Terminal for Tirana, Tirana, Albania

阿爾巴尼亞 地拉那航廈

Karolina Halatek

The permanent installation Terminal in Tirana is an immersive light sculpture by contemporary artist Karolina Halatek in the public space of Tirana. This site-specific installation draws inspiration from the profound recollections of patients experiencing near-death experiences (NDEs), creating thus a space where art, spirituality, and science intersect. Terminal for Tirana offers a contemplative space where visitors can experience a sense of euphoria, peace, and the feeling of transcending physical boundaries.



Halatek's brilliant sculpture is composed primarily of a single polyethylene cylinder of 6m by 3m diameter, illuminated from within by solar-powered LED neons. This tunnel of light invites visitors to step into an otherworldly experience, reminiscent of those reported in NDEs - a journey through a dark tunnel towards an enveloping, radiant light. The artwork finds its roots in echoing common experiences recorded in the databases of the Near-Death Research Foundation (NDRF), adding a profound exploration of human consciousness and mortality to the stunning visual spectacle. Accessible from both sides the installation, placed as a crown jewel, invites viewers to immerse themselves in the transformative power of light, offering a glimpse into what might lie at the threshold of life. It is a reminder of the eternal continuity in the world of light, urging the audience to reflect on our existence and the universe's boundless mysteries.


該裝置由直徑 63 公尺的聚乙烯圓柱體所構成,兩側皆可進入,內部設有太陽能 LED 霓虹燈,使其成為一條光之隧道;當人們漫步其中,強烈的白光將人籠罩,營造猶如靈魂歸天之感受,引領人進入另一世界,繼而窺見生命盡頭的模樣;如此場景亦與瀕死研究基金會記錄中,常見之臨死經歷如出一轍。

Situated at the entrance of the University Hospital Center Mother Teresa, Tirana, the work gains an added layer of significance. The light of the artwork then takes the essence of a lighthouse, guiding wandering souls toward a moment of presence and inner peace. While analyzing the location, the presence of three relevant elements for the site were identified: First, the trees and vegetation already present. Second, the curved wall/door to the north of the site. Third, the pedestrian sidewalk. The landscape on which the artwork is placed presents itself as a playful group of circular shapes of varying sizes, spanning from the curved wall element, until the parking of the hospital to the south, like an archipelago in between a surface of natural grass. The principal aim is to minimize the impact on the surrounding presence of nature, by not only preserving all of the trees, plants, and vegetation already present on the site; but also by adding to the surface of grass-covered space in this small urban environment. The sidewalk is split into two paths: one remaining straightforward and functionally quick through the space, while the other takes a more indirect flow towards encountering the artwork which lies at the center of the site.  By moderately shaping the topography while keeping in mind the ergonomics of the human body, this small space previously used exclusively for transit becomes a possible location for a moment of peace. Removing surrounding clutter and lightly elevating the artwork from the ground gives it a more dominant role in the nearby visual landscape. 



Terminal for Tirana presents the possibility of more intimate spaces of pause and intimacy in an urban setting characterized by troublesome moments and difficult emotions. It reaches further than an art installation; it is a meditation on life, death, and the persistence of consciousness, resonating with those contemplating life's fragility and the mysteries beyond.



Artist:  Karolina Halatek

Principal ArchitectsApparat Studio

Landscape architectElian Stefa

CuratorAdela Demetja 

Managing InstitutionTirana Art Lab – Center for Contemporary Art

Principal Materials: Polythene,LEDaluminum

LocationTirana, Albania

PhotosIlir Tsouko

TextKarolina Halatek

CollectChloe Su






管理機構: 地拉那藝術實驗室—當代藝術中心






Karolina Halatek
Karolina Halatek studied Design for Performance at the University of the Arts London, Great Britain,
Fine Arts at the Universität der Künste Berlin, Germany and Media Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland. During her studies in Berlin, she participated in workshops at the Institut für Raumexperimente run by Olafur Eliasson. Using light as the central medium in her work, Karolina Halatek creates experiential site-specific spaces that incorporate visual, architectural and sculptural elements. Seeing her work primarily as a catalyst for experience, Karolina creates installations that have immersive characteristics, often the result of collaborations with quantum physicists, founders of the superstring theory (Leonard Susskind, Roger Penrose, Carlo Rovelli) and precision mechanical engineers. Karolina is interested in experiences that extend to the edge of human knowledge,
seeking a visual language to evoke feelings and emotions of virtually unknown phenomena.