Skip to main content


Like all growing cities Tirana is expanding upwards. For the most part, the new buildings are unimaginative boxes of steel, glass and concrete. Even those attempts at breaking away from the predictable have only resulted in buildings that are either ugly - the Twin Towers - or really ugly - the Sheraton. Only the recently opened European Trade Center represents an improvement.

Over the months I have watched as another new building has gradually taken shape in the city. On one level it is yet another utilitarian office block, with the usual look - slabs of glass and concrete - and from a distance it is entirely unremarkable.

Up close, though, it is much more striking. The architects have achieved this effect by adding wings or fins - I'm not sure what to call them - in different colours around the outside of the building. The closer you get, and the more you have to look up, the more striking the effect becomes.

It's a nice idea, and it's good to see more imaginative developments beginning to appear.


traveller one said…
That's extraordinarily cool!
Llukan said…
A real one or just a plan for a skyscraper?
Jeroen said…
I like the realistic clouds of Tirana dust whirling around the building.
Anonymous said…
That's not in Tirana, is it?
Red, green and yellow, whose flag is it? Cameroon, Congo, Senegal, Ethiopia, Guinea, or Mali?
Might as well represent Albania as a sum of all african countries.
Anonymous said…
Thanks a lot for the photos Ourman from Skyscrapercity forum member.
The detail and angles are excellent and the quality is superb as well.
ourmanintirana said…
Llukan, as you can see from the expanded post this one is for real.

Why those particular colours? I don't know, but they work together quite well.

Your welcome Skyscraper city.
Llukan said…
Thanks for the extra pics Alwyn, for a sec I really thought it was just a plan for a building.

I think the colours aren't too bad, I've seen worse in Tirana :)
Belisar said…
thnx for the excellent images. the tower has colors because the facade designer (Bolles+Wilson) decided so and they look great. Illiricum from skyscrapercity forums.
ITS said…
So what that it's "African" colors?

I agree that the colors work well together. Not everything must be red and black, or black and white.

I am really impressed with this building. Kudos to the architects.
Anonymous said…
i agree with Our Man in Tirana, most of the new buildings are so ugly! This one maybe shows that a trend for the better is starting. hopefully.
My absolute favourite buildings in Tirana are:
the National Bank,
the Palace of Culture and Opera (a modern take on classical Greek columns. straight, simple, clean and orderly),
the Academy,the ministries, University of Tirana, the National Museum with the amazing mosaic,
the Palace of Congresses (my father was in the team of engineers and architects to build it. It might be the strongest bulding in Albania. The ministry put so much money into it at the time building it with 2000x times more the strength of an ordinary structure),
Scanderbeg's Museum-Castle in Kruja
The new buldings after 1990 were build quickly on spaces where parks used to be. They are so ugly! I would never live in them because they are unsafe! The tall bulding where RAffaisen is, in front of the old Millenium cinema, was considered dangerous to live in by engineers, but somehow bribes made their way!
Anonymous said…
Pyramid and the kongress House, and above all Sheraton hotel, are the most ugliest big buildings in Tirana.
Anonymous said…
who doesn't like pyramid or the congress hall is anti-Albanian and is totally jealous and has absolutely no understanding in architecture!!!!

Popular posts from this blog


And now the end is near
and so i face nanananana...

Never did like that crappy song.

But it's true nevertheless.

Tomorrow in the wee hours of the morning we will be heading for the airport for the last time. I suppose it was too much to expect that I could have kept this going while getting ready to leave. So apologies for the lack of postings over the last weeks. This is post number 380 something so I suppose one post every two days is not a bad average.

There were probably 380 more in my head or scribbled down on scraps of paper, but many of them are perhaps best left there.

I suppose I should be penning - or typing - my final thoughts and reflections on two years in Tirana, but right now I don't have any. Maybe in a month or two though I might come back with something.

Thanks to all of you who have read this blog - especially those of you who have become regulars. Thanks also for linking and thanks to all who left comments.

As for the other stars of the blog, Bella now has her own …

Miss Globe 2007

On Saturday, we were at the Rogner meeting with an expat friend who was leaving Tirana. It was breakfast time, and as our friend was finishing his tea the breakfast room started to fill up with over-dressed (or under-dressed) young women wearing blue sashes. These were the contestants for the Miss Globe 2007 beauty pageant being held in Tirana tonight at the Palace of Congresses. High heel boots and mini-skirts - or in a couple of cases micro-skirts, or possibly just belts - have never struck me as obvious breakfast attire, but the girls seemed happy enough tottering and wobbling around with their tea and toast. I'm not sure why they were wearing their sashes - perhaps in case they forgot which country they came from.
As we were leaving they were boarding a large coach which I had seen a number of times around the city in the last few days for their next trip. I'm not sure how some of them made it up the steps, or how they managed to sit down, but perhaps these are the kinds o…


Welcome to Our Man in Tirana. I moved to Tirana, capital of Albania, in October 2005 and left in October 2007. This blog is a mix of photographs, reports, links, impressions and, undoubtedly, prejudices relating to the city and the country.

Since I am no longer in Tirana I am no longer updating this blog. However, there are over 300 posts covering this two year period and I hope that they are still of some interest.

So if you are curious about Albania or if you are planning to visit I hope this blog will be of value.