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Grimshaw scoops Tirana boulevard contest

Grimshaw has beaten fellow finalist, Dubai-based studio DAR, to win the competition to masterplan the central boulevard of Albania’s capital, Tirana.

West 8, KCAP and Albert Spear & Partners were among seven practices initially selected for the first stage of the contest which called for a ‘comprehensive strategy’ for Tirana’s waterways and the major boulevard before a shortlist of just two was announced last month.

The project has been hailed by Tirana’s mayor Lulzim Basha as the ‘most important in the city for 80 years’ and will extend the capital’s main 1930s street by 3km and its riverside park by almost 7km.

Grimshaw proposed a ‘robust sequence of public spaces threaded along the boulevard that responded geometrically to existing patterns of land ownership’.

According to the practice, its scheme features a series of outdoor ‘living rooms’, each with a different use and character described as a ‘symphony of squares’.

Although the complete masterplan area will take years to develop, the Basha wants to build the boulevard and its ‘living rooms’ as quickly as possible to act as the backbone for future development.

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