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Old March 25th, 2011, 09:58 AM   #1
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TIRANA | New Mosque & Museum of Religious Harmony

Tirana New Mosque & Museum of Religious Harmony

The City of Tirana is pleased to announce the international design competition for a new Cultural Complex in Tirana consisting of a new mosque and a joined museum of inter-religious harmony.

Geographically speaking Tirana is known as the capital city of Albania. While in the art, architecture and urban oriented milieus Tirana, throughout the last decade, is widely known as the city of colors and international competitions. During the past 6 years, Municipality of Tirana has initiated several competitions of urban planning for the development of significant areas in the city, competitions of architectural and urban design for landmark buildings and of important public spaces. The latest international competition aimed the rehabilitation of Tirana’s main square, Scanderbeg Square, where the history of the Albanian state – not yet 100 years old – was written. It is a fact already that these competitions have attracted many talented and well known architects in Europe and worldwide.

The religious practices of the people living within the borders of Albania are heterogeneous. There are Muslims – which constitutes the majority – and Christians, each with their diverse communities of distinguished religious practices like: Bektashi, Halevy, Catholics, Orthodox, etc. It is very particular of Albania that these diverse religious communities have lived harmoniously and very close to each-other in centuries.

The motivation of the current competition comes due to the situation of the Muslim Community in Tirana in the absence of a new mosque to fulfill the needs of Muslim citizens wanting to participate in the city mosques life.

Tirana needs a new mosque, not only for the Muslim Community, not only to fulfill the growing needs of an increasing number of Muslim citizens that are served today by a modest network of mosques, but also because our capital should fill in a missing corner of the triangle that makes Tirana a unique place, the triangle of religious harmony among three main religions, that since ever have been points of reference and have mainly mirrored the local tradition of Tirana citizens of solidarity and mutual respect. While the other two religious communities have already received their contemplation places, today, under such conditions, Muslim community lacks its own space.

The urgency of this competition is put forward to complete the religious triangle enveloping the city center, where a New Mosque will be finally build after the Catholic and the Orthodox cathedrals.

From 1967 till 1990 Albanian religious institutions were closed down by the regime of the time and the clerks were persecuted or eliminated. The absence of God was propagated in schools and the theory of Darwin was to compensate any theory of creation and existence. Religious men and women were not permitted to practice religious rites and during that period the Communist Party was the only god allowed to believe in, at least in public. Most of the religious institutions were demolished or transformed into warehouse for military uses, or either in centers of communist culture propaganda. Only few were kept untouched –those buildings that had architectural and historical significance- and surprisingly the regime was sensitive towards their beauty and values. After 1990, when the communist regime collapsed, the religious institutions re-opened their doors again.

Till now, there is not a permanent museum like space to exhibit this particular aspect of the Albanian modern history. Nevertheless is a museum or space to show the special harmonious relationship among different religions in Albania.

The Municipality of Tirana, after having worked closely with the Muslim community and other religious communities, decided also to build the New Mosque and jointly a museum that will expose our painful religion history and emphasize the unique value of harmony among religious communities in Albania.

The City of Tirana wants the New Mosque to became not only the city 21st century spiritual space for prayers, but a place of knowledge of the Islamic Culture with spaces dedicated to informing and educating activities for everyone interested in the history or actuality of the Islam World.

Tirana wants to have this new space, to have this new indication, this new angle, and thus to convey to the whole, to its citizens, to its visitors, to younger generations as an expression of its own uniqueness, as an expression of a value, for which we all, regardless of beliefs, will be proud and aware of; the priceless value of that asset.

Considering it as a worthy project for the community and, a Mosque to be an image of a new century for Tirana as a full cohesion throughout times, to store all the necessary physiognomy features of an Islamic worship building physiognomy, but also in full accordance with the ambition of Tirana to be represented as a city with a unique history of coexistence, dialogue and understanding between different religions.

