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Beach promenade Dhërmi [AL]

BOOM Landscape has redesigned the boulevard running along the beach in Dhërmi, a coastal town in the relatively undiscovered Albanian Riviera. The old village sits on a mountain slope overlooking a wide bay of the Adriatic Sea. The views are magnificent and with the addition of a new boulevard, the promenade experience is turned into a stylish and relaxing one, appealing in all seasons. The project is the result of a joint venture with the Rotterdam firm Cityförster and DEA-Studio in Albania. This was BOOM Landscape’s second major project in Albania, following a successful design for a new public space in the city of Durrës.

Albania, formerly a communist country, is still quite poor and is looking to explore new sources of income. Its beautiful coastal region is a perfect fit, since the natural beauty and inherent potential of the Albanian Riviera are on par with those of the more famous French and Italian rivieras. In order to attract more tourists, both domestic and international, the region is investing in a revitalised coastline. A driving force behind these developments is Prime Minister Edi Rama who, as mayor of Tirana, gave the capital a major urban boost with regeneration projects.

We chose to put all the vigour and activity into the first part of the kilometre-long boulevard with a public square and waterfalls. This impressive area is a bustling meeting point and recreational hot spot. But crossing over the square towards the sea leads you to an oasis of calm and a partially submerged pier where the changing tides become visible.

The full length of the boulevard is now pedestrianised, which ensures a comfortable and attractive public space along the whole of the bay. The boulevard remains accessible to traffic by a new road situated above and behind the pedestrian zone.

   

The bay of Dhërmi needed a make-over that was distinctive and local in character, so we chose to use  materials found in the region. There will be primarily umbrella pines and a mix of tree species planted that are specific to the area. The paving stones will come from three different local quarries. A unique composition of coloured stones will give the paving a special local look that will be the signature of Dhërmi.

For the implementation of the design we are working with the local DEA-studio. The plans will be realised just before the 2018 tourist season.

First pictures in construction phase:

Client: Albanian Development Fund and Municipality of Himarë
Joint Venture: Cityförster Urbanism & Architecture, DEA-Studio and BOOM Landscape
Program: 1000 m. boulevard, water square 1300 m2, Pine tree square 3500 m2, 2 bridges and a pier
Area: approx. 25.000 m2
Status: first construction stage 2017, finished Spring 2018
Design team: Jan Maas, Angelo Renna, Mark Spaan, Philomene van der Vliet, Sarah El Yousefy
Engineer / consultant: Frans Boots
Text: Dianna Beaufort
Copyright images and text: BOOM Landscape
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