Albania’s tallest building to display pixelated map of the country

Construction has begun on what will be Albania’s tallest building, the 140m-tall Downtown One, in Tirana.

The façade of the 37-storey tower will display a pixelated map of the country, with each cantilevered home or office representing a town or village.

Those renting or owning property in the building will be able to identify their space by referencing the geography of the Albania: for example, an inhabitant may live in the "Tirana pixel", and another in the "Durrës pixel".

The 77,000 sq m development will contain apartments, shops, offices, and restaurants.

The project’s base will house a park, the lower half will be devoted to office space, and apartments will occupy the top 18 floors.

Downtown One is being developed by Albanian company Kastrati Construction, and was designed by Dutch architect MVRDV.

Engineering will be carried out by Arup of the UK, Elteknik of Albania and Germany’s Leal Engineering.

Winy Maas, MVRDV co-founder, said: "The tower brings the feeling of a vertical village to the busy city centre, individual housing where communication with the neighbours is encouraged. Maybe it could even be seen as a vertical country. Every house or office adopts a town or city, together forming this map of Albania.

"The building will be visible from the nearby Skanderbeg square at the heart of the city. It forms part of the ensemble of towers that surround the square, the epicentre of the country."

Construction on Downtown One is due to be completed in 2024.

Images courtesy of MVRDV

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