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How we designed the “Epitech” University Campus in Tirana, Albania ?

Smart Project was invited to design a university campus in Tirana, Albania. The project involved designing classrooms, laboratories and other facilities for the University of Technology and Digital Innovation.

The project began in late 2015 for the Paris Graduate School of Digital Innovation in France (EPITECH). The site of the project is located near the airport and “Tirana Business Park”.

We started out by researching the needs of students that would use these facilities, taking note of their age and gender; – We studied which type of building materials were available locally as well as how they could be used to create an environment that would promote creativity and innovation; – Finally, we designed buildings that not only meet all current standards but also provide a sense of community through careful spatial planning.

The campus consists of the IT dedicated faculty and the dormitories. Based upon the functional needs of the campus, a radial ordering of space was used to connect all the functional nodes to the public spaces. The tectonic articulation of the buildings is expressed through the exposed concrete and the volumetric shifting.

Overall the faculty building has a great ecological performance. It features passive systems through natural lighting and ventilation with a reduction of energy by the high levels of insulation and high performance windows. Vertical operable sunshades are placed alongside the window glazing for an optimal sunlight control.

The green roof of the faculty and local use of materials reduce and minimize internal and external pollution. Together with the solar panels, they form a combined solar collection and rainwater collection system. The generation of energy by the solar panels contribute to the overall building efficiency.

The buildings use a low footprint of the building plot. As a result, 72 % of the campus area is free for outdoor activities and landscape development. The structure of the faculty uses a post-tensioned slab system, thus eliminating most of interior beams.

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