Openness, transparency and public co-determination were the core criteria in a competition to design a new Parliamentary Complex in Albania, and Austrian firm, Coop Himmelb(l)au rose to the challenge, taking first prize. Daylight, crystalline skins and a unique layout that allows visitors to look in on their government at work are some of the main design features. The holistic design of the naturally daylit parliamentary hall in Tirana, Albania hopes to stand for the transparency of democracy.
Located along the compositional axis of the city near other major government institutions, the complex forms a strong contemporary statement and a visual landmark for the citizens. Three main ideas support the design of the parliament hall. First the complex provides a strong statement for Tirana’s urban fabric. Secondly, all of the different governmental functions are assembled in one compact campus, and third the complex is a unique building for the most important public institution of the Albanian Republic.
The 28,000 sq m project site will consist of a multi-level hall surrounded by a landscaped public plaza and park. A wide public staircase leads to a landscaped roof on the plinth of the building, which looks in on the central parliamentary hall wrapped in a glazed cone. The main entrance to the building is a solid cone that serves as a contrast to the transparent. Both active and passive concepts are utilized to achieve energy efficiency and reduce the use of fossil fuel. In addition, a transparent second skin envelops the office building improving energy performance while maintaining views, daylighting, noise protection, thermal insulation and natural ventilation.