Vlora Waterfront

The Vlora waterfront competition is a first of many opportunities to rethink the figure, the program and the design of the major future public space of the city. Vlora at night represents the current condition, the picturesque beauty of the topographical setting facing west and offering the most beautiful sunsets. However, the coast line is dark and strangely free of all those signs of public use known and appreciated in all the exciting cities with a similar waterfront on the Mediterranean sea. The development of the waterfront will be a long process of many small steps but it will transform the existing situation into something which smells like a vibrant summer night on one of the new piers of Vlora.

The waterfront development as a whole is tightly linked to the future of the two main infrastructures: The port and the road to the south of Albania. The project proposal reflects that specific reality of Vlora by implementing a mix of small and large scale interventions, which function just as well individually as they fit together. Practical and low-cost activities are coupled with much more ambitious and expensive ones allowing Vlora to grow at its own pace. The project is a framework for future urban growth, a solid structure where development can take place at a rate defined by economic and social conditions.

The Bay of Vlora is located where the Adriatic meets the Ionian Sea. The scenic properties of the bay of Vlora with Sazan island as a focal point during sunsets are very rare and remind of Naples and Capri, Marseille and Chateau d’If, or San Francisco and Alcatraz. Nevertheless the city encounters the challenge of redefining its importance in the Mediterranean context. Places with less scenic potential in Greece, Italy and Montenegro have outpaced Vlora in developing their touristic and commercial assets and settling themselves as ports of international importance. To establish the waterfront as main public space of Vlora is the most important step to profit from the so for not fully used scenic potential - not only for tourism, but for the public life of the community as well.