The office of the Prime Minister in Tirana, Albania is a building that has been closed to the public ever since it was built, regardless of the political system. The Centre for Openness and Dialogue, or COD, opens up the ground floor with a select and intense series of spaces and on-site artworks: a public foyer and exhibition hall, a press room and auditorium, a public library and presentation space, plus a meeting room and working space.

The refurbishment challenges the rigid architecture of the past with a flexible and open way of use. In the main entrance hall, the existing ceiling has been laid bare and transformed into a fully equipped technical framework which, complemented with a set of large, movable green velvet curtains, creates a powerful background for exhibitions as well as official events. Further on, a wooden auditorium shaped as a detached wooden box cuts through an existing room, providing, on the one hand, intimate and secluded surroundings, while, on the other hand, opening up to the corridor for spontaneous entries. On the opposite side of the corridor, a public library and presentation space are organized by a rhythmic sequence of curtains, making it possible to turn the space into either a series of small cabinets or a single hall. Partly wool, partly industrial lace, the curtains, together with a wooden tapestry on the floor, embody and challenge the COD’s domestic and public dimension.

  • Location

    Tirana, Albania

  • Client

    Prime Minister’s Office

  • Design


  • Completion


  • In collaboration with

    Doorzon Interieurarchitecten

  • 51N4E project team

    Johan Anrys, Freek Persyn, Olivier Cavens, Matthieu Moreau

  • 51N4E involvement

    Full process

  • Artists

    Philippe Parreno, Carsten Höller

  • Consultants

    TTAS, Genti Lipe

  • Programme

    Refurbishment of the Office of the Prime Minister of Albania; public library, foyer, exhibition space, auditorium, meeting room, offices

  • Built surface

    837 m²

  • Photography

    Filip Dujardin, Blerta Kambo, Prime Minister’s Office