Agjensia Kombëtare e Planifikimit të Territorit
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Tirana has experienced tremendous growth and transformation over the past 30 years. With the transition to a democratic, free-market economy, the city has slowly but surely gained traction as a robust, diversified economy due to its unique characteristics, such as its proximity to several regional hubs and its vital role in several value chains. Notably, the city has made tremendous strides in future-proofing its development by investing heavily in creating and consolidating key partnerships in established markets and across various new, up-and-coming industries, including IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Industrial Fabrication, etc. These industries and their respective fields of activity are represented by a diverse slew of inter- and multinational organizations and corporations, which often seek to expand their activities into new and emerging territories, bringing with them more significant employment opportunities, new ideas, increased local capacities through knowledge transfer, and ultimately an improvement of the local economy through foreign direct investment (FDI). The MICE Industry (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions) is responsible for conducting the business and leisure events that these organizations use to bring together large groups of interested actors, to promote and further their activities. Valued at over USD 650M/annum, MICE comprises an important and growing sector of tourism, which global cities are increasingly seeking to partake in. The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) reported that in 2018, approximately 32,000 exhibitions took place, bringing in over 300 million visitors, nearly 5 million exhibitors across 180 countries. The global economic impact of this sector generated more than $325B in economic output and $198B in GDP contributions.
Given the commercial scale and potential of this sector, it is therefore of paramount importance that Tirana be properly positioned and adequately equipped to be able to participate and succeed in this lucrative market, both for the intrinsic opportunities it presents and to consolidate the status of the city as a leading destination for foreign investments.
Moreover, Tirana’s vision of well-rounded and integrated development also places a great premium on the city’s art and music scene. New musical acts, painters, sculptors, and performance artists regularly move to Tirana, seeking livelihood, community, and inspiration in a city of like-minded peers and art-forward citizens. Presently, promotion and further consolidation of these sectors are contingent on using several designated spaces and facilities (such as the Palace of Congresses and the Tirana Expo) or other flexible spaces (various public and private culture centers) in an ad-hoc manner. However, these facilities face several challenges.
Many are highly amortized, require frequent maintenance, and do not provide the breadth of capacities and amenities prestigious multinationals need to properly market their goods and services. Additional facilities are primarily designed with other functions in mind and can only accommodate these services to a limited extent. These limitations greatly restrict the scale and diversity of events that can be hosted. Moreover, the location of these facilities within the inner city creates traffic, accessibility, and parking issues, compounding the difficulty of adequately hosting such events for large groups of people or facilitating more complex organizations.
With the growth of Tirana and by proxy, the increasing regional importance of Albania moving towards integration, the country must be adequately positioned to capitalize on future opportunities. EU integration and a more robust and competitive economy produce virtuous cycles that make Albania, particularly Tirana, an increasingly attractive and competitive destination for foreign investors. However, these investments require a range of infrastructures that must be implemented to make these prospects a reality, the chief among which is creating new spaces and venues for foreign investors and enterprises to market their offerings properly. A versatile, state-of-the-art exhibition center, capable of facilitating gatherings of people partaking in all functions, can play a critical role in providing a much-needed platform for new economic activities and a wide range of other cultural, social, and artistic events. This unique flexible-use center can significantly enhance the visibility of Tirana as a destination for organizing fairs, trade shows, expos, large-scale meetings, and other events, further consolidating the capital’s reputation as a leading commercial, social, and cultural hub in the region and internationally. Furthermore the spaces and possibilities afforded by this new center can create new opportunities for Tirana’s participation in international value chains, networks and commercial partnerships.
It is, therefore, crucial to provide a solution to these issues by conceiving a designated venue to properly and fully host such a diverse program. The envisioned venue will be well-equipped with all the necessary amenities to develop this diversity of functions while remaining flexible enough to anticipate additional functions when not used for its primary program. This venue will comprise several exhibition halls, conference and meeting rooms, auditoriums, and all the requisite technical, storage, and support spaces.
This competition seeks to generate proposals to realize this vision through innovative and forward-thinking designs that can harmonize a wealth of programmatic requirements while remaining flexible enough to accommodate emerging usages.








