October 9, 2019 - Architektur im Ringturm (AIRT) - Albania
e-flux Architecture
October 9, 2019
October 9, 2019

Architektur im Ringturm (AIRT)

Hotel Tirana 1978. Palace of Culture Tirana 1960. Photo: Haller & Haller, 2010. Design: lenz+; gabriele lenz und elena henrich.

Decades of Architecture in Political Context
October 10–November 22, 2019

Architektur im Ringturm (AIRT)


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The upcoming exhibition at the Ringturm turns the spotlight on Albania’s architectural development during the 20th century—a period shaped by major political and social upheaval in this mountainous country that borders Montenegro and Kosovo in the north and Greece in the south.

Architecture is a relatively new discipline in the long-unknown land of the Shqiptars. The state apparatus only took shape slowly following independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912. Traditional architectural models were abruptly wiped away when Italian troops invaded the country in April 1939. Although the Italians capitulated in 1943, even after such a short period of occupation they left their mark on all aspects of administration, urban development and architecture.

Planning and construction only restarted a decade after the end of world war two, under a new, totalitarian regime. Due to the country’s increasing self-isolation under the Communist dictatorship—which chose to follow its own path, without taxes or religion—Albania was long seen as Europe’s best-kept secret.

As far as architecture was concerned, this meant adopting Soviet models, which was followed by a period of stagnation. Since the fall of the Communist regime, the development of architecture in the country has revolved around transition in all its various manifestations. The Architektur im Ringturm exhibition brings together a remarkable selection of rare architectural artefacts from the past century from across Albania.

Ringturm Exhibition Centre (Schottenring 30, 1010 Vienna)
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, free admission (closed on public holidays)
October 10–November 22, 2019
Curator: Adolph Stiller (in collaboration with the academic working group at Polis University in Tirana)

Architektur im Ringturm (AIRT)
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