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MVRDV, Tirana Pyramid, Gent Onuzi

Pyramid in Tirana: Rebuild Project by MVRDV

The former Enver Hoxha Museum in the centre of Tirana is also known as “the pyramid”. The expressive building was completed in 1988. It was designed by an architects’ collective whose members included the daughter of long-serving head of state Pranvera Hoxha and that daughter’s own husband, Klement Kolneci. The museum was originally topped with a red star: its façade was clad with sheets of white marble. The interior was home to an exhibition devoted to the life and works of the dictator.

When the socialist regime came to an end in 1991, the museum became a cultural centre. During the Kosovo War, it served as a temporary NATO base and subsequently as a nightclub and bar. The demolition decreed by parliament in 2010 did not take place. For more than a decade, the building was left to decay. One year ago, the municipal administration decided to repurpose the unoccupied building as a multifunctional youth centre.

With its unique silhouette, the Pyramid has a definite presence in Tirana’s urban space. The rebuild project by MVRDV aims to make the structure more transparent and accessible to the public. The building, which covers 11,800 m², will be used as an education centre for young adults.

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