Landscape Architecture, Vol. 1, Issue 1, Jun  2018, Pages 14-23; DOI: 10.31058/j.la.2017.11002 10.31058/j.la.2017.11002

New Transformations of the Architecture of the Apartment in the Suburbs of Tirana after the 1950s

, Vol. 1, Issue 1, Jun  2018, Pages 14-23.

DOI: 10.31058/j.la.2017.11002

Manjola Xhaferri 1* , Mirela Tase 2

1 Department of Political Science, Faculty of Political Science and Low, Aleksandër Moisiu University of Durrës, Durrës, Albania

2 Department of Tourism, Faculty of Business, Aleksandër Moisiu University of Durrës, Durrës, Albania

Received: 5 January 2018; Accepted: 27 February 2018; Published: 6 March 2018

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to point out some important elements of Tiranas change of apartment during the second half of the 20th century. Focusing on the type of traditional dwelling on the outskirts of Tirana, it should be noted that the basic characteristic of this province is the type of dwelling with a fire house in the center along the two floors, which is also referred to as Tirana dwellings due to the large spread that has taken. Referring to the changes after the 50s of the 20th century, we see that we have a complete transformation of the apartment, from the architecture of construction, positioning and furnishing. In this paper I will try to give some features that are directly related to the transformations that have been made to the Tirana apartment, especially the rural areas.

Keywords

Transformation, Architecture, Apartment, Surroundings, Tirana

1. Introduction

The firehouse was always the center of daily life of the family and at the same time a center of composition, surrounded by other environments. All the major family housing needs, initially, have been solved within a single space. But, at the same time, this does not exclude the presence of other accessories and constructions in the yard, but with other economic functions and service. The rate of spreading this dwelling in general and of its developed forms in particular, show that the large family in the area has been present for a period of time in several districts of Tirana.

Traces and data taken in the field, in addition to the literature, show that the big family here has solved housing needs through other roads. It is, precisely, residential complexes, built in different centers, as an important phenomenon for this area. Such are those constructions where, within the enclosed yards, completely or partially, are put up special units or special buildings with certain residential functions. Those, taken together, met family requirements at certain times. Focusing on the analysis of Tirana's dwelling, it should be said that the geographical position and natural features (relief, climate, hydrography, lands and vegetation etc.) clearly show the opportunities and reservations that nature has given to the inhabitant of this area. Potential opportunities have also played a role in the construction activity, which is reflected in the choice of residential areas, the establishment of different families in villages or city centers.

2. Methodology

For the realization of this study are used concrete methods of ethnographic research:First, it is browsing the literature regarding the architecture of the building housing the district of Tirana, the Albanian ethnologist known.

Second, field searches have been made in various villages in Tirana, where dozens of old, hundreds of years old dwellings have been traced, which are still present today, in the form of abandoned rubble but part of them are still habitable, cured modified.

Third, 50 direct interviews were conducted with residents of the villages of Tirana, who explained in detail the realization of housing construction, starting from the initial phase of material insurance and their completion, accompanied by furnishing and final realization of the lifestyle.

3. General View of theTraditional Residence of the District of Tirana

In the old Albanian folk tradition, the basic factor of family creation and sustainability has been flats. For this reason the family community has been identified with the apartment, as one of the basic elements of our society. The basic characteristic of this province is the type of "fire home"dwelling that is therefore called the Tirana dwelling because of the large spread it has received mainly in this area. The fire house is the first and often the only environment not only in the Tirana district dwellings but throughout Albania and plays an important role in family life. The fire house or fire room (sitting room today)[1] preserve in all variants the central location in the composition of the apartment. In the present situation, the number of fireplaces preserved in the original form or with little change is small enough, however the stored ones allow full characterization of this environment. The progress of this type, from the simplest to the most advanced ones, is varied and interesting. Variety is noticeable, especially when it is crossed by the hilly plain of Tirana on the mountain. If the dwelling in the highland is of a closed type, the low and hilly part dominates its open character, with the wide use of the skyscrapers and the yard. However, studying and looking carefully, it turns out that the basic compositional concept is the same [2].

The firehouse is located in the center, and around it are added other two to three storeys. Since the basic factor of the apartment is the family, this makes it appear as a historical category with its past, present and future. Developed forms of Tirana's dwelling, reflect the existence of a large and immature family. As long as this family has been present, the type of dwelling that we have mentioned has reflected this phenomenon in its plan-and-volume composition.

