Tirana National Stadium: Kombetare Arena an architectural and sporting excellence

Tirana – Albania

© Author: Arch. Francesco De Fazio

Progetto RistrutturABILMENTE

The new national Stadium of Albania: a signed ‘made in Italy’ urban transformation

The national Stadium of Tirana – Arena Kombëtare – was launched in 2019 with the game between Albania and France and is now a symbol of innovation and progress. Today, this extraordinary sport center, designed by Marco Casamonti from the Archea Associati Studio, represents a masterpiece of refurbishment and urban upgrading that brought a new life to the entire area.

Here below we are going to examine in detail the innovative architecture, the design solutions and the implemented technologies that have been involved to turn the stadium into an avantgarde structure, which changed the aspect of Tirana.

An urban and sports celebration

Tirana, the vibrant capital of Albania, celebrated an important chapter of its urban rebirth with the inauguration of the renovated National Stadium. The celebration was marked by the game Alabania-France, the qualifications for the European Championship of November 17, 2019, which scarred an historical moment for the city. This majestic project is the result of the Italian and Albanian collaboration: a light of hope and progress which gave a new life to an area that had been previously neglected, and which strengthened the bond between the local community and the national sport.

An architectural revolution

The new National Stadium is now strategically located in the final area of the main axis of Tirana and stands on the same foundation of the original sports center, which dates to the 1930s and designed by the Florentine Architect Gherardo Bosio. However, the old structure – except for the monumental grandstand – had been completely demolished and renovated. This gave life to a majestic structure which satisfies the UEFA standards and is now a bright and vibrant point of reference for the city.

The architecture Made in Italy

The author of this masterpiece is Marco Casamonti, founder of the Archea Associati Studio, which took Tirana into a new era of majesty and innovation. The main goal of this project was not only building a simple stadium, but a contemporay monument that could convey the essence and the vitality of the Albanian capital through sport.

Three years of commitment

Three years of hard work, from 2016 to 2019, have turned the old stadium (15,000 seats) into a majestic and innovative structure that has 19,000 seats to host sports events of any kind, bringing joy with engaging and continuous activities. The demolition and reconstruction were necessary to increase the capacity in order to protect the history and tradition at the same time.

An integrated work

The new stadium isn’t just a piece of architecture, but a symbol of continuity and innovation. The Archea Associati Studio created a modern and functional space, keeping up with the needs of the 21st century but also maintaining the original urban design by Armando Brasini and Bosio alive. On the one hand, the three galleries, inspired by the classic theatre of La Bombonera in Buenos Aires, represent a bold interpretation of the limited space of the project area. On the other hand, the 100 mt tower, destined to host a hotel of the Marriott chain, adds an elegant and convenient touch to the urban landscape.

An Identity for Albania

The bright colors of the shell of the stadium recall tha national flag and are an ode to the Albanian culture and the identity. More than 3,200 brise soleil columns, decorated with Albanian traditional motifs, give refinement and originality to the architecture, while the mixed structure of steel and concrete guarantuee solidity and durability, without compromising the surrounding space.

Advanced technological solutions

The project of the new National Stadium of Tirana represents a symbol of renovation, affirming the belonging to the contemporary European culture of Albania by using innovative materials and an avantgarde design. The choice of the materials was meant to convey a message of rebirth, majesty, and elegance.

Right in the heart of Tirana, the stadium acts like the capital’s calling card, with a tower destined to welcome a hotel of the Marriott chain and countless visitors. The perimeter of the stadium is surrounded by high quality bars, restaurants, shops and entertainment places for kids, perfectly integrating the structure into the urban area.

The products used for the curtain walls were selected to guarantee the maximum comfort for both energy savings and acoustic insulation. The blind surfaces are covered by glazed slabs of bright colors to simbolize renovation and rebirth. This project encouraged new investments for Albania, showing how architecture can be a positive influence for the local economy.

The selection process of the technological products respected the architectural choices of the Archea studio, maintaining a balance between quality and costs. A special thanks goes to the architect Marco Casamonti and to Marco Lesko for the trust in the project and to La Tecnica Nel Vetro for realizing the glass windows.

A monument to collaboration

The new National Stadium isn’t just a sports center, but a lighthouse to hope and progress for Tirana and Albania. This project is the result of the collaboration between Italy and Albania. It will stay as a reminder for those who made it possible, shaping the future of the city and inspiring future generations.

Intervention details and credits:

Description of the product used in the architectural work:
Glazed glass, destined to rewrite the canons of modernity for a soccer stadium.

Glass supplies producer:
La Tecnica nel Vetro S.P.A.

Typology:
Enameled glass windows

Client:
Lesko

Architect:
Marco Casamonti – Studio Archea Firenze

Location:
Tirana – Albania