Sofia Municipal Gallery of Art
a museum with a multimedia plaza.
design objective 1
From city planning perspective to elegant spatial expression - a gateway to art and the city central park

  • typeart museum
  • year | size2002 | 75,000 SF
  • locationSofia, Bulgaria
  • statusnational competition, special prize of the gallery

project statement
The new Sofia Municipal Gallery of Art embodies the contemporary idea of an art forum – attractive, open and changing

Mobility, maximum accessibility and communication, multifunctional use of space, interaction with the public – these are the main principals of functional organization and aesthetic concept of the project.
The gateway, which accents the long neglected central axis of the city garden, transforming the access to it into an urban square – a place for performances and exterior sculptural expositions. The structural bow, starting from the corner of Gurko and Batemberg streets follows the main pedestrian flow of the neighborhood and ends with an expressive arch – entry way to the garden. The dominant slanted concave wall is also shaping the main form and communication axis of the building itself and emphasizes the transition form the city to a park environment, creating a symbolic passage through art.
The first floor is transparent and accessible from all directions, it attracts and induces with the plentiful gallery activities in a contemporary frame of mind. The interchangeable functioning of the two main halls adds to the variety of spatial uses, once again interconnecting interior and exterior, as well as the central axis of the park and its logical ending in the alcove in front of the telegraph building.


project statement (cont)

The exposition gallery space is located on the second level – simple to protect, easily transformable and multifunctional. A central skylight, which incorporates a secondary total blind system, illuminates the whole building. Both gallery planes are connected with a system of staircases and ramps, creating diverse pathways for exploration of the exhibition space.
The administrative tract is on the first level, accessible from the foyer and at the same time discreetly separated from the main traffic. The restoration department receives natural light through an english court yard to the north- west. The underground level houses a 44 car garage as well, with an access from the ramp of the neighboring business center for maximal preservation of the circulation and character of the park.
The lighting is a combination of natural and low voltage halogen sources, where the ample skylight with secondary shading system acts as a passive green element. The interior and exterior of the building create a rich environment for artistic, interactive and multimedia performances, which once again accentuates the life of a modern museum complex in the heart of the capitol city.

design objective 2
Creating a multi faceted environment and layers of experience for museum goers
The architectural community unanimously praised the elegance of the project, which is backed by ability and wisdom, moreover, it demonstrates specifically valid ideas, self-confidence and willingness to be part of the city experience.
Aspekti Magazine, Sofia 2002