The firehouse was always the center of daily life of the family and at the same time a center of composition, surrounded by other environments. All the major family housing needs are initially solved within a single space. But at the same time this does not exclude the presence of accessories and other constructions in the yard, but with other economic functions and service. The rate of spread of this dwelling in general and of its developed forms in particular, show that the big family in this area has been present for a long period and almost every village and province of Tirana. Traces and data taken in the field, in addition to the literature, show that the big family here has solved the housing needs through other roads. It is precisely about residential complexes, built in different centers, as an important phenomenon for this area. Such are those constructions, where within the enclosed yards, totally or partially, are placed prepared units or special buildings with certain residential functions. They, taken together, met family requirements at certain times of time. Focusing on the analysis of Tirana's dwelling, it should be noted that the geographical position and natural features (relief, climate, hydrography, lands and vegetation, etc.) clearly indicate the opportunities and reservations that nature has provided to the inhabitant of this area. Potential opportunities have also played a role in the construction activity, which is reflected in the choice of residential areas and village placement. Depending on the position of settlements, different circumstantial materials have been used. Thus, in the construction of housing walls in mountainous areas, the stone prevails;in its low areas its land has been covered with wood and aspen, or stone-skirting combinations. In covering the roofs in high areas, stone slabs have been used, while in the latter the tiles or this material are combined with stone slabs. Of course, this does not exclude the use of any other circumstantial material, less costly, such as roofing straps for roofing, hedges for dividing walls of painted wall, and so on. Even its climate and its diversity have left its "seal"in the closed or open character of housing. Looking at the performance of the constructions and especially relying on the statements of the different residents interviewed, it is noticed that this area has provided good living conditions at all times. The type of dwelling with the fire home in the center has not only been linked to the lowland but also the mountainous areas, of course with small changes in terms of climate and climate. What is noticed is that there is a connection and interdependence between the villages considered as the capital and other villages that fall under their jurisdiction. Such occurrences are especially noticed in hilly and flat areas. During the surveys of some residents of the Tirana suburbs, the fact is that when they ask them where they are, they tend to say the name of one of these well-known centers today, such as:Petrela, Preza, Ndroqi, Peza, Shupali, Shengjergjietc, which have been centers developed before the Turkish invasion. It is known that the city began to appear on the stage as a major residential center relatively late. We recall that in the sixteenth century, Tirana was not known as the capitals of its suburbs.The most popular and important at this time were:Petrela, Preza, Shengjergji and others. Likewise, in the memory of the inhabitants, especially the highland of Tirana, it is still today divided into two nahije such as Benda and Tomadhe, which were part of Kazah of Akhisar (Kruje) [3]. Both of these units, though forming the Highlands of Tirana, are stored in the memory of the elderly not only as geographical areas, where many villages are located.

Figure 1. Cottage Building Realized in the Shengjin Tirana Village. Sketches obtained from the Monograph published by the author ManjolaXhaferri 2018.

Figure 2. Division of Fireworks with Fire in the Center. Sketches obtained from the Monograph published by the author ManjolaXhaferri 2018.

Figure 3. The 150-year-old flats traced in the village Preze of the district of Tirana. Photo taken by Manjola Xhaferri in 2015.

Figure 4. Housing traced in the village of Petrele in the district of Tirana, built before the 1900s. Photo taken by Manjola Xhaferri in 2016.

4. Transformations of Apartment Architecture and Furniture After the 1960s of the 20th Century

Transformations of apartment architecture and furniture after the 1960s of the 20th century.

Significant changes in the way of life in the villages of Tirana were actually started in the 1960s but even more apparent emerged in the post-90 period, when deep transformations took place throughout the life of Albanian society.Construction of new flats in different villages of the Tirana district began in the 1970s when the High Type Agricultural Cooperatives were offered to the standards of the State Agricultural Enterprises. The salary of employees in these cooperatives was relatively higher than that of ordinary co-operatives, which was expressed in the growth of standard and lifestyle. This was accompanied by profound changes in the mentality of life, such as the breakup of the great patriarchal family, and so on. New homes began to be built. Already the place for the use of stone and ash as building material began to bury the red bricks that were provided in the brick factories. In addition, white silicate bricks were also used.

By the end of the 1950s construction of ceilings began in the houses of the villages of Tirana. In addition, the first groups of local ustallas were set up. The construction of the soles and the use of the paper for insulation from the rain began. In the 1970s, the pavements of the "JosifPashko"Combine in Tirana, which were made of cement, began to be used for the flooring of the houses. In these years, the Tiranese villagers did not need to go to the woods to secure the timber for the construction of the roof, because thick-headed skirts began to be used. Even the old stone houses the peasants began to plaster from inside (some even outward) after the 70s. Home patterns began to change. The model of the house "Elbasançe"was more liked. This model was represented by a one storey home which became the main building block in the district of Tirana after the 1970s. The bungalows began replacing the two-stone stone towers. And today these houses are not few in different villages of Tirana.

