Finalists’ Gallery

Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects (Finland)

with Geometria Architecture Ltd, doxiadis+, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Sitowise and Nikolai Paukkonen


“The sight of high Phaeacia soon we lost,

And skimm’d along Epirus’ rocky coast.
Then to Chaonia’s port our course we bend,
And, landed, to Buthrotum’s heights ascend.”

–The Aeneid, by Virgil

The architecture of the Visitor Center, its form language, is an echo of the description in the Aeneid epic of the ancient city of Buthrotum, now Butrint. The symbol of the Visitor Centre is the ancient ornamental pattern called Meander, which is reproduced in, for example, ancient pottery. The Visitor Center’s heavy, thick stone walls anchor the building in its place, forming the beginning of the Meander ‘spiral’ and eventually rising slightly higher to become a built highlight of the landscape.

The purpose of the Visitor Center is to provide visitors to the area with functional and multifunctional facilities that support the activities of the area: the excavation area, the ancient city, nature, and other leisure activities.