The Albanian Prime Minister’s office is a building that has remained closed to the public ever since it was built, regardless of the political system. The Center for Openness and Dialogue, or COD, is about opening up, taking away the fence. It offers the Prime Minister’s archive to the citizens, and inhabits the ground floor of the building with an intense series of spaces and in situ artworks: a canopy, a public foyer and exhibition hall, a press room and auditorium, a public library and presentation space plus a meeting room and working space.

The reconversion challenges the authoritarian architecture of the past with an ambivalent atmosphere, a flexible and open mode of use. In the main entrance hall, the existing ceiling is laid bare and transformed into a fully equipped technical framework, complemented with a set of large, movable green velvet curtains creating a powerful background for exhibitions as well as official events. Further on, a wooden auditorium shaped as a detached wooden box cuts through an existing room, providing on one side an intimate and secluded environment while the other side opens up towards the corridor to allow visitors to enter spontaneously. On the opposite side of the corridor, a public library and presentation space is organized by a rhythmic sequence of curtains, allowing to change the space either into a series of small cabinets or into one single hall. Mixing wool and industrial lace, the curtains, together with a wooden carpet, embody and challenge the domestic and public dimension of the COD.p>

public archives and exhibition space
entrance hall
reading room