Typology: Public Institution Building
Location: Himara, Albania;
Program: Adaption of the existing elementary school building in offices for the new City Hall building of Himara, one stop shop hall for Himara citizens, City Hall Council hall, underground parking, city center square and urban open spaces;
Built area: 3 800 sqm;
Contracting authority: Municipality of Himara
Contracting status: DEA Studio winner of the open design tender;
Position: Project Leader, Urban Designer Architect, MEP, Estetic Supervisor;
Activities performed: urban design, preliminary design, final design, tender documents, detail design, materialisation and estetic supervision;
Collaborators: GBa Studio sh.p.k, Elteknik sh.p.k, Archimed sh.p.k;
Actual status: Under construction.
DEA Studio, after winning an open tender was called by its contractor Himara City Hall to design its new building. It was a City Council decision to have a new prestigious building instead of an existing one, which was not enough for the city new challenges versus tourism growth as its main economical potential.
City Hall proposed a new site for its new building, near the city center, exactly in a site of 4000 sqm2 with an existing building of 2200 m2. The challenge of the design team was to create for the city a landmark right in its heart and properly to its main public building. The program foresees new offices for the City Hall administrate, City Hall Chamber and a very ambitious one stop shop hall for Himara citizens. As a matter, the design team analyses evidenced the achievement of this most important objectives of the ToR, but as an important equilibrium between two main powers of the City, legislative + executive and Citizens who vote and elects its representants and should ask by legislative (City Council Chamber) continuously the transparence in the decision-makings and by executive (City Hall administrate and Mayor) the promised services. DEA Studio strongly considered in its design concept this democratic philosophy and interpret it in the evidence of urban context and architecture distinguished impact. The one stop shop hall of the citizens is positioned in direct contact with the square in front of the building and along the city promenade. This represents also the building main entrance which is not the only one for the citizens. The hall of the citizens is interpreted as a gate and at the same time as a strong frame, which evidence but at the same time observes the City Hall Council hall which is positioned right in the axis of this gate/frame. The City Councilmen are in the permanent sight of their electors/citizens. The existing building “conclude” the equilibrium in a sustainable triangle among already three powers.
The interpretation of the volume under permanent observation, is not but occasion a sphere. This element of the scenery is the missing element of Himara in difference with the other locations of Albania coast. The geographical orientation of the city misses the Sunset and the design try to bring it to the citizens and tourist in another way, like a live postcard for their memory.