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Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia Metro Station 20

Boschi + Serboli Architetti Associati — Sofia Metro Station 20

THE PUBLIC SPACE

Boschi + Serboli Architetti Associati — Sofia Metro Station 20

The tender concerns an area of future expansion in the city of Sofia, so the project must interact with a developing landscape. Our aim is to develop a project capable of satisfying, at present, the needs of the Municipal Administration, and of meeting the needs of future investors. So the idea is to propose a reproducible design, a language that may be extended so as to finish characterising a section of the city, a neighbourhood. The public space project’s characterising elements are those that make up the furnishings (lightings and chairs) and the green (trees): elements that remain recognisable by their shape and materials and that are put together in different ways.

Boschi + Serboli Architetti Associati — Sofia Metro Station 20

THE UNDERGROUND TRAIN STATION

Boschi + Serboli Architetti Associati — Sofia Metro Station 20

The basis for our proposal is the Municipal Administration’s plan. The station is developed on three levels: one for access from the city, one for the entrances and services (turnstiles and ticket counters), and one for the rail. The three levels are linked both physically and visually: the stairs and elevator pits allow to reach the rail level from the public space, the openings and the treatment of the volumes guarantee the simultaneous perception of all three levels. The light cones that open from inside towards the outside and vice-versa facilitate orientation within the station and increase the feeling of safety by eliminating dark and hidden areas that would be difficult to control. The visual perception of the inside from the public space is conditioned by the choice of using for the pavements only one type of surface finish, creating a spatial continuum. The station’s strong visual characterisation becomes an element that makes the station recognisable by habitual users, and that anticipates the public space above for passengers that reach the station for the first time. The internal heights are confirmed to be those requested, by utilising a bridge structure held up by pillars (central part) and a cantilevered frame for the lateral portions and the technical and service spaces required by the tender.

Boschi + Serboli Architetti Associati — Sofia Metro Station 20

THE STATION ENTRANCES

Boschi + Serboli Architetti Associati — Sofia Metro Station 20

The choice of making the project recognisable entails the study of the station access systems: the entrances can be found easily from each of the three levels. Public space: accesses are signalled by projecting roofs that detach themselves from the road level to interact with the town and signal the presence of the underground station. The structure, made of iron and standing on three footholds, has the function of protecting the entrance zones. The frame will be covered by mirror finish metal slabs, for the inclined walls, to project on the road level what is happening in the station below. So during daylight the entrances’ volumes present themselves as elements that are chromatically uniform, but sensitive to weather variations. The expanded metal mashes for the other surfaces, in fact, transmit to the city an image that varies according to the solar rays’ angle of incidence, signalling the passing of time. During the night the station’s internal illumination reflects itself on street level, contributing to making footpaths safer. Services and rail levels: the mirror finish slabs let the solar rays penetrate into the station, so people can anticipate the external weather conditions; the station is no longer perceived as buried underground, but as a volume that opens itself towards the city. The reflecting surfaces become a point where the public space meets the station, and the people coming and going become one in a unique fresco that mirrors the flowing of life. The access systems comply with the tender’s requirements, granting the required flux capacity and ensuring access to disabled people. With regards to the tender’s requirements two entrance points have been inserted, perpendicularly to the road axis to ensure continuity with the footpath that develops along the East-West axis.

Boschi + Serboli Architetti Associati — Sofia Metro Station 20

Boschi + Serboli Architetti Associati — Sofia Metro Station 20