We are very happy that our entry for the International Design Competition in Berat, Albania is awarded with a second prize. For this project we collaborated with UNESCO-IHE and Polis University.
A DROUGHT & FLOOD RESILIENT FUTURE FOR BERAT
The seasonal variability in discharge of the Osum river is large: during summer the river’s baseflow barely sustains a small stream while in spring the steep river basin can significant floods. Thus, coping with such extremes requires a design that can accommodate periods of drought as well as abundance of water while ensuring value and use to the city of Berat.
These observations change the focus of the task. The issue is not only how to make Berat’s islands more resilient high water, but maybe more importantly, how to maintain the river during summer and early autumn when water levels barely sustain a stream and the riverbed is dominated by sandbanks covered with low quality vegetation and deposited litter.
The outcome is therefore to develop Berat’s river islands as resilient systems, able to cope with the hydrologic conditions from all seasons. To make the Berat islands both flood and drought resilient; to be able to cope with extremes. Yet the issue most of all is to develop an active use of the river and to reestablish the connection between Berat, the Osum river and the neglected sandbanks that are currently part of its facade.