Based also on the experience of many countries that have built mosques, whether in West or East, I think we have all possibilities to give the Muslim Community an excellent New Mosque, in all related terms, and to give Tirana a Mosque to be another reflection of a new century and in the meantime we can make a complete cohesion among the ages, from Et'hem Bey on one side, where the expression of all traditional gene finds its most beautiful coverage till the New Mosque in Tirana on the other side, where the expression of the contemporary must find its most beautiful coverage, of course while maintaining all the necessary features of an Islamic worship building physiognomy. We should never forgot that like any cult building, this New Mosque should interact with all city, with the entire community and should mean something even to those who do not belong to this faith and this "something " of course, much more than in words, lies in the image of a cult building.

We want the new mosque not only be a place of spiritual rituals in the service of Muslim religious men but also a reference point of a magnetic force, to bring people closer to God, trust and universal values of mankind. We want the new mosque to be an open edifice inviting the entire community, not simply a closed-door service building in the city. The New Mosque will be a place of worship, knowledge and culture, opening it up to become a center of Islamic Culture. The New Mosque should be a place of spiritual peacefulness and individual as well as social reflection.

Next to the New Mosque, the Museum of Tirana and Religious Harmony will house the documented history of our city as well as the way it has voyaged, as an indivisible part and even essential in Tirana civic coexistence; coexistence among religions.

The design of the New Mosque and joined Museum of Tirana and its religious harmony will be based on the prepared and approved Master Plan of the Center of Tirana

I want to encourage all and everyone inspired architect to respond to the call for participation to this competition that will make possible to have very soon a wonderful project of new museum and new mosque and for Tirana to complete the religious triangle enveloping the city center, where a New Mosque will be finally build after the Catholic and the Orthodox cathedrals.

Sincerely,

Edi RAMA

http://www.tirana.gov.al/?cid=2,62,3973

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Old March 25th, 2011, 10:01 AM   #2
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This will be the city's first 'major' mosque and first museum of religious harmony.
Over 100 studios worldwide expressed interest in the project but only these 5 were selected in the end:

Architecture Studio
Andreas Perea Ortega
SeArch
Zaha Hadid Architects
BIG Architects

Winner will be announced on April 2nd.
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Old April 1st, 2011, 09:59 AM   #3
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Winner to be announced tomorrow at noon.
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Old April 1st, 2011, 11:35 PM   #4
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Who won?
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"Do you remember when the air was so clean and the sex so dirty"
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 12:07 AM   #5
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The competition will take place tomorrow at noon
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 01:49 AM   #6
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There seems to be quite a few interesting architectural competition going on in Albania lately
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 05:56 PM   #7
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This is why I don't trust stupid news articles as credible sources. I just took a quick look at the pdf competition file from the City Hall website and there it mentions that the winner will be announced May 1st.
So we have to wait another month. I had my hopes up for nothing
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Old May 1st, 2011, 10:42 AM   #8
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Winner to be announced sometime later today
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 02:23 AM   #9
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Well who won?
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 01:36 PM   #10
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BIG Studio from Copenhagen. Renders when they become available.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 04:11 PM   #11
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Here in this short video bit Edi Rama announces BIG as the winner. You can also see lead architect's Bjarke Ingels reaction. The renders look abolutely insane. http://www.balkanweb.com/videoAlbum/...id_video=10294
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 01:31 AM   #12
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Looks great indeed. I cant wait for the renders.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 08:29 PM   #13
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Only these 2 renders taken from the city hall website are available at the moment.



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Old May 4th, 2011, 01:06 AM   #14
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judging by the renders I think the thread name should be changed to just museum of religious harmony.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 01:23 AM   #15
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It's a cultural complex - a mosque + a museum.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 04:03 PM   #16
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Old May 6th, 2011, 12:27 AM   #17
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BIG has published the project in its main website

Quote:
MAY 4TH, 2011 - BIG WINS THE COMPETITION TO DESIGN A MAJOR CULTURAL CENTER IN ALBANIA

BIG, Martha Schwartz Landscape, Buro Happold , Speirs & Major, Lutzenberger & Lutzenberger, and Global Cultural Asset Management are today announced as the winning team of the international design competition for a new 27.000 m2 cultural complex in Albania, consisting of a Mosque, an Islamic Centre, and a Museum of Religious Harmony.
http://big.dk/
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Old May 6th, 2011, 12:29 AM   #18
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Larger renders







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Old May 6th, 2011, 06:01 PM   #19
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shume moderne dhe nuk ta jep fare pershtypjen e nje Xhamie ....
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