Marco Casamonti of Archea has designed an imposing building inspired by the architectural tradition of Italian towers, from the Palazzo della Signoria in Florence to the Velasca tower in Milan

On 13 May, the Alban Tower was inaugurated in Tirana, a tower over 100 meters high designed by Marco Casamonti founder of Archea Associati destined to change the skyline of the city.

This is the second project carried out in the Albanian capital by Casamonti who also built the National Stadium of Albania in Tirana.

The building, part of a complex renovation program of the entire historic center of the city - designed and conceived between 1920 and 1935 by the Italian architects Armando Brasini (Rome 1879-1965) and Gherardo Bosio (Florence 1903-1941) - is configured as the junction of four towers of different heights and colors which reflects the founding design of the city centered on the tracing of two axes, a cardo and a decumanus, still clearly visible today in the urban fabric of Tirana.

The tower is the result of an international competition in which some of the most important European architecture studios had participated in the early 2000s, won by the Florentine studio due to its concept of overcoming the American idea of a skyscraper (according to the definition of Louis Sullivan) to propose a project inspired by the Italian towers, from Arnolfo's Palazzo della Signoria in Florence to the Velasca tower built after World War II in Milan.

From the point of view of the design and therefore of the skyline, the tower necessarily occupies a minimum amount of space on the ground through an obligatory reduction of the volume at the base which subsequently and in a staggered manner widens in the the summit opening up like a tree with branches - buildings - of different heights that stretch out towards the sky.

The gestation and construction ended after over eighteen years of work also due to the effect of many external events, from the post-2008 economic situation to the violent earthquake of 2019 which the building resisted with extraordinary strength even as a result of an absolutely innovative and original structural conception.

Alban Tower, in fact, contrary to every skyscraper but coherently with the conception of the structures of the ancient towers, was conceived, in collaboration with the engineering studio AeI Progetti of Florence , as a hollow tube in concrete perforated by measured openings so that each floor is devoid of pillars.

The lifts are located on three of the four sides of the tower and one of the two internal emergency staircases hangs and is suspended in the center of the sequence of attics and therefore of the floors. Furthermore, it is a singular and exceptional building with two foundations, one obtained at the minus six level, which supports the parking lots, and another on the first basement floor, on which the entire building rests. tower.

The facade still refers to the metaphor of the tree with a base part - the trunk - made of solid green pigmented concrete panels set with small circular Murano glass gems of five different colors.

The panels, smoothed and polished, slowly disappear upwards to make way for lighter aluminum elements in 13 different colors that open and curve like branches and leaves.

From a functional point of view, the complex is intended entirely for offices, where the Israel Embassy in Albania is also located, while the highest part of the building houses a café, a panoramic restaurant, as well to a spa, a gym and a swimming pool that occupies the roof of one of the four towers. A helicopter landing pad was built on the tallest tower.

Expressed in numbers Alban Tower is represented in the 105 meters of maximum height, in the over 15,600 square meters of floor area that develop in a volume of 46,750 cubic meters, in the 27 meters deep of the foundation excavation in which the more than 100 parking spaces serving the 25 floors of the building and the main plant areas are obtained, in the more than 450 windows that outline the facades.

Over 3,900 tons of high ductility steel, 19,000 cubic meters of concrete, 350 tons of metal carpentry for the intrados of the openings and 80 tons of metal carpentry for the stairs were used for the entire construction.