The competition theme is Central Square – the largest open public space in the city of Plovdiv where most of the significant historical periods of the city overlap.http://plovdivsquare.com/
Most of the historical and architectural layers the city is famous for intersect right here,so that is why the proposed solution seeks to harmonize all these layers and turn the space in an interesting, functional and modern urban area. The competition area has been divided into four thematic zones and thus is developed and the proposed solution.
Key areas are large Central Square which has almost no activity and archaeological excavations that exist in its composition without any indication. There are underground passages under the large Tsar Boris III Obedinitel Blvd. and the Trimontium hotel parking area. Thus three problems were solved: establishing functional and attractive modern square emphasis on underground layers of ancient Plovdiv as a tourist attraction; solving pedestrian traffic and solution to the problem of parking.
The main area of the square is conceptually divided into two parts, one in space before the building of the former Communist Party House and the other before The Post Office. The space is even physically separated by the spiral ramp that descends from the dome of the parking garage. Within this pad is provided the open gallery space. Movement on ramp opens a promising view of the whole square and archaeological excavations.
Square before the building of the former Communist Party House is the main gathering place for people and therefore is formed in a way to resemble the ancient forum located below it. The metal frame is made by perimeter, coverage in the form of an atrium which occupies a central place with great fountain. Paving is decorated with elements derived from Bulgarian folklore and a combination of red and white marble with paver elements. There are benches built-in by the fountain and summer tribune within the spiral ramp. The presence of water from the fountain gives freshness in the long summer days and brings nature into urban life center.
Part of the Square in front of The Post Office has several functions. It represents an approach to the main part of the square, access to Grant Park Tsar Simeon's Garden and touches The Western Propylaea and The Northern Forum. Because it’s a function is complex the proposal solution of this square is paved with simple design highlighted inline movement decoration which leads man to activities that taking place in the square. It is highlighted with floor LEED lighting. There are intelligent display panels giving information about the archaeological site and mark where they are located. Embedded elements are parking for bikes, benches and information boards. At the entrance to the park is set glass assembly building which containing rooms for tourist information, museum of archaeological excavations of the Forum of Ancient Plovdiv and child cyber tech space to play. There is also a summer theater.
All electricity needed for lighting, operation of the information displays and the facilities are getting from a set of solar and photovoltaic panels, which contributes to the sustainability of the project.
The three underpasses are getting new items. The Archaeological underpass retains access ramps and stairs, but in the tunnel is built glasses displays through that are visible archaeological excavations and through touch panels’ people get the information about the history of the town.
The other two underpasses, The Trimontium hotel underpass and Gladstone St.underpass receive new spiral ramps and stairs for access, covered with a metal frame with set greenery in the form of segmented domes reminiscent of wars helmets by the army of Philip II in honor of founder of the city of Plovdiv. They are also small domes and marks points along the boulevard. The boulevard also set new bus stops with intelligent displays giving information about traffic and events in the city.
The Northern Forum gets coverage in the same way as the coverage of the main square, with detachable metal construction with built-in lighting. The approach of the square is the spiral ramp and stairs that lead to underground Gladstone St. through the glass wall to the forum.
Parking before the Trimontium hotel has been transformed into a modern parking garage made into glass facade divided into two areas. On top of the garage exits the spiral ramp that visitors directly lead down to the main square while they enjoying in the perspective view of the entire city center.
All urban elements that are embedded in the architectural concept allow socialization of people, a clear orientation and easy accessibility to persons with disabilities. The modern approach emphasizes sustainability and emphasize pedestrian and bicycle traffic as a healthy and environmentally conscious movement in the centers of cities.