Stainless steel, glass – 30.00/12.00/5.00 m. – Sofia, Bulgaria
Facade Of The City Art Galery Of Sofia, 2002
The project for the new City Art Gallery of Sofia was made in partnership with Archinex Ltd. Todor Todorov was commissioned to make a sculptural portal similar to an earlier structure that occupied the site at the beginning of last century. Daniela Todorova was commissioned to design the stained glass used throughout the entrance.
In order to achieve historic continuity some of the main elements of the original design have been ‘resurrected’ ensuring a lasting link between the present and the past. Although the overall outline of the twin tower entrance refers to design principles used in late 19th C the contemporary treatment of structure, form and materials embodies current concerns of dematerialization and transparency.
The new entrance complex is conceived as a transitional membrane between external and internal space. The original twin towers have been re-interpreted and re-constructed acting as sentinels, simultaneously protecting and inviting entrance to the collection. From the street the solid tower to the left of the entrance, representing all forms of three-dimensional art, is fabricated in stainless steel with a series of integrated sculptural reliefs delicately encrusted with various semi-precious and precious metals. The transparent tower to the right of the building is of glass and metal frame construction, representing all two dimensional art forms, and is similarly punctuated with a multitude of metal elements. Both rise from an area of water skirting the building where glimpses of their reflections suggest a blend of illusion and reality, past and present. The verticality of the towers and their connecting arch is counter-balanced by a horizontal series of glass windows and metal reliefs, designed by Daniella Todorova, emphasising the openness and transparency of the collection and in turn embodying the relationship between endeavour and accomplishment.