Submitted by Jona Osmani

Venice Architecture Biennale 2018: Who are the Architects of the Albanian Pavilion?

Albania - May 16, 2018 - 09:39   7083 views


The 16th International Architecture Exhibition "La Biennale di Venezia"  will open its doors on May 26th, 2018. The opening ceremony of the Albanian Pavilion will take place at Arsenale, on May 25th at 14:00 hours. The project that will represent Albania in this year's biennale is "Zero Space", which was selected in January 2018, in a competition organized by the Ministry of Culture in Albania. The team of the Albanian Pavilion is composed of a group of architects and artists, devoted to show the world the dynamism of everyday life that occurs in the ground floors of Tirana, the capital city of Albania.


Digital visualization of the Albanian Pavilion. Image © ZeroSpace

The Albanian Pavilion is commissioned by Mirela Kumbaro, Minister of Culture of Republic of Albania. The project has developed with the support of Tirana Municipality and the Mayor of Tirana, Mr. Erion Veliaj. Authors of this project are Dorian Tytymçe and Florian Pollo, architects and co-founders of "VARKA Arkitekturë", Jurtin Hajro, architect and founder of "commonsense.studio", and Enri Leka, designer and founder of "Fablab Tirana". The Pavilion is curated by Elton Koritari, curator and co-founder of EJAlbum. Coordinator of the project is Anisa Hysko. For its realization, a large team of contributors, collaborators, artists, students, and volunteers take part.

Dorian Tytymçe. Image © ZeroSpace

Dorian Tytymçe is an Albanian architect based in Tirana. Dorian graduated from the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning in Cracow, Poland. He holds a Masters of Science degree in Architecture and Urban Design, accredited by RIBA, the Royal Institute of British Architects. In 2012, Tytymçe together with Pollo co-founded the architectural practice "VARKA Arkitekturë". In the same year, Dorian started lecturing at EPOKA University in Tirana. He has participated in several important exhibitions, such as EVOKED, Pavilion Days in Korça, and Antilia.

Florian Pollo. Image © ZeroSpace

Florian Pollo graduated from the Polytechnic University, Faculty of Architecture and Engineering, with a Masters degree in Engineering and Architecture. After several relevant collaborations in the field, in 2009 Pollo was invited to partner a local architecture studio until 2012, when "VARKA" started sailing.

"VARKA Arkitekturë" team at their panoramic pavilion in the Osumi Canyons. Image © "VARKA Arkitekturë" 

"VARKA Arkitekturë", previously known as PRG°B R Architectur, is an independent practice operating in the field of architecture and urban design. The studio is concerned with developing strong concepts and decisions that reflect the evolution of contemporary life. Their philosophy is concerned with creating meaningful design stimulated by social, cultural and visual factors as a whole. VARKA has won several awards during the years, one of the most important ones being the First Prize in the International Competition for the National Supreme Court of Albania, organized by Atelier Albania and National Territorial Planning Agency.

Jurtin Hajro. Image © ZeroSpace

Jurtin Hajro is an achitect and founder of "commonsense.studio", an international architecture practice based in Tirana. In 2009, Hajro was awarded a Masters of Science degree from the Middle East Technical University, in Ankara, Turkey. Since 2009 he has been a lecturer in the Department of Architecture at EPOKA University. In 2014, Jurtin established "CoRDA", the Center of Research and Design in Architecture in Tirana. Hajro and CoRDA team designed Epoka Social Center, a building that has received international attention in several important architecture awards, nominations, and academic publications. Some of the most relevant accomplishments in Jurtin's career include 1st prizes in projects like Park of Faith and Osumi Island, international awards, as well as scientific papers and articles.

EPOKA University Social Center. Image © Eduard Pagria 

commonsense.studio was established in 2016. The studio has a sensitive approach to design, and is committed to produce spatial solutions rendering emotional prints with the human being at the core. It believes in the cultural contribution to the community through architecture as a social designing tool.  In July 2017, commonsense.studio organized "Modeling the Idea - Pavilion Days" event in Korça that enabled interdisciplinary collaboration between international artists and architects.

Enri Leka. Image © ZeroSpace

Enri Leka, is a designer and instructional design enthusiast. Very determined to accomplish his aims, Enri founded "FabLab Tirana", part of the worldwide network of Fabrication Laboratories. "FabLab Tirana" functions as a small-scale workshop that can be used by the public to create and transform creative ideas into tangible prototypes and models. 

Enri Leka at "FabLab Tirana" with his light project model. Image © Eduard Pagria

In 2017, "FabLab Tirana" was part of the project for supporting creative people and passionate entrepreneurs by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Albania. To Leka, aesthetics is crucial and essential to design. Beyond the realm of aesthetics in art and nature, the aesthetic qualities of product design bring joy to the people who engage with the product and its making.

Elton Koritari. Image © ZeroSpace

The curator and manager of the project, Elton Koritari, is the co-founder of "EJAlbum", a communication hub in Albania. Koritari has several years of experience with project managing, curation of art events, and lecturing in different academic institutions. He has been intensively working in the marketing and communication fields. Elton is the co-author of the book "Knots - 163 Contemporary Artists from Albania" and the project manager and curator of Imago Mundi in Albania.

The team during the Press Conference at the Ministry of Culture together with Erion Veliaj and Mirela Kumbaro. Image © Rudina Kazazi 

On April 23rd, at the premises of the Ministry of Culture, ZeroSpace team was part of a press conference together with Mr. Erion Veliaj and Ms. Mirela Kumbaro. Journalists and media representatives were present during the conference that was organized in order to answer all questions regarding the project, team, and the process.

The Albanian Pavilion team. Image © ZeroSpace

"VARKA Arkitekturë", "commonsense.studio",  and "FabLab Tirana" share a common working space in Tirana. Informally referred to as "Mama Studio", the villa in Mihal Duri Street, is a great example and a case study that reflects the phenomenon of the ZeroSpace project, that of adaptation of private living spaces into public areas that serve the city and its citizens.

"VARKA Arkitekturë", "commonsense.studio", and "FabLab Tirana" at their shared workplace. Image © FabLab Tirana

Albanian Pavilion at 16th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Architecture Biennale

Commissioner: Mirela Kumbaro - Minister of Culture of Republic of Albania
Partner/Sponsor: Tirana Municipality
Curator: Elton Koritari
Authors: Dorian Tytymçe and Florian Pollo - “VARKA Arkitekturë”, Jurtin Hajro - “commonsense.studio", Enri Leka - “Fablab Tirana”
Coordinator: Anisa Hysko
Press Office: Teresa Sartore
Location: Arsenale

Webpage: www.zerospace.al
Official hashtags: #TiranaZeroSpace #AlbanianPavilion2018
Follow ZeroSpace on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Top image courtesy of ZeroSpace

> via Tirana Municipality, Ministry of Culture of Albania, The Way Magazine