The Skanderbeg Square project was part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, where projects from around the world are presented each year.
The Mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj, presented the square’s project in a special section, where Albania was represented, with 140 other architects and urban experts from 20 countries of the world.
The architecture of this project was considered unique and its impact for the transformation of the city was highly valued. The Mayor said this presentation is an excellent opportunity for Tirana to take pride.
“This is the first time that Tirana takes part in such an important event, as the Chicago Biennial, a great chance to take pride with our Skanderbeg Square, one of the projects we had in the past two years. This is the success of a 10-year-long effort, which started with Edi Rama and his team at the Tirana Municipality. It was based on the desire to create a pedestrian area on what used to be the most polluted spot of our city, due to the heavy traffic. It was delayed by politicians, but was finally realized by the new municipal administration, ending the 100-year-long dream of Tirana’s Skanderbeg square, giving it magic that turned into an ‘agora’, a square where everyone can feel they are part of a democratic space”, Veliaj said.
The Mayor of Tirana said the high evaluation received in Chicago will help Albania’s capital city realize other transforming investments.
The Biennial artistic director, Mark Lee, considered the Skanderbeg Square one of the most unique projects.
“One of the most unique and important projects for us was the Skanderbeg square in Tirana, led by 51 architects, together with Anri Sala. I think the way how this square was conceived goes beyond its architectural significance. It is important for the inter-religious connections as well. Different people from different nations had a decisive role in the designing of this square. It is a very important message from which the international community can learn”, Mark Lee declared.
The Chicago Architecture Biennial is one of the most prestigious events in the USA but also in the world. They had a record-breaking turnout in 2015, receiving more than half a million visitors.