During 2017 CHwB Albania, with the support of Swedish Government, implemented a set of emergency interventions in the former Prison of Spaç. These interventions were were an absolute necessity after more than 20 years of abandonment, deterioration and continuous damages caused to the building and landscape.
The goals of these interventions were:
- Preserving the buildings as an important evidence of the site.
- Increasing visitor’s safety.
- Helping the future process of interpretation by creating a clearer idea of how the ruins used to work through careful cleaning of the debris.
- Contribute to the increase of attention given to the former Prison of Spaç as a site that needs to be preserved and used for the education of the future generations.
Physical interventions that were carried out through this project were:
- Cleaning and hydro-insulating the terraces
The insulation of the terraces of the 9 buildings still standing was in very poor condition. Rain water entering the building structure was one of the main cause of the deterioration of the buildings.the remaining layers of insulation were carefully removed, the terraces were cleaned and then a new insulation layer was applied.
- Stabilizing damaged structures
Some of the buildings of the former Spaç Prison were facing serious structural problems. An stabilizing interventions was absolutely necessary in order to preserve the buildings and to increase the safety of the visitors of the site. Scaffolding-like propping structures were chosen for their static role, but also as they do not damage any of the writings on the walls made by prisoners, nor the communist slogans painted in the facades. Another advantage of these structures is that they can be easily removed, if needed,in case of the implementation of another future intervention.
- Cleaning and organizing the ruins
Part of the buildings of the former prison have collapsed entirely, while archival material describing how the prison used to work are missing, making it very difficult for visitors and researchers to understand the site. In order to tackle this issue part of the ruins were cleaned manually and part of the found material was carefully deposited, in order to understand as much as possible from their previous function.
Full hydro-isolation of the flat roofs of the buildings to protect the structures underneath.
Careful cleaning and reorganizing the ruins in order to understand better the site.
Stabilization of the damaged structures of the prisoners cafeteria and dormitories.