Atelier Albania, mandated by the Ministry of Urban Development and Tourism and the Office of the Prime Minister, is launching an international design competition for the improvement of the public space, in the economic axis between the cities of Tirana and Durres. This area is seen as the major metropolitan area in Albania and a generator for the economy of the whole country.

Through this open call, Atelier Albania, is aiming to reach out to teams of architects, landscape architects and designers. The aim is to generate original and visionary intervention concepts for the economic corridor. The aim is through the design learning and perusing the existing peculiarities of the area.


The competition for Tirana-Durres corridor stems from the need to improve the urban condition of the area along the corridor. It is one of main circulation axis of Albania that connects the two biggest cities in the country and again connects them both to the airport. It has become an economic corridor that brings large revenue to the country. It cuts through many small cities and in this perspective the whole country is the beneficiary, while the communities along the corridor will be direct beneficiaries.

Contracting Authority

Albanian Development Fund is the Contracting authority for this process, in the name of the Albanian Government.


The endgame of the competition is to provide urban improvement design concepts for particular sites or area’s in each of the three segments/ lots along the corridor. The competitors are asked to produce ideas that;

• will improve the urban condition and use of the open space in-between the built fabric along corridor;
• will rehabilitate the streetscape of the corridor;
• will define a set of urban furniture and related public space amenities;
• will equip the area with necessary signage for orientation and storytelling;
• will explore different ways to access the sites along the corridor;
• will explore different ways of connecting the main traffic road to the urbanized sites and sites on both sides of the main traffic road to one another;
• will come up with a set of space-use regulations, as well as building regulation for future construction along the corridor.
Each solution should push the boundaries of creativity while adapting to the local context and setting high design standards.

Competition Area

From an organizational perspective the competition slices the Tirana – Durres corridor into three segments/ lots: the area which connects Tirana to the metropolitan highway, the area which connects Durres to the metropolitan highway, and the city of Vora which is split in half by the metropolitan highway.

While the competition defines the three segments/ lots, the competitors can in the stage 1individually select their preference for specific intervention area(s). If the competitors decide to compete for more than one lot, they will have to rank their preferences.


The purpose of the competition is to generate ideas that will lead to urban improvement detailed projects and public interventions. These will help each area foster a better identity while at the same time improve the area’s connection and interrelation with all of its surroundings.


Atelier Albania is a unit of the National Territorial Planning Agency mandated with identifying alternative solutions and enriching architecture and planning with out-of-the-box thinking. In this context we aim to invite teams of international professionals that will work together with local teams as a consortium. We believe this team-based collaboration will enrich the way the project is informed with all necessary local knowledge and high level design expertise. Furthermore we want to experiment a co-creative competition process with the designers and several local stakeholders involved in an interactive selection process. The format of the competition is experimental in order to try and overcome what AA believes to be an inherent issue of the typical architectural and urban competition process.

Expected Outcomes

STAGE 1: in this short-listing phase, the candidates represent themselves by illustrating their capacities, methodology and visions towards the subject of the competition. Each submission will be carefully reviewed by jury members and the teams will be selected by the terms of selection and evaluation criteria mentioned Stage 1. From the selected teams the Jury will short-list the two best ranked teams for each lot (according to the evaluation criteria). 6 teams in total will be called to work during a second stage on a concept for the urban improvement in one of the segment/ lots.

STAGE 2: in this Sketch Design phase, each set of concept-submissions will be carefully reviewed by jury members and one winning team for each of the three lots will be selected by the terms of the evaluation criteria Stage 2.

The Jury’s duty however will not end with the selection of the three winning teams (one per each segment/ lot). Local members of the jury as well as international members with professional experience in Albania will collaborate in forming a continuous leading and mentoring body for the winning teams. Each team will have the chance to periodically meet with members of the jury to discuss their approach, solution and possible impact of the project. The teams will agree to keep an open mind towards adapting the project to possible contextual situations which they might have not been aware of beforehand. The Jury will therefore serve as a mentor to the winners but also as a partner to the client in order to help in achieving a better-rounded project which has the support of different actors and promises a fast and direct impact on the area intervened upon. These meetings will be held in-situ and online.

