Big Black Blank

Have you imagined before experiencing a building derived its concept from Star Wars or horror movies? Although deriving architectural concepts from cinematic environment isn’t a new idea (there’s an Architectural Cinema Club who works already on spreading such concepts), but what we have here is quite different.

Andrea Yoas, a PennDesign student, is introducing a redesign for the Albanian old building Pyramid of Tirana. She had chosen ‘Big Black Blank’ as a title for the renovation project.

Courtsey of Andrea YOAS

Courtsey of Andrea YOAS

The Pre-Renovation Situation

‘Piramida’ or ‘Pyramid of Tirana’ is a former museum and an international cultural center located in Tirana, Albania. It was designed by Pirro Vaso, Klement Kolaneci, Pranvera Hoxha and Vladimir Bregu. It’s almost 17,000 meter square project with a pyramid shape for the structure and a surrounding area that is currently used as a parking lot. Andrea pointed that the building has existed for many decades, however, currently it doesn’t have a clear use. Additionally, the population sees it as a monument as they protest all governmental attempts to demolish the building.

The Proposal Solution

Although its shape refers to the communist era, Andrea tried to empower the symbol characteristics of the pyramid. “In my design, I wanted to enhance the iconography by amplifying the centralized quality of the pyramid, as well as the reveals in the pyramid that allow for the windows. The addition is made of two systems. First there is a tectonic structure that mimics the language of the pyramid but starts to frame out new spaces. Then there are more sculptural elements that break from the existing and bring a new type of geometry to the project, Andrea Yoas said.

Courtsey of Andrea YOAS

Courtsey of Andrea YOAS

Andrea also tried to treat the color attributes of the project in a different way, creating a building with colors and textures that differs from each viewpoint. Although it’s a unique idea, but the treatment with a loud vibrance colors and textures made it feel a bit like a chaos.

“From certain angles the viewer can discern the original form through the color while also understanding the physical form in front of them, creating a dual reading. At other vantage points the same surface treatment that mimics the original pyramid’s lines can emphasize the new curvilinear geometry and the extreme difference from the original form”, Andrea Yoas

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