Shortlist announced for UNESCO site visitor centre in Albania

21 December 2022
Credit: Malcolm Reading Competitions
  • Malcolm Reading Competitions
  • Malcolm Reading Competitions
  • Malcolm Reading Competitions
  • Malcolm Reading Competitions





Four teams through to the second stage of Butrint National Park contest

Tendersteam member Williams Matthews Associates is leading one of the four teams shortlisted by The Butrint Management Foundation (BMF) in the contest to design a visitor center for Butrint National Park, an exceptional UNESCO World Heritage Site on Albania’s Ionian coastline. The new centre is intended to be a gateway to the wider National Park, as well as helping the BMF manage rising visitor numbers to the ancient city of Butrint, which is recognized as Albania’s chief cultural attraction.

The four finalist teams are:

• William Matthews Associates (UK) with Barker Langham, Harris Bugg Studio, Structure Workshop, and Atelier Ten

• Kengo Kuma & Associates (Japan) with CHwB Albania, YOKE, Esmeralda Agolli, Ervin Paci, SOLARON Albania, iMEPS Engineering & Consulting, and R Team Engineering

• Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects (Finland) with Geometria Architecture, doxiadis+, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Giorgos Papazafiriou, and Sitowise

• Philippe PROST / AAPP (France) with Michel Desvigne Paysagiste, William Van Andringa, Terrell Group, ECO + CONSTRUIRE, and CL Design

Malcolm Reading, competition director, stated: ‘This is a fascinating shortlist, a unique mix of renowned architects. These practices have achieved national landmarks and won significant awards. The connecting thread is their sensitivity… both in responding to a setting and producing resonant design.’

Located in the south of the country, Butrint is the most significant archaeological site in Albania, with exceptional cultural resonance and visual appeal that stems from its rare combination of monuments set within unspoilt and spectacular natural surroundings. The centre will welcome and orient visitors and serve as an educational forum and community-gathering place, while providing a regional hub for other local attractions.

The finalists will visit the site in early 2023, with the winning team required to include an architect licensed in Albania as part of the design team for the project. 

The centre is due to open in September 2025.

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

This tender was first published by Tenderstream on 23.09.2022 here

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