NOTE! This site uses cookies and similar technologies.

If you not change browser settings, you agree to it.

I understand
Slide item 1

Bank of Albania (1936-38): monumental Italian rationalism

Photo: Municipality of Tirana Archive

Slide item 2

Historical photograph: Bank of Albania

Photo: Municipality of Tirana Archive

Bank of Albania

A monumental bank building in the heart of Tirana

The Bank of Albania is situated in the centre of Tirana, on the west side of Scanderbeg Square. Designed by the architect Vittorio Ballio Morpurgo in 1936 and built by the Staccioli & Fortuzi company under engineer Cipriani, the building was inaugurated on 30 October 1938.

Inspired by a monumental rationalism

The building was inspired by a rationalist style, which was flourishing in Europe and in much of Italy at that time. Large volumes and linearity aimed at expressing the strength of the government. The semi-circular main façade faces the Scanderbeg Square. Monumentality is achieved by immense volumes and the imposing entrance door decorated with terracotta bas-reliefs.

The first draft layout was designed as a polygon divided in two parts with two functions: a main body with a representative function, and second body with an operational function. In the 1940s, both parts were supposed to be joined, but because of WWII, the construction work was interrupted and the project never completed. The round hall is embellished by a huge mosaic by the Italian artist Giulio Rosso in 1939.

77 years later…

The building was restored and partially transformed, while conserving the overall concept of the original composition. 77 years after its first inauguration, the newly restored building was again inaugurated on 30 October 2015, a symbolical date coinciding with the opening of the Museum of the Bank of Albania.