Stefano Boeri Architetti designs archaeological park and Roman restoration for Durrës, Albania

A team of Stefano Boeri Architetti and Son Architects has won a competition run by Albania’s Ministry of Culture and the Albanian–American Development Foundation to create an archaeological park and preserve Roman ruins in Durrës, Albania’s second city.

The scope of work includes the creation of an archaeological park in the centre of the city, the design of urban pathways and work on a Roman amphitheatre and baths, and a Byzantine forum.

The urban pathways will link the parts of the city’s heritage that have been fragmented by modern development, and will connect them with the Durrës’ waterfront, port and city centre.

The 2,530 sq m forum and the 700 sq m baths are closed and hidden from public view at present. The former contains the remains of a round portico with a podium at the centre partially below street level. The latter contains an excavated caldarium and pool, with a tepidarium and frigidarium still to be investigated.

The elliptical amphitheatre is open, and is a large part of Durrës’ iconography. Prior to the outbreak of Covid-19, it attracted 20,000 visitors a year.