In the second half of the 20th century, changes also began in the interior of the houses. The large fireplaces, once used for fireplaces, now began to turn into smaller, better hygienic kitchens. The cooking is already made with cast iron stoves produced in the country's mechanical plants. These sticks were shortened to white to give aesthetic appearance. The tubes were of a jar and likewise, they were shortened with the tongs. Little by little the rubbish had begun, as the rooms were covered with cement or tiles. Some families, on the floor of the cement, laid on the back of the cloth (the carpets were worn on thin cloth belts). The place of the sofas after the 1960s occupied the tables. For the sake began to build minders that played the role of today's couches. Minder building was simple and cost-free, as only boards and rails were used. Above were sprinkles of squeak, first filled with grass and later with cotton or mutton. The cover was prefabricated by damask (a thick piece used for sofa dressing today).The cushions were pillows that were above mindere and were supported on the wall. The pillows of the pillows were worked on the handle. The barn's place, once used in the fireplaces, sealed two-fold breadcases, partly made of wire mesh. There they placed plates, spoons, forks, aluminum or plastic sticks, glasses of various sizes, whether aluminum or glass. Shelf shelves were spreading papers that adorned them by scissors in various shapes. The sergiens disappeared, where the cooking and dining utensils were placed (trays, pots, dishes, etc.). Families with the best economic condition began to use small buffets that replaced the two folding shelves. After the 1960s, XX in salons (indoor corridors), or cooking chambers, did not look at any of the other containers filled with water and covered with long cloth towels, loosened in the pail. This happened because in all the villages of the Tirana district, most of the water was introduced into the yards and in some cases also in the sink, installed in the kitchen. Previous dishes (copper or tinplate) were moved outdoors, in exterior environments, or at the front of the facades of houses.

The guest room began to be called the "waiting room". Generally, the chimney area began to occupy the heating stoves that were simply tinned. Wrought-iron carpets were worn on the floorboard or cement floor. More like carpets worked at the Kruja Artistic Company. Usually they were of 3x4 m dimensions, with ornaments of different colors and cost nearly three salaries of a clerk. Minder's pillows were worn with silk, decorated with embroidered lace and crocheted lace. They were all constructed with tire belts that played the role of the systems to create a tenderness compared to the boards. The belts were made with car kamardare. In the late 1970s, upholstery was used.

After the April 1967, when all of Albania was electrified, as in all the villages of Albania and in the villages of Tirana, the place of the lamps and kerosene lamps took the electric lamps. The first radios that were dumped in the outside salon were purchased and their volume rose to listen to the neighbors and part of the neighborhood, as the radios were rare. In the waiting rooms in the different villages were also entered the great buffets, where they placed the glasses and the buffalo shelves adorned with crocheted tatters by the women and girls of the family. Even the windows of the rooms began to decorate them with small crocheted curtains. Later, they began to use long curtains to the floor made of chalk or pewter, embellished with embroidery.

After the 1970s almost all the villages of the district of Tirana entered the first refrigerators (which were issued with authorization). But surprisingly, they were not placed in the living room where family members spent all the time, but in the waiting rooms by treating them as an object of decoration, but also to show that this family had a figorific ring that envied the visitors and family friends. Around 1972, the first black and white televisions were added to Durrës, but were very rare and were given with authorization. Though the TV set was in the waiting room for the same reason and the large number of friends or neighbors coming to watch the TV's several TV programs. On the walls of the dwellings in the villages of Prezë, Dajti, Petrelë, etc., besides the booths with family photographs, paintings were also set up (mainly by provincial painters) and the walled gangs of women.

Banese e Sal Dacit Palaq 100 vjecare

Bujar Alushi 70 vjecare perdhese Palaq

Figure 5. Dwelled housing in Dajt village built after 1950. (Photo taken by Manjola Xhaferri in 2017).

Figure 6. Housing built in 1960 in the village of Prezes. (Photo taken by Manjola Xhaferri in 2017).

5. New Developments in the Architecture of the Apartment After the 90s of the 20th Century

After the 1990s of the 20th century for the construction of houses, cement blocks began to be used, especially from low-income households.The blocks cost cheaper compared to bricks and the timing of house construction was shorter. In addition to the traditional tiles after the 1990s, imported tile began to be used, which were more quality and with different colors. 3-4-storey buildings after the '90s were made up of the most popular and built by family members who had their immigrant children in European countries, mainly in Italy, Greece, England and so on. Many villa models were brought up from the places where these immigrants reside, who have been trying to bring styles of modern housing to the lives of residents. Personal car garages (family cars) that were previously unknown were also added.

