Submitted by Eneida Berisha
Atelier Albania launches publishing of the 2017 Summer Academy
Albania Architecture News - Jun 9, 2018 - 08:28 5131 views
The Atelier Albania Summer Academy launched “Where Cold Spring Water Bubbles and Cool Breezes Blow in Summer” on May 17th, a book envisioning ecology, cultural heritage and tourism in the Vjosa Valley. The focus of Atelier Albania’s Summer Academy 2017 was the valley of Vjosa River, especially the area of Permet. The research and publication detail five business plan showing how a tourism based on the protection of the river as an ecological feature, could be beneficial to boosting the economy of the area as well as safeguard it.
Minister of Culture Mirela Kumbaro at the launch event. Image © Atelier Albania/ National Territorial Planning Agency
These ideas are interconnected and function together in the grand scheme of providing as well a rich tourism itinerary. They provide alternatives of economic revitalization by guaranteeing the ecological protection. The plans as listed are named: Hani i Fshatit, Bredhi i Hotoves Hotel, Hucho, Frasher House and Vjosa Social Enterprise.
Map of the region. Image © Atelier Albania/ National Territorial Planning Agency
The first one, Hani i Fshatit (Village Inn) is a network of guest-houses, planned to function through their qualitative hospitality even as social centers of the villages they will be set in. As a social business, the Han will provide good food, and accommodation, as its income will be then redirected towards improvements of the physical infrastructure and human capital of the village. A key element of this business model is the live-in caretaker who will manage each of the Hans, who will be selected by the Vjosa Social Enterprise (VSE) - as genuinity in customer service is what will set apart the Han from other guest-houses.
Hani i Fshatit:
Business Type: guest house. Location: Two initial ones, expanding then over time. Vjosa Valley Permet, Albania. Cost to start venture: 50,000 euros per Han and Return on Investment (ROI): 12 months.
National Park "Bredhi i Hotoves". Image © Atelier Albania/ National Territorial Planning Agency
Hucho is a haute cuisine restaurant, a cooking academy, and a culinary research and development center, named after the Salmon native to Vjosa River. Its mission is to work with the local farmers for the ingredients.The research and development center will help in Hucho’s menus, while the culinary academy will aid its participants in developing knowledge through hands-on experience.
Business Type: Haute Cuisine restaurant; Culinary R&D center; Culinary Academy. Location: Bredhi i Hotoves National Park. Cost to start venture: 20.000 euros and Return on Investment (ROI): 36 months.
Bredhi i Hotoves Hotel, is the second business plan derived from the Atelier Albania Summer Academy research. Situated in the national park bearing the same name, this business is centered on food experience, and it would house Hucho. Its secluded location from urban settings, the design and the superlative quality in service, will make it a high-end destination. The focus of the Hotel is to draw tourists from the region and beyond, while offering well-being, mindfulness, clean air, spa and relaxation facilities.
Bredhi i Hotoves Hotel:
Business Type: food-centric hotel. Location: Bredhi i Hotoves National park. Cost to start venture: 300.000 euros and Return on Investment (ROI): 48 months.
Frasher House. Image © Atelier Albania/ National Territorial Planning Agency
Frasher House is a public museum, sculpture park, archive and artist residency, located in the newly renovated Frasheri family house. The museum will focus on the lives of Naim, Sami and Abdyl Frasheri - Albanian personalities, famous their poetry, letters, teaching and the Albanian national movement. It will serve as an archive and residency and will support contemporary transdisciplinary artistic practices that explore historical and contemporary literature, poetry and publishing. It will function on a rich programming of events relaying on the sculpture park, and the radio station. The Permet region is famous in producing intellectuals, creatives, and critical thinkers that would go on to shape Albania’s history and culture, thus the Frasher House will catapult this to the interested audiences.
Business Type: Public Museum, Sculpture park, archive and Artist residency. Location: Village of Frasher. Cost to start Venture: 100.000 euros and Return on Investment (ROI): 15 years.
And lastly, the Vjosa Social Enterprise, is a social enterprise that is designed to build superior hospitality and cultural amenities in the Permet region of Souther Albania. VSE is ultimately the managing entity of the four tourism projects listed above: Hani i Fshatit, Bredhi i Hotoves Hotel, Hucho and Frasher House. Its mission is to manage, invent, and consult hospitality businesses whose part of their profits go back to the communities they are located in.
Vjosa Social Enterprise (VSE):
Business Type: Social enterprise. Location: Tirana and Permet, Albania. Cost to start venture: 45.000 euros, and Return on Investment (ROI): 5 years.
Vjosa River at dusk, near Strembec village. Image © Atelier Albania/ National Territorial Planning Agency
The Vjosa Valley research of 2017, was the second publishing of Atelier Albania Summer Academy. The academy selects 5 students every year, where they spend weeks immersing themselves in the culture, traditions and lifestyle of the area of study they visit. Atelier Albania Summer Academy 2017 Team: Simon Battisti, Erisa Nesimi, Esmerina Hidri, Tea Mersuli, Adonel Myzyri, Ejnxhi Panariti, Arianit Ramiqi.
Team of AASA '17 at the launch event © Atelier Albania/ National Territorial Planning Agency
Find the AASA 2017 publication here.
The inaugurating Summer Academy of 2015, with Farmers with a View publishing, explored the Southern Coastal Region of Albania, precisely the villages of Kudhes, Old Himara, Old Qeparo and Pilur. It came up with events or “planned experiences” that aim to bring tourists in these villages, and can bring steady economic benefit directly to the inhabitants with minimal investment costs.
The 2018 Atelier Albania Summer Academy will focus on the Prespa Lake and Devoll River Valley and students will be visiting and living in the area for 4 weeks.
Find the open call here.
Open call AASA 2018 © Atelier Albania/ National Territorial Planning Agency
“Atelier Albania Summer Academy (AASA), part of Atelier Albania/National Territorial Planning Agency, began in 2015 as a forum to explore new methodologies in urban planning education and to elaborate a critical approach to tourism development. AASA aims to be a linkage point between two kinds of knowledge: the technical knowledge of urban planners (“processed knowledge”) and the “personal knowledge”, based on experience of local residents. These two kinds of knowledge are not hierarchical - they are simply different. AASA’s presence in the field focuses on creating a balance between actors through sustained dialogue. In the academy’s method of working, the instructor is a facilitator; leading the group towards goals and schedule, and helping define intellectual and ethical foundations. But ideas belong to the group and are debated among equals. The mandate of the academy is to think and do through direct experience. Tourism is about pleasure, and to be able to access it in the most productive way, the AASA insists that a deliberate tone of delight in research ought to be considered a noble pedagogical aspiration.”
About Atelier Albania
Atelier Albania (AA) is a unit pursuing experimental approaches to the urban planning priorities of the National Territorial Planning Agency (AKPT). Atelier Albania's goal is to re-imagine spatial planning outside traditional models of centralized state-directed master planning. This unit aims to enrich the work of the agency through concrete yet unconventional inputs. AA also aims to organize international competitions of architecture and urban planning, to open educational public activities aimed at promoting innovative practices in architecture and planning, and to propose pilot projects to be undertaken. AA realizes planning projects in cooperation with foreign consultants, international NGOs and development entities, civil society organizations, domestic public institutions, as well as the technical resources of the agency to produce visionary spatial planning projects.