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MRC supports the International Union of Architects statement of solidarity with Ukraine


Butrint National Park Visitor Center



  • Winner Kengo Kuma & Associates (Japan)
  • Lahdelma & Mahlamäki (Finland)
  • Runner Up Philippe PROST / AAPP (France)
  • William Matthews Associates (UK)

Butrint, which is close to the modern city of Saranda and overlooks the Straits of Corfu, is the most significant archaeological site in Albania. Recognized for millennia as an inspirational place, Butrint has exceptional cultural resonance, and visual appeal, which comes from its rare combination of monuments within an unspoilt and spectacular natural setting.

Notable ruins within the Park include the surviving Epirot Theatre, Roman Forum and early Byzantine Baptistery, along with other Hellenic, Roman, Byzantine, Angevin, Venetian and Ottoman monuments.

MRC’s competition crystallized the brief for a carbon-neutral visitor center with charismatic yet practical architecture that related to the inspirational cultural and natural setting while respecting the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The new center will welcome visitors and serve as an educational forum and community-gathering place. It is also intended to be a gateway to the wider National Park and will help manage rising visitor numbers the site now attracts.

A jury of local and international experts, including the Minister of Culture, selected Kengo Kuma & Associates (KKAA) as the competition winners. The Tokyo and Paris-based firm was praised for its sensitive engagement with Albania’s vernacular architecture, reinterpreting the traditional cross wood structure found in the south of the country.

The new visitor center is due to open in September 2025.

The competition jury said:

‘Kengo Kuma’s design is global in projecting a universal timeless serenity but with naturalness that is utterly site specific. It has the potential to become an icon, and we congratulate the team on their vision’.