The forgotten places in the city of Sofia – Bulgaria’s capital, carrying the perception of the past in the form of buildings of cultural and historical value, are not one or two. Plots like this represent a valuable resource that remains unused despite several attempts to find a new application. Because in a combination of established cultural heritage, already built transport connections and proximity to the city center, these places can be an attraction point, a nodal place and a center for culture, work, recreation and living - like many examples around the world.
The diploma project represents a detailed development of the whole place. First of all, its division into a public area in its more communicative part and a residential area in the quieter part of the plot.
Development begins by preserving the old industrial hall and making it the center of a complete fractal composition of pixels. The conceptual restoration of the building includes the concept of a semi-covered square, which is formed as a result of the missing parts of the roof of the building, which are replaced by a new light openwork structure that rests on the already existing steel trusses. This structure carries the vibe of the entire space and continues the idea of pixelization, which also extends to the interior level. In the area where an entire part of the building is missing, the new openwork construction is the most saturated and an outpouring of volumes towards the surrounding square space is observed through a gradual decay of the geometry in several directions.
An important detail of the old hall's new function is the excavation of the building half a level down, forming an amphitheater structure and possibilities for holding events of a different type, as can be seen on the plans and sections. In the rest of the space, there are areas for expositions and small pavilions - open and closed ones, formed by the openwork structure from the outside, which delicately creeps inside. A cafe combined with an information area is also planned. The green spots are many, especially in the areas with natural sunlight coming from the overhead lighting in the central part of the building.
In the interior can be seen the introduction of the raster from the outside and the creation of the impression that everything is one whole, without clearly visible contours and boundaries. Continuity and blurring of the inside-outside boundary was sought. The pixels on the roof also carry over to the level of the people, supporting the idea of a general homogenous vision and humanizing of the project’s scale.
The project also includes the design of a completely new building with a mixed function, appearing as an extension of the hall. It contains the main typologies characteristic of a modern public building and has three entrances, the main one being formed on the side of the old industrial workshop. The foyer there is actually the transition between the specific cultural typology of the hall and the public function of the new building. Once again it can be seen the entry of the greenery and the square grid into the interior of the lobby. On the first two levels, there are areas for public use - a restaurant, a cafe, shops, a bookstore and a large gym combined with rooms for group training. A panoramic restaurant can be found on the last two floors of the building. The rest of the volume of the building is designed for office spaces - shared and ones with a cabinet structure. The silhouette of the building clearly shows an alternation of protruding and retracted volumes in a common grid at the facade, as well as terracing of the floors in support of the idea of large common and landscaped spaces. Car access is provided by local traffic and two two-way ramps leading to the building's underground garages.
In the northern part of the property is a residential complex of a total of three neighborhoods with two buildings each up to 28 meters high or 8 floors. Here again the effect of terracing and treatment of facades is sought within the general concept of pixelization and orthogonality in geometry. Separate underground levels for parking and areas with landscaping on the ground level are planned for each district.
Briefly about the construction of the project. The main part of the idea is related to the achievement of the idea of a semi-covered square. It is formed by a light openwork metal construction that rests on the already existing metal trusses in the old building. The rest of the planned buildings are designed with reinforced concrete construction and various facade elements such as: suspended facades, metal elements, cladding and plaster.