Does the High-Rise Building Typology meet the needs for City Densification?
Author: Besnik Aliaj
Affiliation: POLIS University, Tirana
The first high-rise building ever in Tirana and Albania was built during the 70-s. This was Hotel Tirana or “15-kateshi” as it was nicknamed. At that time, Tirana was building not more than six floors high due to limitations in finances, technology, as well as seismic regulations. Hotel Tirana was an exception for ideological and symbolic reasons of the regime. After the ‘change’ of the early 90-s and the return of the market economy, several private construction companies came up by developing ‘tower’ typology buildings of 7-9 floors. In the second decade of transformations, the municipality developed several international architectural competitions, including a masterplan for the city centre (2003) and other specific construction sites, mainly for strategic high-rise building purposes. During these years, Tirana was densified by tripling its population thanks to a typology of towers of 9-11 floors. There has been a lot of criticism of the respective municipal decision-making procedures, allegedly related to the politicization and corruption of the verticalization and densification process via control of the building permissions system