefan de Koning | Martin Knuijt | Irida Shupo | Olsa Isaku | Michael Roberts | Luan Murtaj | Jason Bruges | Piro Kokalari
Redevelopment of the “Flamurtari”Stadium
Massimiliano Fuksas | Doriana Fuksas | Giovanni Podesta | Alfio Faro | Carmine Carparelli | Subodh Gupta | Pircarlo Torri | Gary Mitchell | Edoardo Tibuzzi
The Spirit of Vlorë
Beat Huesler | Rasem Kamal | Jurtin Hajro | Tom McKeogh | Fiona Mali | Genti Tavanxhiu | Gilbert Santini | Hydajet Tota | Amela Tafa
Studied at and subsequently became one of the figurehead teachers of London's legendary AA of the 1970s and 1980s. Wilson is a founding partner of BOLLES+WILSON. Since winning the competition for the Münster City Library the office has operated from Germany, with projects including the Luxor Theatre Rotterdam, the Monteluce Quarter Perugia, and the New National Library of Luxembourg. They are internationally known for consistently high architectural quality in a wide range of projects, each an individual solution developed with consideration of the cultural and the urbanistic context. He was the recipient of the RAIA Presidents medal 2010 and the Gold Medal 2013, AIA's highest honor, and is an International Fellow of the RIBA since 2014.
The office is based in Ljubljana and Paris. Since its creation, the practice has been investigating space relations in different scales and contexts. Their build work is represented by various programs from public, sports, cultural and religious buildings to single and multiple housing. They investigate European and local Slovenian identity in contemporary architectural language. They have been creating international projects for various sports buildings and stadiums of different scales around Europe. Their projects for Football Stadium Ljudski vrt in Maribor and Bate Borisov Arena In Belorussia received international awards.
Graduated from the University of Prishtina, Kosovo. In 2006 she finished her postgraduate studies at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium with a focus on the Architecture of Human Settlements. Currently, she is a PhD candidate at the Technical University of Graz in Austria. She is the author of the book "City and Love" an urban diary about the city of Prishtina. She was awarded by the Association of Kosovar Architects with a price for "educative architecture - promotion of architecture" in April 2011. Another award came as an Ambassador for Environment in Kosovo from BELLS Movement in September 2010. Currently, she is a Member of the Kosovo Parliament for the second time - from the Democratic Party.
Graduated from the Faculty of Architecture University of Porto in 1996. Camilo collaborated with Eduardo Souto Moura 1994-98 and with Herzog & de Meuron 1998-99. In 2000 he founded his Architectural Studio in Oportoand since then he has created about a hundred projects, some of them in partnership with Tiago Pimentel and Susana Martins. His work has been recognized through several national and international awards including the Bauwelt Award, Baku UIA Award, and Douro Valley Award, as well as nominations for SECIL Award, BSI Swiss Prize, and EU Mies Award. Ktima Villa was chosen by BBC2 to feature in a documentary called "The World's Most Extraordinary Homes Underground".
Before founding OODA in 2009, he worked as an architect with Zaha Hadid Architects in London, and previously with Promontório Architects in Lisbon. Diogo co-founded OODA with Rodrigo Vilas-Boas in 2009 and since then he's been overseeing the design of many prominent cultural, residential, and hospitality, including Miramar Tower, a high-profile residential tower on Porto seaside, Matadouro Renovation & Expansion, a new social infrastructure & cultural development in Porto. Diogo is a guest critic at Harvard University GSD. He is a published writer, a film producer, a series creator, and an artist, with his artistic work exhibited in notable places in Europe such as the Nuno Centeno art gallery.