Bologna Shoah Memorial

Bologna Shoah Memorial

The design idea explores the process of constant transmission of memory from person to person being the strongest force of keeping it alive.

In an era of vast accumulated information the proposal seeks to introduce a new form of memorial – not an introverted monument but a place in a dialogue with the society; not a framed window towards the past but a personal journey of discovery to new values of new generations; not a still interpretation of the facts but a reflection of the act of keeping the memory of the Shoah alive.

The memorial aims at prompting ongoing personal response to the concept of memory, which transmits the everlasting message to each generation to come: pass the memory on to keep it alive! The memorial honours all those who shared their memories of the Shoah in diaries, letters, memoirs, narratives, and
thus kept the memory alive.

 

Goryani Memorial

Goryani Memorial

The architectural concept for the memorial aims to create a communicative space, which honours the perished goryani and bring the following generations closer to their unbreakable spirit. The concept is developed based on the historical events related to the Goryani Movement in Kresna in 1947-1948.

The squad of Gerasim Todorov was one of the many in the armed resistance against the Communist government in mid-20th century. The squad was formed in the spring of 1947 mainly aiming “to work among the people and protect the Bulgarian spirit” in Pirin Macedonia. In the beginning of 1948 the squad consisted of 42 men. In a protest letter Gerasim Todorov openly stated: ‘Better glorious death than life in disgrace’. The men left their homes and started an illegal life in the woods. They were called goryani (lit. ‘men from the forest’). They swore ‘…to the Bulgarian people to struggle for its liberation so that liberty and democracy in the motherland should triumph…’. In March 1948 the Blagoevgrad militia started a mass armed action. According to the official archives, during the action were killed seven men, 31 were arrested, and only four escaped the blockade. But the goryani were not forgotten.

The memorial is formed by stone pillars – interpretation of tree trunks in the forest. The life of the goryani was taken but their faith in liberty and democracy still lives. The stone forest keeps the memory of the people – of each father, brother, husband, relative – their names are cut into the stone elements. The memorial is situated as an integral part of the green areas, among the trees at the town square in Kresna.

Peru London Pavilion

Peru London Pavilion

The progressive ideas of user experience require a new concept of promotion. A concept that is associative and interactive. Responding to that global demand, the project is inspired by the people of Peru. And it aims at creating a communicative, open and flexible presentation system (rather than a fixed composition) for the Peru Pavilion.

The pavilion system is composed of two main components that reveal two of the most significant interactions between the Peruvians and their unique nature. The stone-cutting and the stunning masonries reveal the interaction between the man and the non-living nature. It inspired the development of a solid component – “a stone”. The interpretation conveys the messages of rigidity along with the perfect fit of the multiple faces of Peru. The interaction between the man and the living nature gives birth to the colourful Peruvian textiles. They inspired the creation of a vibrant/soft component – “quipu”. The proposed interpretation conveys the messages of the multi-coloured living culture of Peru and the transmission of information through quipu codes. The vibrant reds, intense purples, bright greens, saturate blues of the quipus contrast with the smooth white of the interlocking “stone” elements.

The proposed system is easily adaptable to various spaces while at the same time keeping the visual identity and the guiding messages of the design. The two key components allow numerous functional alternatives as they can create different and dynamic spaces. Moreover, each component is capable to serve for varied functions or combination of functions. For example, each co-exhibitor counter serves also as a private storage. Or the seating elements in the dressing room could also serve as storage for shoes.

In the context of increasing demand for bilateral communication the pavilion design suggests innovative interactive model allowing the public to perceive Peru through action. Visitor can try weaving a textile piece, or leave a message encoded by the quipu knots, or assemble seating pieces into a perfect fit masonry. Why not also take part in real-time Peruvian cooking or take a glimpse at the traditional costumes in the dressing room?

reSite Prague: The Story-teller River

reSite Prague: The Story-teller River

The Storyteller River is a project proposal for the Skanska: Bridging Prague international competition organised by reSITE and ARCHIP in 2012. The scope of the competition was the section of Vltava that passes through the UNESCO-listed historic core of Prague but also through the post-industrial landscape to the North. The aim was to develop a Vision Plan that creates a unified experience linking cultural, recreational, ecological, historical and economic opportunities. Besides, competitors had to propose human-scaled site design/site intervention at a conceptual level within the frameworks of the Vision Plan. The project was selected among the 18 finalists out of 120 entries.

