Sanctuary of the Nymphs and Aphrodite

Sanctuary of the Nymphs and Aphrodite

Local people have worshipped the site of the Sanctuary of the Nymphs and Aphrodite for centuries. Only in recent years, the archaeological research reveals that the site is actually a large and wealthy Roman villa rustica.

How to make this compound archaeological site more communicative, comprehensible and recognisable without being intrusive? How to express the strong connections with the nature? How to interpret the various spatial and functional relations within the complex? How to keep the living traditions? How to intervene in order to protect the ruins and at the same time facilitate the still ongoing archaeological researches?

We developed a strategic project based on the principles of integrity, flexibility, reversibility, accessibility and continuity. Our approach gives priority to the intuitive perceptions of the archaeological complex as a place that one gradually discovers for themselves. We rely on the inborn curiosity of people. All the conservation interventions are limited to the necessary minimum to protect the original structures. A new mirror-clad platform gives a stunning vista to the site and the landscape but also recreates the landmark of the ancient mausoleum nearby. Concrete information elements interpreting stone blocks scattered around the site provide unobtrusive and coherent guidance through the complex. A specially designed movable archaeological station facilitates the work of the archaeologists and acts as a ‘pop-up museum’ that changes its place and content following the archaeological research.

Hajji Valko House

Hajji Valko House

How could one Karlovo living room become a bedroom with a bathroom? What about if it is in a listed building? And if it has windows and a seating platform (or minder) along three of its walls? And murals on all the walls and on the ceiling? And What if all the colours are already there? Where should we put the bathroom?

The House of Hajji Valko is a typical symmetrical Karlovo mid-19th century house with three bedrooms, divana (the large vestibule) and a large representative living room on the upper floor. The aim of the study was to prove the possibility to turn the living room into a guest bedroom without putting at risk the values of the room.

We decided to just add: keeping literally all existing structures and features, preserving the sense of a single space of the large room, providing full reversibility of the intervention. We thought of the bathroom as a piece of furniture, together with a wardrobe and a niche for books. We placed it in the middle of the room. The new structure completely contrasts with the authentic interior but together with that it makes a link with its time – the copper cladding corresponds to the colour scheme of the house, softly reflects all the colours of the room, and makes a reference to the tradition of the National Revival and the oriental wrought copper items.

The Triangular Tower of Serdica

The Triangular Tower of Serdica

In the basement of the emblematic in the past “Sofia” store in the very heart of the capital city is the northernmost triangular tower of the fortification system of ancient Serdica. The aim of the project is to rehabilitate a forgotten site and to refurbish it as a space for cultural events and art, while showing the archaeological structures to the public. In the basis of our approach was the nature of the place as an underground space. That is why we left it raw and unvarnished and juxtaposed all the layers of the place – the archaeological ruins, the typical terrazzo flooring of the former shop, and the steel reinforcing structure. We wanted to create an unexpected and exciting space by giving the visitor the adventure of going down under the city, and by using the contrast of light and dark, white and black, smooth and rough.

Triumph Pavilion 2016: Energy Pavilion

Triumph Pavilion 2016: Energy Pavilion

Design Concept

The Universe is born from energy. The energy is destined to continuously degrade and fall apart, to move from order to disorder. Thus the mysterious concept of entropy or the measure of disorder appeared.

The architecture of the pavilion visualises a snapshot of the process of how energy spreads out and disperses.

The Energy Pavilion

The Energy Pavilion invites the people to zoom in and experience this universal flow of energy. The spaces created within the structure challenge people to explore different types of interaction. Like the energy changes permanently, our perception of the pavilion also changes as we move towards it.

Fabrication

The Energy Pavilion shall be fabricated out of bamboo poles anchored to an impregnated plywood platform and tied together by steel cables and spacers.

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

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.

National Exhibition Centre: Shipka 6

National Exhibition Centre: Shipka 6

Starting working on this project our team set us a task to understand the building and its life. The architectural appearance, function, structural design, location, vitality, social significance – these time resistant characteristics define the uniqueness of the building. They also bear its recognisability. That is why it is important for our team to preserve and enhance in the project proposal these values of the building.

The concept is inspired by the processes of transformation of the building and by its multi-layered importance for people today. Our team aimed to translate this new more communicative, dynamic, and blurred nature of art into architecture.

The spatial organisation is stimulated by our desire to introduce not only a working sum of functions but a symbiosis of various activities related to the creation and display of art. The building opens to the city and its people. It offers homely and communicative environment for daily communion and active exchange of artistic ideas. This concept we spread also in the exterior.

Decorative panels in the UACEG canteen

Decorative panels in the UACEG canteen

The five square panels graphically represent the five faculties of the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy (UACEG) in Sofia: Architecture, Structural Engineering, Hydraulic Engineering, Transportation Engineering, and Geodesy but from a different point of view. Each faculty’s activity is represented through popular and easily recognisable foods (and beverages). Professors and students are challenged to identify by themselves their faculties.

Atelier 3 – the architects Donika Georgieva and Miroslav Velkov – would like to thank the university administration and everybody who helped to realise the idea.

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?