Tirana already has the reputation of a colorful city for its painted buildings. The city had a face lift face when Prime Minister Edi Rama (then former mayor of Tirana) had the idea to transform the city into a beautiful bright city. Being a painter by profession, Tirana was like a canvas for Mr. Rama, where he expressed his fantasy and made it a masterpiece. The most used colors are blue, green, orange, purple, red, and yellow. Tirana’s painted buildings are spread almost all around the city, but we will show our favorites.
The story of colored city
With little money to repair the city’s rundown infrastructure, Rama undertook a rough-and-ready makeover, ordering its drab, communist-era apartment buildings to be repainted in bright, bold colors. “The colors of the buildings were not art for me. It was a political action, with colors, because we didn’t have money to make big construction projects. People needed everything: water supply, roads, lighting. When I became mayor of Tirana, there were only 78 lights functioning in the streets. “When we colored the buildings, it had a chain effect I didn’t imagine. Once the buildings were coloured, people started to get rid of the heavy fences of their shops. In the painted roads, we had 100% tax collection from the people, while tax collection was normally 4%. People accepted to pay their share for the city, because they realized that through the colors the city exists.” – Rama said in an interview by Guardian.
“There’s a palpable energy when you walk the streets of Tirana unlike anywhere else in the Balkans: the city’s young, multiethnic and literally multicolored”, - continues the article about Tirana in the Guardian.
#1 Rainbow building
The rainbow building is one of the iconic places of colorful Tirana. It is located near the Blloku area, at Wilson Square. Every visitor who comes in Tirana, want to see this building and take pictures. Besides gazing eyes by seeing the fascinating building, this area is filled with trendy bars which make a perfect place to drink a coffee.
#2 -The so called “titanic” building
Throughout all Bajram Curri Boulevard you will find a lot of buildings painted in green, blue, red, yellow, etc, but we like the most the titanic building referred by locals because of its length. It is the most photographed photo, the strong purple color and the biggest space makes it a special one.
#3- Bizarre geometric patterns
You will find all buildings below in front of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, if you take the Ring road “or Unaza”. All the buildings around “Unaza”, which are communist style, are colored in different patterns and colors. They were painted by different painters, each with its own phantasy, no theme or guideline. Colors, shapes style all differs from one another and make each of them unique, so you can’t find two similar.
The painted buildings you can find in three main areas: Around Unaza, Rr. Kavajes and “Tirana e Re”
New Mayor’s style
The new mayor follows the steps of Rama toward brightening the old buildings. Coloring some of the main buildings around the center, Veliaj started to use a new model to redecorate them with big thematic paintings. He engaged some artists of street arts, to create some fables which are related to the area or to some old tales for example: the little thief; riding the horse… or kids planting etc. It’s nice to see these changes, because people now are naming these areas after the new painted buildings. People love these colors, because they raised the spirit of this new emerging city. It is somehow hard to understand the model of architecture in Albania but it is evident that is a mix, between ancient traditional buildings, old communist style, new modern buildings. And all this mixed infrastructure is making Tirana a unique city.