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ATENASTUDIO has had the opportunity to investigate several themes in architecture and urban planning through various large scale urban developments in the city of Tirana, Albania obtained through international restricted competitions and private commissions. Research is developed practically through design projects, at both urban and building scales.
ATENASTUDIO operates within urban contexts with a strong sensibility for the specificity of place.
The studio's design process seeks to create spatial tension between new and existing through urban interventions at all scales.
In the contemporary debate of the city, ATENASTUDIO's research and work emerges as a delicate balance between enclosed/open space and spatial continuity/discontinuity.
Design strategies are formed and urban spaces developed through the design and implementation of a defined identity. A dialogue is thus established with the existing urban context and interactions between the project and its surroundings are allowed to evolve.
Design projects are seen as an opportunity to stitch the urban fabric, linking otherwise disjointed urban fragments. Polyvalent spaces that shift between public
and private territories are used to mix and merge urban contexts avoiding a deterministic zoning approach.
While the search for a recognizable 'identity' for a specific design project responds on the urban scale, the development of the maximum degree of difference (conceived as both social and architectural value) is developed on the building scale.
The 'void' is conceived as the primary spatial device that weaves together new and existing contexts creating flexible and dynamic conditions characteristic of contemporary living.
The 'void' operates as a spatial, visual and functional connection point: an intersection between public and private space, daytime and night-time activities, interior and exterior flows. It becomes an interface of exchange between an intervention and its surroundings, able to bring urban complexity inside the project. On a smaller scale the use of materials and spatial configurations ensures the continuity of the urban context within the project through the blurring of the conceptual and physical threshold between new and existing.