Dorina Papa

XXX Cycle - (A.A. 2014-2015)

Home Institution: Polis University Tirana
Scholarship (bound research topic)
Curriculum: Architecture (ICAR14)
Research Topic: Historic city image
Tutor DA-UNIFE: Pietromaria Davoli
Tutor Polis University: Loris Rossi
Nationality: Albanian




Dorina Papa born in Durrazzo in 1983, is an architect and researcher interesed in aesthetic and visual perception aspects of architecture and urban design. She graduated at “Gabrielle D’ Annunzio” University of Chieti-Pescara in 2007 with a design thesis on the recuperation and transformation of urban voids in the historic medina of Tripoli, Libia. After graduation she worked for several years as expert in Cartography and GIS in Local Government Institution. Meanwhile, she worked as architect assistant collaborating with local architecture firms. In 2012, she conducted Master studies in Urban Landscape design at Polis University, and started her activity as teaching assistent, participating also in numerous national and international competitions, as well as research and development projects. In 2014 she starts her PhD studies at Polis University where is currently completing her dissertation around the safeguard of the historic urban landscape considered as an emergency in Albanian context.

Research skills
Urban morphology | historic city image | urban landscape | architecture | urban visual complexity

Scientific activities



Doctoral research

Visual perception of the historic city image. Un urban landscape approach to integrate the residual margins of the historic area. Gjirokastra case study.

This thesis investigates the integrity of the historic city image and the possibility to extend this quality to the fragile margins of the historic area in order to achieve a historical urban landscape as a whole and to guarantee visual sustainability as an important component of historical urban development. In Albanian context, numerous historic cities have undergone a process of decay of the historic urban landscape due to intervention in the margins not posed in harmony with the historical centre. This decay provokes disorientation and distress to people at a psychological level, causing a lack of interest for the visual frame of the traditional area and provoking a cognitive dissonance or rejection towards it. In this conditions, the aim of this research is to determine a series of constants that characterize the historical city image which will constitute the parameters of evaluation of its visual sustainability and will be used as tools for new interventions in the residual margins. Taking as a case study the historic centre of Gjirokastra, in Albania, the research will focus on understanding and represent at an urban scale the synthesis of Gjirokastra image. These synthetic representations constitute the basis for the guidelines and recommendations for adjusting interventions in the residual area around the historical centre. They can be further used as a design tool to transmit the visual quality in new design projects.

historic urban landscape | visual sustainability | decayed margins | city image | urban morphology