A public water park with 14 implanted granite sculptures covering an area of 5,000 m2 – Shumen, Bulgaria, 1981
In 1980 the Bulgarian Government, the Ministry of Culture and the Shoumen Town Council assigned to Todor Todorov the design of 13 sculptures, symbolising the 13 centuries since the emergence (foundation) of the Bulgarian State.
The sculptures reveal the development, segmentation and growing complexity of a structure, providing an idea of the emergence, organisation and transformation of the state in time. The basic connecting element is the water gushing from the fourteenth sculpture, the SOURCE, connoting the BEGINNING. The water symbolises the flow of time, running through the centuries – the thirteen sculptures. Marks of human presence, besides as a basic driving force in the creation and development of the state, are also depicted as the concrete artistic evolution of a nation by means of the bas-reliefs on the lower side of the barbicans.
The sculpture is inspired by the dynamics of the crystallisation of granite as a matter at different stages. Microscopic observations and drawings of its structure and their detailed analysis precede the design phase. The analogy with the hardening of the primary material, the magma and primary dynamics of hardening and the formation of matter is the basic underlying idea in the creation of this project. The nascence, evolution and formation of the state are seen in the growth, complexity and structuring of the elements in the composition. The “water of time” flowing though the composition additionally links the separate elements in a single whole, instilling the idea of the continuity of development in the viewer.
The project aims to create a specific space, giving visitors the chance for reflection and meditation and suggesting/giving them an idea of the history of a country.
Structure of the project:
Spread over an area of 5,000 sq m, the composition is designed as a complete relief, linking 14 separate sculptures in one integral whole. Its development follows the natural slope of the terrain and enables the viewer to circle every separate sculpture and to perceive it from every angle.
The diverse plant varieties are organised in a way as to, growing, form a reverse tunnel, ending with a Sequoia Gigantea, at the end of which are the sculptures steeped in verdure.
A concrete construction with a manually finished surface in the region of the sculptures forms the basis of the composition. The water flows everywhere into the bed of granite, which, with its hardness, protects the concrete from its destructive force. The lanes and steps are paved with three types of stone, forming a pedestrian carpet.
Designed as a recreation zone, the place provides a possibility for walks and relaxation in the middle of the busy city. It links the Open-air Theatre and Youth Cultural Centre and creates a pedestrian axis, connecting the centre of the town with the mountain. The sound of cascading water attracts visitors from afar.