The Concrete Mushrooms Book

Concrete Mushrooms is an initiative started by Elian Stefa and Gyler Mydyti. The research studies the history of Albania, focusing on the reasons for building hundreds of thousands of bunkers all over the country during Hoxha regime to prevent possible external invasions. The book follows with stories of how the people of Albania nowadays coexists with the bunkers; how and why have they appropriated them, and how do they use them today.

This manual does not aim to defend or protect all of our inherited bunkers. Instead it hopes to bring a new point of view. Its mission is firstly as a conceptual proposal, to initiate debate on the role that the bunkers have had and still have in contemporary society; and secondly, as a practical manual for reuse, providing models illustrated by details, and a shopping list with expenditures.

In this way, this book comes as an invitation to expand the frontiers of freedom. It does not state that in today’s existence there is nothing ugly, evil, bloody, dangerous to both the destinies of the global and the individual; but it suggests that man has the power, through the grotesque and the absurd drama of the past, to cultivate a sense of humour to ease a wounded memory.

Elian Stefa & Gyler Mydyti

Niku Alex Mucaj
Alicja Dobrucka
Olia Miho
Vera Sacchetti




Exhibited at the Albanian Pavilion
13th Venice Architecture Biennale

photography by dpr-barcelona