Ilinden Apartment

Ilinden Apartment

The task:

To transform the kitchen and the hallway of a two-bedroom apartment in a typical plattenbau housing block in the Ilinden district in Sofia, and turn them into a cosy and practical space. The client, a young family, wished for a minimalistic and clean design without any detailing and decorations.

Our approach:

We merged the spaces in order to have the sense of more space and to join the kitchen with the other parts of the apartment. We removed the kitchen door and the non-bearing precast elements, which separated the space. The common pavement, wall lines, materials and lighting add to the sense of a single space.

We used each and every possible nook and cranny to add more storage space and provided enough countertop area.

The colour palette relies on a pleasant balance between minimalism and hominess, the latter provided by the natural oak veneer on the wall panelling and the upper kitchen closets. The yellow round mirror is the only accent putting the finishing touch to the picture and optically enlarging the space.

The result:

An interior space transformation turning a common kitchen and a hallway from service spaces to the centre of the young family’s home.

Renovation of toilets in 5th Primary School Ivan Vazov

Renovation of toilets in 5th Primary School Ivan Vazov

The building of Fifth Primary School Ivan Vazov in Pavlovo, Sofia was completed in 1949. It is a typical example of a mid-20th-century school building. The toilets in the school are located on each floor and are being used by pupils and teachers. Through the years they have been subject to many partial repairs with no projects and poorly funded. The result was right before our eyes: ugly toilets in disrepair, smelling bad and always leaky leading to high water consumption. 

We decided to reorganize the toilets thoroughly in order to meet the contemporary hygiene and security requirements and make them pleasant for the users. All partition walls were demolished to open up the space and eliminate the labyrinth of nooks and crannies, hard to clean and control. All toilet cubicles were reorganized to open directly to the main space with the sinks. The doors to the hall were removed for better security – in case of bullying anyone could call for help. A small storeroom for cleaning materials with a service sink was provided next to the sinks.

Colours are the main feature of the design. The ceiling height is quite big so it was necessary to lower it visually to make the space cosier for the children. That is why we also painted the ceilings in colour and installed pendant lamps. The coloured wall tiles reach the level of the door lintel thus structuring the space and making it more comfortable and comprehensible. 

As the toilets are used by children between 7 and 14 years of age, we installed sinks at different heights for everyone’s convenience. One cubicle on each floor is accessible for kids and teachers with disabilities.

Flat L19

Flat L19

The task:

To transform a 100 sq.m. three-room flat to leverage all of the living space in order to accommodate the owners’ dynamic lifestyle and extensive book collection.

Our approach:

We redesigned and repurposed several parts of the flat to better capture the natural light and create additional corners for reading, working and a bar area. Broadening the window frames created additional storage and sitting space without compromising the overall spaciousness.

The colour scheme accentuates the various corners in the open plan and brings an overall sense of completeness to the flat. Using a combination of open and closed built-in storage cabinets allows for easy organisation and does not compromise the overall living space.

The result:

An interior design transformation that effectively accommodates the owners’ dynamic lifestyle and makes the most out of the available space.

Ada Tepe Exhibition

Ada Tepe Exhibition

Ada Tepe is the mountain peak where the oldest known gold mine in Europe has been found and studied. Now gold is being mined again and all traces from the Bronze-Age mining technology will disappear. The main challenge of the project is to reveal the “absent” heritage of ancient gold mining.

Ada Tepe Exhibition is planned to be in a disused room of a local community centre. The exhibition covers several topics: gold mining in the Bronze Age and now, the life at the mine, the peak, the excavations, the gold, the nature, and the future of the mine. Their manifestations in terms of spatial and architectural appearance interweave to stimulate all senses.

The main featuring element is the inclined plane of the “mountain slope”. It divides the exhibition room in two but simultaneously connects the topics – physically and meaningfully. The aboveground space is dark, mysterious and unknown. Here are the stories and facts from the past (mining, life, topography) compared to similar contemporary activities. A massive trench leads to the underground space – just like the way ancient miners and today’s archaeologists “entered” the mountainside. All is bright and golden here as a reference to the underground treasures but also to the enlightening role of science for unveiling the distant past.

The exhibition encourages people to roam around the space, to climb the “mountain slope”, to venture underground, to touch, hear, feel, and experience this important yet unconventional heritage of the region.

Office Space V14

Office Space V14

The task of this project was to transform an open-office space in an office tower into a shared office of a union of companies working with African partners. The client required divided spaces for the different teams but also common spaces for gathering and communication. As a result of our work, though, these spaces became comfortable places for work but also for informal meetings and rest. The yellow and ochre colours, which we added, brought cosiness but also made the space more vivid. The design of the foil on the interior glazing is inspired by the patterns of the art of Sub-Saharan Africa, as a reference to our client’s business.

 

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.