The starting point was of course the neighbourhood consisting of several repeating types of blocks. The plot falls in the intersection of the high-rise residential districts to the east and west, the public area to the north including a kindergarten, a marketplace and a small stadium, and the South park. The building is a high-rise in the same scale as the existing ones. We sought dynamics as a counterpoint to the monotony of the socialistic blocks. We started with the silhouette. As the plan follows the triangular plot it has the form of a diamond. Thus seen from various points the building has different proportions – slim and tall or fat and short. The other starting point was the use of brick for the facade, so the designers started with a vision of handmade bricks and tried to materialize the process of making and inserting them into the building. So we came to the idea of a brickyard, which is in fact a “residential factory”. The building has indeed all the outer attributes of a factory – stored production, plenty of chimneys which are in this case emitting light, bigger non-residential scale, and general industrial appearance.

The facades are formed in several steps, beginning with the straight grid of equal openings, corresponding to the brick bond. Then some openings drop out and the grid is no longer that uniform. In the third step appear exaggerated openings – huge double height glazings. Finally intermediate spaces appear – loggias behind some of the regular openings. Outside the plain the process looks like that: the initial volume with its straight grid of bricks and openings. Some openings grow really big letting the outside into the building. In the same way some bricks increase several times “pulling” the building to the outside. These exaggerated bricks are solid on the ground and upon the roofs – the chimneys and tree pots. On the facades they are metal grill balconies. That pulsing in and out of the façade line is visible in all plans. Though physically closed the double-height areas, alongside with the atrium are again intermediate spaces which dissolve the building’s boundaries. On the cantilevers the half bricks of the Flemish bond stick out of the wall. The result is a telescopic protrusion of the building to the outside in ever smaller scale.

“In each project we tell a story. Here is encoded the process of brick making. The plot is the intersection of residential and public areas. The “residential factory” turned into lofts keeps that dualistic character and contains many opposites. We traced the contrasts between big and small, open and closed, public and private, penetrable and solid. We dissolved the boundaries between the building and its surroundings through intermediate zones where they intermingle”.

LOCATION | Sofia, Bulgaria

DESIGNER | Aedes Studio

AWARDS | National Competition Residential Building of 2013

PH | Nedyalko Nedyalkov, Aedes Studio










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