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Student: Pavlina Vardoulaki

Diploma supervisor: Prof. Dr. Arch. Blagovest Vulkov

Location: Sofia, Bulgaria

The main idea of the project is about a river of art in Sofia, bringing the old river of Perlovska back to city life.  A canal used as a sewage conduit is transformed into an area of culture: art installations, workshops and artist’s ateliers make up a new-found experience of built environment in the city for pedestrians and civilians.

© Pavlina Vardoulaki

The conceptual design envisions buildings which are shaped like pebbles, scattered by the flow across the rivers, forming clusters or standing alone, shaped by art according to the artists’ needs. Collaborating types of arts (performing arts, visual art and crafts) form clusters in direct connection to the surrounding areas already existing cultural spaces, thus operating as bridges. Open space between the pebbles is the “bed” of the art river where artists make exhibitions, exchange ideas and communicate with the public, reviving art in people’s everyday life, as they waver across.

 © Pavlina Vardoulaki

Because the amount of water flowing down the river is not constant throughout the year, a waste management plant has been incorporated in the design, which purifies the incoming river waters (including Weatlands plants) and then conveys part of it through an underground channel flowing under the pebbles. The remaining water forms a small ribbon flowing constantly through.

© Pavlina Vardoulaki

The construction of the pebbles, involves the implementation of a new building technology, green, environmentally friendly and flexible. The “Binishells” technology is based on the radical notion of replacing formwork and heavy machinery with air, by using low air pressure to lift and shape a reinforced concrete thin shell structure. Air is essentially used as a formwork for the pebbles’ construction. The intermediate space is covered by a special glass which allows you to walk on it. It lies on multilayer wooden beams, which rest on the shells structures.

© Pavlina Vardoulaki

Stone, wood and glass are the materials used reinforce the above ideas and create the feeling of a structure always there.  

By: Pavlina Vardoulaki


© Pavlina Vardoulaki


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