Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tirana Does It Again

One thing that has delighted me in the past few years are photos of the painted buildings in Tirana, Albania, like this one:

http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/gg36/RobertWBoyd/113.jpg?t=1231988036

These painted buildings are mostly old communist-era apartments and offices. The bizarre paint-jobs are an attempt to liven up this post-Stalinist town, and give it an identity.

Continuing in this vein is a new mixed-use development. Here's a rendering of what it will look like.

http://bustler.net/images/uploads/tirana_rocks_mvrdv_01.jpg

It is designed by a Dutch firm, MVRDV. I like the way it looks like the buildings have all collapsed--sort of what you think of when you think of "crumbling communist architecture." (That said, the actual communist architecture in Tirana, while pretty drab, looks fairly solid.) It also reminds me a bit of the leaning city-scape in the movie Idiocracy. But, of course, here it is perfectly intentional. Construction is sceduled to begin in 2010. But I can't wait--Tirana is high on my list of places to visit for my next vacation. Has anyone been to Tirana? Any recommendations?

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