The history of Prague reveals the strong role of Vltava for the city development and specific bonds with its citizens. The historical processes have left their marks along the river forming various strips – public spaces with their own identity in terms of morphology, functions, tangible and intangible cultural traces. They reveal the development tendencies along the river: from the close everyday communication of people with its waters and banks as natural sources of food and living, through alienation caused by reinforcement, sanitation and industrialisation, towards gradual returning of people to the river banks in search of recreation and reconnection with the nature.

The Vision Plan follows these tendencies stimulating the communication of the people with the river and giving Vltava a floor to reveal its numerous faces and tell various stories. Thus the plan aims at restoring the broken connection between the urbanised areas and the river, between people and water. The plan is an open strategy for new functions and structures that not only reveal and interpret history but also add new significance of the public spaces along Vltava for the people of today. In the basis of the plan stand three key urbanistic aspects – culture, recreation, and transport, which interweave and interact in an unusual, unexpected and even provocative way. The approach towards the river context combines three key principles: respect to the specific place with its identity; restoration of the ecological balance and reuse of industrial sites and structures; design and materials resistant to flooding.

Two intervention sites were chosen to cover two types of territories. Podskalí/Podzdí is part of the historic core and an element of the proposed system of public spaces with cultural and educational functions based on the historical importance of the river. The intervention proposes development of recreational structures. The design interprets the past function of the area as a storage space for logs rafted down the river from the forests to the South.

Floodplain Industrial Park is part of the post-industrial landscape to the North. Here are proposed restoration of the lost river beds to maintain and control flooding, and reuse of the abandoned industrial structures as entertainment and sport facilities. The aim is to keep the memory of and reveal the major changes that this site was subject to through the years: from riverbed with islands, through reclaimed land with industrial sites, to the oblivion and disuse now.

The project was awarded at the 20 under 36 exhibition within the Sofia Architecture Week 2013 in Plovdiv.

Pier Museum

Pier Museum

Wherever we go, whatever we do, whoever we meet, we all bring a piece of our native culture with us. These pieces of culture make our world so diverse. But what makes it really unique is the interaction of these different cultures. By taking diverse forms across time and space, even the smallest pieces of culture blend in integrity. Thus, a new cultural value emerges in its entirety.

Pier Museum in Miami is a competition project for a museum/memorial of Latin American immigration in Florida and the USA. The concept of the Pier Museum is conceived as a reflection of the mixture of the pieces of culture that have shaped the everyday life in Miami.

In time, the proposed structure reveals the story of the immigrants who came to these shores in search of the American Dream. The pieces of culture they brought float in the ocean – at first look equal tangible components of alien cultural systems, but at the same time so diverse in their intangible substance. Gradually, as days, months and years pass, they merge together and flourish in a new and richer creative cultural space.

In space, the approach expresses in a tangible way the intangible interaction among two systems: the planned undeviating urban image and the dynamic varied cultural identity. The first one is materialised in the firm geometrical outline. While the intangible nature of culture is given form in the universal element of the sphere – container of diverse ideas. The meeting of these systems creates not a mere patchwork of cultures, but a brand new cultural value born in a process that needs to be manifested.

The museum aims to serve as a tool for cultural mediation by addressing the challenge of promotion of awareness of the positive value of cultural diversity.

Adaptable Architecture Gallery

Adaptable Architecture Gallery

Adaptable Architecture Gallery is a competition project for a floating along the Thames architecture gallery, which contains and distributes – both metaphorically and literally – ideas for the city as a whole.

In the basis of the concept stand the cultural diversity of London and the influence of the waterway on the city. The design proposes a structure interpreting commercial containers – bearers of the various cultural phenomena that influenced the history of London.

This “container architecture” carries on the idea of the strong cultural presence of the Thames in the city with its:

  • multi-coloured containers: the constant element symbolising the thousands London histories;
  • interpenetrating spaces: interpretation of the identity and multi-culture vitality of the metropolis;
  • moving elements: reflection of the urban dynamics and constant changes.