Teaming-up International and Local Teams

Each international team will need a local partner and each local team will need an international partner. The client believes that in order to have visionary and contextual projects there is a dire need for the vision of someone who does not know the site and the contextual knowledge of someone who knows it well. The client believes such collaboration can increase the impact and improve the implementation of the project. In the call for interest stage not all teams might have a local or international partner. Having a partner by this stage is positive and necessary to improve selection chances. To allow all participants to find a local partner a dedicated platform will be created at the competition website whereby international and local teams can express their interest to find a counterpart. Each team interested in finding a counterpart will fill up a form on the website with some basic information on themselves and an online website or portfolio. Teams will then be able to contact one another based on this information.


The competition is open to all professional architects, landscape architects and urban designers who, after teaming up (see above), meet either or both of the following requirements:
1. Are registered or accredited by a formal registration or accreditation body in the entrant’s country of origin; or
2. Where registration and accreditation is not available in a particular jurisdiction, the entrant is a member of the relevant professional institute in their country of origin.

All entrants are required to provide evidence of relevant professional registration, accreditation or membership in the Team Composition Statement.

Each Stage I competitor team is to include an architect, landscape architect, designer and/or an artist. All team members are to be identified in the Team Composition Statement.


The competitors should submit a set of documents in order to be eligible for the first and the second stage of the competition.

Deliverables Stage 1:
• Team Composition Statement,
• Main Staff CV, Methodology,
• Vision Statement

Deliverables Stage 2:
• Sketch Design

Selection Criteria

The jury will select the applications to evaluate during Stage 1 based on the following criteria:
• Clarity and completeness of the deliverables;
• Partnership (of local and international studios)
• Professional Team Composition (architect, landscape architect, designer and/or an artist)

Evaluation Criteria

The jury will evaluate the applications of Stage 1 based on the following criteria:
• Power and rootedness of the Vision (context related) – 30%
• Relevance of team/partnership for the subject of competition and Main Staff capacities – 40 %
• Methodology of work¬ and collaboration proposal – 30 %

The jury will evaluated the applications of Stage 2 based on the following criteria:
• Creativity
• High implementation factor
• Relation and impact of the proposal in the context
• Cost-impact rate (low cost, strong impact)

End Product

The competition will result in the selection of three teams, composed of local and international professionals, who will provide a concept design and a fully equipped team to be engaged in the after-competition process. The winning teams will be engaged afterwards in designing the execution design for one of the three segments/ lots along the Tirana-Durres corridor. The three designs – one from each winning team – will aim to improve the urban fabric of Tirana-Durres and will be implemented as complete. They will be like pilots equipped with ‘toolboxes’ to guide how the corridor can grow and improve its quality in the future. The execution designs will aim at improving the urban condition of the spaces in-between the built fabric along the corridor; the streetscape design (façade improvement conditions); and will come up with building regulations for future constructions along the corridor.

Post-Competition Design Process

Although each team will be working with one of three segments/ lots the client envisions two inter-team meetings in the two-month period of Preliminary-Idea preparation. The concept here is to try and isolate the teams for the first month in order to let them develop their own vision and then bring them together to share their findings and ideas. This process is repeated again in the second month. These meetings will be held in-situ and online.

Competition Awards

Each of the short-listed teams will be awarded 5,000 Euro to enter phase 2.
Each of the three winning teams will start negotiations with the Client for the Execution Design Contract.
The Execution Design Contract for Tirana-Durres Corridor will have a limited value of 65,000 Euro/ lot.


The shortlisting phase would be carry out by electronic means at website address:
Tender document can be obtained electronically at the following address:
The foreign tenderers, in order to use the electronic procurement system, must register on-line as an economic operator at the following address
Further instruction for foreign tenderers may be obtain at the “EPS user manual – Economic Operators”, which can be downloaded from the website

Each of the competition briefs and sites can be found on the organizers website: (website will be availablen since Monday, the 6th of October)