Garden Beach Boulevard Jalë [AL]
Charming seaside town
Jalë is a small and charming seaside resort town on the Albanian Riviera. It is an idyllic spot with pebbled beach and a scooped bay flanked by two promontories. The beach town is popular among a diverse range of visitors as it provides everything from luxury accommodations to a trendy nightlife. Jalë caters to every budget.
Currently Jalë attracts mostly domestic tourists over a period of two months in the summer. This is a very short season which leaves the place feeling quite empty and forlorn the rest of the year. Albania is investing in the coastline to attract foreign sunseekers and expand the tourist season. BOOM Landscape was commissioned to design a new beach boulevard.
The boulevard is long and wide, so the chosen two-toned paving of locally quarried stone visually reduces the expanse. This sense of scaling down helps to make the space feel less empty in low season as well as orientating pedestrians.
Gardens on the beach
The boulevard is lined with a local pine tree, but between beach and boulevard we took the opportunity to create a zone of fertile greenery. This was inspired by a feature special to Jalë:
both ends of the bay are fed by mountain streams, so we created informal gardens to accentuate the verdant character. The gardens are a perfect spot to build beach pavilions, ones that can replace the (often illegal) seasonal facilities that are left to languish in the off-season.
Quay and pier
The southern end of the bay has a concrete quay formerly used by military ships. Now it is an ideal spot for diving into the sea – by diving plank or trampoline, amenities that will be attached to the quay. In the northern curve of the bay, near Jalë’s most luxurious beach club, room has been reserved to build a pier for water sports. This is a better and more permanent alternative to the current floating jerry-cans used in high season.
The boulevard will be a car-free zone in the summer to minimize infringing on the new, more natural setting. Cars can parallel park on the road set back from the bay or park under the orange trees and olive trees of the designated parking lots. The beach and boulevard can then be reached on foot via pathways.