Albania's Concrete Mushrooms

SUBHEAD: Talk about recycling. The old Soviet era military bunker system in Albania is being transformed into civilian architecture. Image above: A concrete bunker in Albania with a drop-dead gorgeous view. From By Lloyd Altar on 14 May 2010 in - ( Albania's Enver Hoxha ruled from 1945 to 1985 and towards the end made North Korea's Kim Jong-il look normal. Being a bit paranoid, he constructed an extraordinary three quarters of a million mushroom-shaped bunkers. That presents a lot of opportunity for creative repurposing and reuse.

Fabrizio Gallanti of Abitare shows some of the more interesting ones; some have been turned into restaurants, used for making wine, and even a sustainable eco-resort.

There is even a non-profit organization dedicated to their preservation and adaptation - Concrete Mushrooms.

The purpose of Concrete Mushrooms is to understand and develop the bunkers as assets for Albania. The founding principles of the project are: 1. A critical approach to these bunkers as symbols of xenophobia in order to invert their meaning and change then into symbols of hospitality. 2. The preservation of the bunkers in terms of their link to the memory of an important period of the Albanian history. 3. The recognition of the bunkers as a resource instead of as a burden. 4. The promotion of a sustainable eco-touristic sector in Albania. Image above: A concrete bunker hotel room in Albania with a drop-dead gorgeous view. From By Desh on 22 October 2010 in - ( Two Albanian graduate students of Politecneco di Milano, Elian Stefa and Gyler Mydyti, under the guidance of architect Stefano Boeri, hit upon an idea to convert the deserted bunkers across Albania into appreciable tourist destinations. The transformation will allow trekkers a shelter in the shape of these hostels, dubbed as Concrete Mushrooms. Other possible transformations include info points, kiosks, gift shops and cafes. Well, while it will promote eco-tourism, it lets the dwellers peep into the glorious past of Albania. Thus, the project involving the rejuvenation of 750,000 abandoned concrete bunkers aims to preserve the Albanian history via these memoirs. Video above: Concrete Mushrooms Preview - Albania's 750,000 inherited bunkers. From ( .

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