Sveta Nedelya Square
In 2019 Studio Fuksas won the competition for the restoration of Sveta Nedelya Square in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The new Sveta Nedelya Square is situated in the heart of the city of Sofia, with an area of 34.000 sqm it will be a key intervention for the entire Nation. In order to create a strong cultural identity our project enhances and integrates the existent architectural heritage, the archeological findings and all the religious buildings, giving them equal cultural value. Our aim is to reduce the dichotomy between the ancient and contemporary city.
“We started our design from the Roman framework, using the Cardo and Decumanus to extrapolate the square module, a pure geometric shape. The tram line divides the square grid in two parts, creating a public park and a paved square. The new Sveta Nedelya Square will not only be an open-air museum, but also a place of social interaction able to generate connections. Through the pedestrianization of a part of the Kyaginya Maria Luiza boulevard, Aleksandar Stamboliyski boulevard, Vitosha boulevard and the Saborna ulitsa, the intervention will act as a social catalyst. We wanted to demonstrate the continuity between history and contemporary city by showing the presence of the ancient Roman cardo through the flooring, highlighting the fact that the principal ancient and contemporary flows still coincide. The archeological ruins will be protected and covered by walkable squared glass panels, unveiling and enhancing the different historical periods this place has lived through.
The pavement modules rise up and generate a sort of forest-like covering made of vertical elements, the “hi-tech canopies”, recalling the shape of the rose, Bulgarian national flower, as well as the northern and southern porticoed facades of the Sveta Nedelya Cathedral. This high-tech canopy, besides providing shelter, uses renewable energy to create a zero-impact square. During the day it transforms sunlight into electricity through transparent photovoltaic solar panels located on the upper part. They also allow rainwater to be collected in order to supply the water features for landscape maintenance. Thanks to the energy stored during the day the hi-tech canopy elements will be able to light up the square, making it accessible and safer at night.”