VON LENTHE, Jonas
Responding to Particular Needs at a Precise Moment
In Responding to Particular Needs at a Precise Moment photographer Jonas von Lenthe examines the architecture of the Albanian capital, Tirana. He photographs the large housing estates that were built after the socialist era and which the inhabitants have made their own by developing balconies and altering the facades, as well as new buildings that do not seem to be geared to national planning models. Illegal greenfield construction is standard practice in some post-socialist societies as a means to clarify the rights of ownership in favour of the people who have granted themselves tenure of the land. Once a house has been built, it cannot be torn down and the design is no longer up for discussion. Lenthe’s photographs show, among other things, forms of “unauthorized” building in Albania. His pictures are supplemented and contextualized by photographic archive material from the 1950s and 1960s as well as short interviews with architects Simon Battisti, Ledian Bregasi, and Dritan Mico.