Square at the Palace of Culture “Boris Christoff” in Plovdiv

How did we see the place? As a border space – between the mundane and the festive, the tranquil and the intense, the private and the public, the small houses and large public building. As a surreal space – in which coexist seemingly incompatible things. As a pulsing space – in which everyday activities are followed by cultural events.

That’s why we asked the people with what they associate attending such events. And the answers were: breaking away from reality; going in another space; feast; distant world; strong but short sensations.

The project emphasises the identity of the place at the Palace of Culture by materialising its surreal nature. The place is transformed into a recognisable urban space on the verge of illusion and reality. Here the usual becomes unusual, the domestic becomes public, the mundane becomes festive, and vice versa.

And so in the public space along with the typically urban elements (bus stop, retail pavilion, and advertising column) emerge home furniture and theatre chandeliers. The square is traversed by a street, and cars pass by the table and under the chandelier. In daytime, in the triangular island one could have a bite on the sofa in the lunch break, or take their laptop and work in open air. At night, under a canopy of light, one could meet friends, have a drink, or attend a cultural event.

Every single proposed element is subordinate to the idea of finding yourself in an absurd situation of another reality. The square is covered with asphalt, and the street is sett paved. Surprisingly, the soft furniture is hard, and all elements seem cast from the same material in an unusual and illusive colour.

The proposed approach fosters the community engagement with the development and flexible use of urban environment. For example, the space could be personalised with personal furniture literally taken from someone’s attic, weather-proofed, and let out for public use.

  • Authors:
    Atelier 3: Miroslav Velkov, Donika Georgieva, Georgi Kunchev, Dessislava Kovacheva
  • Collaborators:
    Konstantin Velinov (structural engineer)
  • Year: 2014-2015
  • Client: Plovdiv Municipality
  • Status: competition
  • Status:
  • Website: http://edno.bg/en/blog/atelier3