STEVEN HOLL ARCHITECTS | Agnieszka Kurant | Atelier Markgraph | Atelier 4 | Stoss Inc




KUEHN MALVEZZI - ARCHITECTS + VARKA architecture + LIST Architecture Urbanism + Yellow Office + Angela Alò + Adrian Paci

Expo Albania



OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen + Studio Rebus + 9 Inside Outside + Richard Venlet + Bollinger+Grohmann

Expo Park



Stefano Boeri Architetti + Matilde Cassani Studio + Balich Wonder Studio + Avatelier + Anjeza Dulaj Gjini + Systematic

Tirana Magnet



Studio Gang + MA STUDIO + Scape + Teresita Fernández + G+A Studio

Expo Albania Confluence





Prime Minister

Blendi Gonxhja

Minister of Economy, Culture, and Innovation
Headed the General Directorate of Road Transport Services, an institution under the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy. During his tenure in the Directorate, road transport services underwent an epochal transformation, thanks to modernization and the digital revolution. This included the simplification and facilitation of all procedures for citizens, as well as investments in infrastructure and the re-qualification of regional directorates to ensure dignified working conditions and services in line with international standards. A notable achievement during this period was the creation of Retro – the Albanian Collection of Historical Vehicles, a long-awaited project desired by craftsmen, restorers, and collectors of early mopeds and vehicles of historical interest. This cultural movement, which extends throughout Albania, gained recognition by becoming a member of the International Federation of Historical Vehicles (FIVA).

Benedetta Tagliabue

Partner at EMBT
Benedetta Tagliabue is an internationally renowned architect and co-founder with Enric Miralles (1955–2000) of EMBT Architects in 1994. She is known for iconic works like the Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburg 2004, the Santa Caterina Market in Barcelona 2005, and the Spanish Pavilion for Expo Shanghai 2010. Recent works include Ferrara's San Giacomo Apóstolo Church 2019 and Kálida Sant Pau Centre – Part of Maggie's Centre Network in Barcelona 2019 and leads many on-going projects worldwide. She is a visiting professor at Harvard, Columbia, and ETSAB and serves on prestigious international award juries. She has received several awards, including the RIBA Stirling and National Spanish prizes.

Pablo Bofill

Partner at RBTA
Head of Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura (RBTA), leads a multidisciplinary team of 170 architects, from more than 25 nationalities. His most recent accolades include the UM6P University campuses in Ben Guerir and Rabat, which house up to 6000 students; the awarded Royal Art complex in Riyadh, which includes a state-of-the-art theatre, museum, sculpture pavilion, an arts and craft university, and the King Salman Foundation. He also leads projects in Africa like the Benin University and the groundbreaking Hotel in Dire Dawa Ethiopia, the Ikon Tower in Valencia Spain, the Four Seasons Hotel Tower in Shanghai, and the renovation of the Marché St. Honore in Paris. From 2005 to 2010 he developed social housing projects in Africa that span from Dakar, Nouakchott, Cairo and Tunis.

Reinier de Graaf

Partner at OMA
Reinier de Graaf (1964, Schiedam) is a Dutch architect and writer. He is a partner in the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and the co-founder of its think-tank AMO. Reinier is the author of Four Walls and a Roof: The Complex Nature of a Simple Profession, the novel The Masterplan, and Architect,verb. He lives in Amsterdam.

Shuichi Kobari

Partner at Toyo Ito & Associates Architects
Graduating from Waseda University in 1989, Shuichi has garnered both local and international recognition for his work and contributions. He has collaborated on various projects with esteemed firms such as Taller de Arquitectura, RICARDO BOFILL (1989-94), and PATRICK GENARD & ASS (1994-2003). Since 2004, he has been engaged with TOYO ITO & ASSOCIATES, ARCHITECTS, where he presently serves as the General Director of their Barcelona Office. Notable projects include Pabellón 8, Urbanizacíon la Calle Foc, and Vestíbulo Europa. Shuichi holds the Japanese Title of Superior Architect (1993) and the Spanish Title of Architect (2006, Barcelona School of Architecture). Among his own works are Casa Carlos y Diana, Kawaraji-tei (residences designed for dual generations) and Casa Bacus.

Valerio Olgiati

Valerio Olgiati runs studios in Switzerland and Portugal together with his wife Tamara. There are several dozen monographs about Olgiati's work. His most important solo exhibition took place at MoMa Tokyo in 2012. Among others, he has held the Kenzo Tange Chair at Harvard GSD in Cambridge. Currently he teaches at the Università della Svizzera italiana. Olgiati's most important current projects include a large garden, the Garden of Eden in the Middle East, various projects for Kanye West in the USA, an art foundation in Italy and a new home for him and his wife in the Swiss mountains at 2000 m above sea level. Valerio Olgiati understands his role as an architect who thinks and creates space. In his own work and in his teaching he acts independently. He is interested in architecture that is based on an idea and he considers the experience of space and its real application as the basis for creating an architectural work.