Virtual Air Conditioners (2004)

The building on the corner of Ismail Qemali and 4 Shkurti (as is often the case in Mediterranean countries) is covered with a generous scattering of air-conditioners. What to do? Pretend they are not there or use the new colour concept to authenticate the ‘little white parasite-boxes with their round, off-centre, Cyclops-eye vent’. The Virtual Air-Conditioner Concept, scatters potential sites for future climatizers across the facade, a strategy which instantly legitimises the random placement of those already in service.

The building itself is homogenised by the application of red and orange stripes faithfully scaled up from the original watercolour sketch. The resulting ‘hot-box’ effect, an eradicating of the compositional middle-scale, a juxtaposing of local incident against the rediscovered total building volume, achieved an instant iconic status on the skyline of Tirana and also on the vibrant street of restaurants, cafes and bars in which it lands.

Tirana, Albania

 

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