ANA Residential Center, Albania

The extraordinary Magnet Residential Center and the great partnership with STUDIO Libeskind and KONTAKT, the Albanian company in charge of the construction works, has also given rise to an additional important result: the same products have been used to build ANA, another residential complex in Tirana, Albania.

In this case, the project has been designed by the International Architecture Studio CITYFOERSTER based in Rotterdam (Netherlands) and includes four buildings with very comfortable apartments, public and commercial spaces, parking, and storage solutions.

Both HeidelbergCement subsidiaries ‑ Italcementi (Italy) and Devnya Cement (Bulgaria) ‑ were material suppliers for Magnet and ANA. The solution adopted is ideal – as COAT ensures self-cleaning and de-polluting properties, thus guaranteeing a unique surface finishing and outstanding aesthetic quality. Moreover, it is also an excellent choice from the economic point of view: the complex shape of the building made the use of precast elements for the façade cladding very difficult and expensive, so that the use of COAT applied on a precast substrate (AQUAPANEL by Knauf) proved an innovative and efficient solution. This also made it possible to create different surface finishes as designed by architect Libeskind, in order to generate contrast between the façade and the balconies.

The use of photocatalytic cementitious materials – like those used in the Magnet and ANA project - helps improve the air quality in urban centers thanks to their de-polluting effect. In addition, they reduce the need of maintenance on buildings thanks to the "anti-staining" effect, which prevent surfaces becoming dirty. Further, these coatings can be important in reducing the ‘heat island effect’ – making for cool surfaces and lower temperatures even during the hottest periods of the year. As a final result, the temperature of the building is lower and indoor conditions more comfortable.

The concrete used for the external pavements, pedestrian paths, and surrounding gardens is i.idro DRAIN – an innovative ready-to-use pervious concrete for the construction of pavements. i.irdro DRAIN is characterised by an extremely high draining capacity which improves pavement safety: less water streaming, less aquaplaning, and less ice during the winter. It also increases the albedo effect significantly ‑ the heat perceived when people walk over it. Moreover, it contributes to the projects LEED points for the LEED certification. For this special project, a dedicated mix was developed and applied together by KONTAKT, Italcementi and Devnya Cement, as well as Eurotech.