Butrint National Park Visitor Center International Design Competition

Butrint National Park Visitor Center International Design Competition

by James Matthews

The Butrint National Park Visitor Center International Design Competition is a global search for a dedicated and gifted architectural team to design a new visitor center for Butrint National Park, an exceptional UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) on Albania's Ionian coastline.

Located in the south of the country, approximately 20 kilometers from the city of Sarandë and overlooking the Straits of Corfu, Butrint is the most significant archaeological site in Albania and its chief cultural attraction.

The new center, of up to 1,000 sqm, must receive, welcome and orient visitors, interpret the site, convey the Outstanding Universal Values of the WHS, and be a gateway to the wider National Park and a regional hub for other nearby natural and cultural visitor attractions.

Other aspects of the competition include a new or extended ticket office (including staff workspaces and support facilities); improvements to the core heritage area entrance and secure boundary; wayfinding and interpretation; and improved mooring facilities.

The competition will also encourage participants to consider further opportunities within the wider park in the form of a landscape visioning masterplan. A proactive and forward-thinking approach to sustainability throughout will be key, to tackle the many challenges of the climate emergency, with rising sea levels being a particular threat to Butrint's low-lying peninsula.

The project's initial funding of USD $2.45m has been secured andthe project has a fast-track timetable: the finished building is due to open in September 2025.

The deadline for submissions is October 24, 2022.

Photo: Albanian-American Development Foundation

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