From the traces it is noticed that in almost all the villages of the district of Tirana, there is a profound transformation of the housing construction, where are seen the beautiful villas built with two, three but four floors with well-arranged yards and a variety of flowers, trees and green areas. It can be said that today in the landscape of the villages of Tirana such as Dajti, Prezë, Petrelëetc, dominate modern houses and villas with well-regulated surrounding environments.

After the 90s, the waiting rooms underwent profound changes. They were removed to give ample space to sofa-angles or sofa sets and mid-table.

Window varnish began to be used in various colors, later combined with thick curtains. Year after year, the decoration changed, wearing the entire wall of the wall where the window was (placed on the rails). Again they were returned to wooden holders, double curtains etc., and in special households with good economic nilvet were placed minibars [4]. Plank parquet was used mainly in the waiting rooms and at the same time began to be fitted with carpets of different sizes and colors which were imported goods from the countries of the East, such as Turkey, China etc. If in the period up to the beginning of the 20th century the guest rooms were used mainly for sleeping, in the 90's of this century, they only functioned for the reception of friends.It should be said that the reception rooms had the same attention and care as in previous periods.

Large changes also occurred in the sleeping quarters. In the past periods, the chambers were not paying much attention and their furniture was very scarce, mostly dumped in the interior of the wall, where sleeping garments came in, or in some cases could find any syndrome of a size different. After the 60s and 70s, the chambers began to change like other chambers. After 1965, wooden furniture for the first time went to work in woodworking companies. After the nineties, import furniture was ordered, but at the same time began to be produced in Albania by private firms dealing with furniture design. I would like to mention here, mainly the Niklë area, the Dajti area, the Balldushku area etc., which continue to work intensively to meet local and wider needs.

After the 1960s, the yard changed in appearance. The organization of the yard after the second half of the 20th century played a role in the collectivization of agriculture, including the swarming of livestock.

This changed the structure of the yard, after the number of livestock decreased, or their keeping was stopped.

Thus the yard was cleansed by cattle huts, but also by agricultural tools. This was the first change in the yard, where the families began to attach importance to their siege with stone and tulle and later with blocks. In the 1980s, we started encircling large concrete slabs, which were confined to concrete slabs. If, before the 50s of the 20th century, in many of the countryside the courtyards were unobserved, especially those in the Tirana Highland area, in the 1970s, almost all village, mountain, hilly and plain families began to build surrounding walls and partitions that created some privacy (intimacy).Other changes were also displayed in the courtyards of the apartment after decorative walls were worn with marble or clay tiles, especially those families that had built beautiful villas, according to western style of construction. This was done in all the families that had children in emigration and the income was many times more abundant. In addition to the siege of the yards, attention was paid to the decoration of the rooms in the yard, placing flowers and greenery. In addition, citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, mandarins) were planted, which were missing in these areas. Vineyards in the vines also began to spread widely. Many family members also raised metal skeletons, pipes and grate, over which they vomited the vines from the gate to the door of the house, creating a "tunnel"that also served as a shadow in the spring and summer seasons. With the construction of new homes, after the 1990s, especially after the beginning of the 21st century, migrants brought the spirit of visible transformations into the environments of the yards.Ornate grass, ornamental trees, various plants for planting different flowers that were not known in the area, decorative lights, etc., are evidence of these colossal changes that are taking place in the villages of all Albania. Not only that, in the courtyards of some houses, there were also playgrounds for children who turned the yard into an entertaining environment for children but also for other family members. According to field surveys, I can say with conviction that residents of the district of Tirana, after the 90s, have a much higher standard of living than in the previous period.

Figure 7. Housing built after the 1990s in the village of Petrele. (Photo taken by Manjola Xhaferri in 2017).

Figure 8. Housing built after the 1990s in the village of Preze. (Photo taken by Manjola Xhaferri in 2017).

Figure 9. Housing built in 2017 in the village of Dajt. (Photo taken by Manjola Xhaferri in 2017).

6. Conclusions

The architecture of the Tirana apartment starts from the earliest stages of its construction with fireplaces along the floors in "Elbasance"dwellings and after the 90s, flats of the "villa"type. Traditional apartment transformations began in the 1950s, with a very different pattern from the previous type. This model was represented by a one storey home which became the main building block in the district of Tirana after the 1970s. The bungalows began replacing the two-stone stone towers. And today these houses are not few in different villages of Tirana. After the 90s, 3-4-storey buildings became the most preferred and were built more by family members who had their immigrant children in European countries, mainly in Italy, Greece, England and so on. Significant changes were observed especially in terms of furnishing these flats. We have a total transformation starting from the sitting room and ending in the guest rooms. Tirana flats became a modern model of housing that raised the standard of living of the inhabitants of this district in particular and all of Albania in general.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this article.

Copyright

© 2017 by the authors. Licensee International Technology and Science Press Limited. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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