International Competition G10, part of Grimshaw Masterplan

Deadline: February 28, 2023

Vision/ Manifesto

Grimshaw Master Plan creates a key strategic north-south connection within Tirana and as such it is expected to attract a variety of key uses. Grimshaw masterplan integrates and contributes to the Urban Regulatory Plan by translating the vision for Tirana2030 into a clear and robust plan for future development in the north of Tirana. The masterplan was envisioned for creating a high quality urban neighborhood which will establish a new identity for Tirana and set a new standard of design, urbanism, and construction for the city as a whole.

This competition challenges architects and planners to create a building within a new and contemporary neighborhood. The mix of public and private is a valued quality of the proposal.
The new building will serve the whole Grimshaw masterplan area– a polyfunctional structure that can serve the regeneration of the area while innovating through sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions to complement the efforts of the site.

Competition Questions

– How can the new project respond to a surrounding urban fabric envisioned to be a connector for the city, and to consider new public spaces, urban traffic, connectivity to sustainable mobility
– How can an architectural project proposal be creative, innovative in functional and technical solutions; respect the urban context and the Albanian legislation in force and offer high conceptual and design standards aiming to enable the transformation of the area

Design Objectives

A successful submission must comply to the following requirements:

– The designer must use and review all the existing information related to the area where the object is located, the road system of the area, the volumes of the surrounding built structures as well as the urban criteria of the area in question.
– The project must include the object as well as the study of the free spaces that are created around it. The projects presented by the participating teams in this competition, in addition to challenging and ambitious concepts with a strong visual impact, must have a rational, creative functional solution in response to new standards and concepts.
– In the volume treatment, it will be necessary to highlight the separation of the volumes, to have a positive impact on the area and especially with the surrounding facilities foreseen in the urban development of the area.
– Offer a holistic architectural vision that programmatically integrates all the functions required by the competition brief
– Each submission must express a clear architectural concept, while simultaneously adapting to the context and setting high design standards as well as becoming a reference point for the entire aesthetic and functional solution of the new Boulevard.
– Integrate spatial qualities with sustainable and environmentally friendly building strategies
– Provide a preliminary assessment of the vision and design, management, and implementation costs.

– Provide a delivery schedule and estimated time of construction
– Submit a comprehensive description of the vision and design concept, proposed
sustainable solution and illustrated them through images, diagrams, videos, reports etc.
– Comply to the material palette predefined by the masterplan, for a consistent aesthetic: It is encouraged that solid massive materials are used for facades such as stone, reconstituted stone and concrete. For south facing facades it is suggested that shading elements such as vertical louvers are employed, these could be constructed from timber or steel. As a principle, vertically ordered facades are a suitable design for the masterplan area.
– Follow the flexible design guidelines intended to inspire and provide guidance to architects and designer for the promotion of a common language throughout the development:
– Ground floor arcades for shading and comfort for pedestrians
– Fragmentation of the frontage not allowed, and movement of buildings alignment is not allowed


Geographical context: site specific assignment

Twelve special zones have been identified as Competition Areas within the TR/456 project development area. For each one of these Competition Areas a specific Competition Brief will be developed, and they must follow the Best Practice of International Competition Standards to ensure that projects of the highest quality are developed for these selected areas.


Historical context: the urban challenge

The area of the new boulevard has been shaped throughout history. The extension of the main boulevard to the north was first introduced in 1990 in the Tirana regulatory plan. After the fall of the communist regime, the area was seized by informal settlements. The French Master Plan of 2003 predicted the area as a continuing park behind the train station – to reinforce the main axis of development and propose a prospective development of the urban landscape in accordance with the needs of ‘Greater Tirana’, while setting the dynamics of a modern European city. The regulatory plan of Tirana drafted in 2013, envisioned the extension of the boulevard as an entrance road for the city. The general local plan of 2016, TR030, saw the boulevard as a part of a green network, where important buildings would be relocated and new contemporary neighborhoods would be built.

Competition process


Phases of the process

Phase 1: Short-listing. In the qualifying phase the studios must fulfill a set of criteria
– must not be in bankruptcy process
– has not been convicted of a criminal offense, according to the provisions of the legislation on the criminal liability of legal entities
– has not been convicted by a final court decision, related to professional activity, issued by the National Business Center
– has has fulfilled the fiscal obligations;
– has paid all its obligations social security, issued by tax administration
– historical extract of the studio, where it is defined the object of its activity
– certificate proving that they have a minimum of design experience in the respective field, and similar experiences
– bears legal responsibility for the veracity of the statements in the documentation submitted to competition

Phase 2: Within 30 days from the publication of the list with the ranking, finalists must submit the project-ideas with electronic signature (in digital form on CD) and with panels near the Tirana Municipality, according to the deadlines written in the ordinance. Project ideas must fit the format of projects according to the definitions of articles 9 and 10 of VKM 408, dated 13.05.2015 “For the approval of the regulation of the development of the territory” (amended).



Competition Jury

The jury of the competition will examine the submitted projects from the studio solely on the basis of the criteria defined in the design brief. If necessary, the representatives of the studios may be invited to answer questions that the jury will have posed in a report, to clarify every aspect of the submitted projects.
In the conclusion of this process, the jury takes a decision for the final ranking of the projects submitted by the studios, based on: Creativity; Suitability of the proposal with the required function; High applicability factor; connection and impact of the proposal with the context, according to the targeting system defined in the design brief.

Expected results

– Design and Context; Technical issues; Program, Overall Quality of the project; Architectural and Urban design quality;
– Feasibility of Implementation; Quality of multi-disciplinary integration; Innovation etc
– Quality of the project, functional program distribution, aesthetic and symbolic value of the proposed intervention
– Innovative use of building practices and green sustainable measures

Volume/Composition – Flexible structure with compositional freedom; contemporary architecture with special impact in the area; a feasible and rational project-idea in accordance with the technical conditions and new construction technologies.

Built footprint:
To create free spaces and dynamic relationships with both the road network and the public spaces.

– Fees and Awards for design
The jury’s decision for the ranking of the finalists will be published on the official page of the Municipality of Tirana, and on all the other outlets for informing the public.
The first ranked studio is considered the winning one and the presented project will undergo the process of implementation as well as all the further procedures for the procurement for construction permit within the legal framework in force in the field of planning and development of the territory.
The other finalist studios will be rewarded for the participation in the competition according to the predictions of decision nr.354, dated 11.05.2016 of the Council of Ministers “For the approval of the fee manual for services in planning of the territory, design, supervision and validation”.
The expenses for the realization of the competition and the expenses for rewarding the finalists will be borne by the private developer who expresses interest in the realization of the competition, according to the notarial declaration defined in point 3, of article 4, of the regulation.


I. Suitability

The competition is open for international licensed/ accredited companies, in the field of Territorial Planning/ Architecture and COnstruction engineering, in collaboration with local studios. Participating studios must make available their legal, economic and technical capacities, in accordance with the requirements specified in the design brief.
Competitors must be minimally three licensed studios, with international experience in the field of architecture, urban planning, or urban design, and have valuable collaboration with local studios in the moment of application, according to the specific requirement for the realization of an international competition.
The competing design studios must have a minimum experience of five years in design, in the related field, with similar experiences.
Finalists will be rewarded for their work according to the definitions of point 4, subsection 1 of article 4 of order nr 74641, dated, 04.07.2022. Finalists will gain the right of implementation of their project according to the project idea approved in the competition.

II. Evaluation Criteria

Project evaluations will be done by assessing compliance with the development strategy of the approved master plan and the requirements of the design brief.