The new building and its museographic project open a new generation of contemporary museums in Albania, which not only aims to restore and protect the Albanian cultural heritage, but also to work as an attraction pole for local and foreign visitors alike in order to spread locally and internationally the richness of the Albanian Culture.
The new museum hosts the Marubi’s dynasty legacy that includes negatives, historical pictures and photographic objects and cameras belonging to three generations of photographers (from 1856 till 1952), as well as half million negatives from other Albanese photographers such as Shan Pici, Dedë Jakova o Pjetër Raboshta.
Dialogue between tradition and modernity
The selected design for the Marubi Museum developed by Casanova+Hernandez architects aims to promote a rich dialogue between tradition and modernity, between the past and the present. The legacy of the tradition is underlined by restoring the historical building designed by the famous Albanian painter, sculptor, photographer and architect born in Shkodër, Kolë Idromeno, while preserving its spatial and structural qualities without any volume transformation or new interior partitions. Conceptually, Idromeno’s building becomes an important “object” of the exhibition to be shown, contemplated and visited.
A modern image associated to the new museographic program is achieved by installing five “functional boxes”, which are prefabricated and detached from the original building, working as pieces of furniture or sculptural elements. Tradition and modernity establish a dialogue in every corner of the building. At the exterior of the museum, a showcase element works as a landmark that indicates the museum entrance; in the interior of the building, the original windows and spatial qualities of the building dialogue with the exhibition boxes; and in the courtyard, the old building coexists with a new modern and sculptural back facade.
Interactive Chrono-Thematic exhibition
The exterior side of the functional boxes located on the first floor of the museum presents a chronological exhibition, which is intertwined with the thematic exhibition exhibited inside them. The chronological exhibition shows the life and achievements of the Marubi’s dynasty with texts, historical pictures, videos and objects organized around the biography of the three members of the Marubi’s dynasty. This information is put into context together with the history and culture of Albania and the city of Shkodër, thus acquiring an important didactic dimension.
The thematic exhibition complements the chronological exhibition by stimulating a multisensory experience that makes the visitor interact with the space and with the devices of the three thematic rooms. These rooms show three phases of the traditional photographic process presented inside the ideal reconstruction of the historical spaces where this process took place: the photo-studio of Pjëter Marubi “Driteshkronja”, the darkroom of Kel Marubi and the Gegë Marubi’s archive.
The modern image of the museum is based on an abstract pattern, which is inspired by the geometry of the aperture of the photographic camera that opens and closes to control the light. This abstract pattern is used to design the structural layout of the five exhibition boxes installed in the building, while at the same time integrates a complete and versatile exhibition system that includes frames to exhibit photos and documents, showcases for objects and video screens for slide-shows and short movies.