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Commenting article: Leading French Architect Chosen to Design Sofia City

Wold renowned French architect, Dominique Perrault, has been selected to design the Sofia City Center.

The news was announced by architect Mityo Videlov, advisor the Bulgaria's Minister for Regional Development, cited by Darik radio.

The city center will be built in the next ten years and will house different State institutions. The center will be located along the main Sofia boulevard "Tsarigradsko Shosse".

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#1
NellieotAmerica - 3 May 2009 // 20:03:11

Something about this story does not compute. I don't see why there is a need for a second city center and more government buildings. There are enough Stalinist government buildings already in existence, Sofia does not need more. The government during communist times was huge. Surely now the government is not larger? If there was enough space for the government during commie times, why is there not enough space now that the government should be shrinking? Someone should sharpen his pencil and do some serious space planning.

#2
CJB - 3 May 2009 // 19:56:59

Judging by the visualisations here this plan will involve concreting over most of one of the last large parks in Sofia:

http://www.dominiqueperrault.com/indexuk.htm

Presumably in order to finance this colonisation of public space the government will sell off many of its city centre properties to private developers. Given the way Bulgarian developers behave, I cannot imagine this will be good news for central Sofia. We can look forward to yet more casinos, mutra baroque hotels and chalga clubs...

#3
NellieotAmerica - 3 May 2009 // 18:38:43

wildthing

"Yet, what if not 'mutra-post-modern' is the building-fashion spread throughout Bulgaria now? But it's logical, since the place the new-Bulgarians most probably enjoy to visit is Las Vegas."

Now wait a minute! You can't blame mutri bad taste on postmodernism. There is always the possibility of misusing a style.

#4
wildthing - 3 May 2009 // 17:31:51

Nellieoto asks:
'Can you say "post-modern architecture"?

Clearly, they haven't heard about it in Bulgaria yet. They are at least 30 years behind the times as far as architectural design is concerned.'

Je ne sais pas, as Dominique Perrault would say.
I would say, thank God, they haven't heard about the post-modern thing in Bulgaria, yet. Samo tova ni lipsva. Yet, what if not 'mutra-post-modern' is the building-fashion spread throughout Bulgaria now? But it's logical, since the place the new-Bulgarians most probably enjoy to visit is Las Vegas.
And you are all too optimistic, Nelly, what 30 years, we need centuries to catch up with the world.

About Perrault, je ne sais pas, again. Visiting the National Library is like entering a sci-fi movie, out of this world. I don't say bad or good.

#5
NellieotAmerica - 29 Apr 2009 // 19:33:20

Pipercho

Can you say "post-modern architecture"?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodern_architecture

Clearly, they haven't heard about it in Bulgaria yet. They are at least 30 years behind the times as far as architectural design is concerned.

#6
Chushki - 29 Apr 2009 // 18:52:13

They should just hire the celebrated 'Architect' Baba Nellie - no doubt she would design a concrete monstrosity in the shape of her Samovar, complete with a solid gold statue of her hero Hitler on the top. Oh, and a basement carpark........

#7
NellieotAmerica - 29 Apr 2009 // 17:33:28

CJB

Exactly my sentiments - just as well it ain't happening. Even if it does somehow happen, it will not make Sofia look like Paris by any stretch of the imagination. It will make Sofia look even more outdated and Soviet era ugly than it already is. The French don't even hire this dude, they hire people like Richard Rogers (the Brit) and Renzo Piano (the Italian).

#8
CJB - 29 Apr 2009 // 15:01:25

"The bad news is, this dude's work consists of extremely boring steel and glass 1970ies designs. "

Indeed, quite a few supermarkets in the portfolio, and identikit office buildings. Dull and mediocre as f*ck!

Just as well it ain't happening, there is enough mediocre socialist architecture and terrible 'postmodern' mutra baroque architecture in Sofia, we don't need bland French architecture too!

#9
CJB - 29 Apr 2009 // 14:57:04

"The financing of the project, however, is still ambiguous and, according to Videlov, will include external financing, financing from individuals and public-private partnerships."

Translation: there is not a cat in hell's chance of this ever happening, but thanks for the hefty consultant's fees, Bulgarian government!

#10
NellieotAmerica - 29 Apr 2009 // 13:55:06

Fishtail

"well we have the "no space for parking" section completed... ;)"

Don't worry, there will be plenty of rooftop parking. LOL

#11
fishbrain - 29 Apr 2009 // 11:16:41

well we have the "no space for parking" section completed... ;)

#12
Dirk - 29 Apr 2009 // 10:54:26

It is the same old fashioned style Bulgarians like.
But Sofia looking like Paris wouldn't be that bad.

#13
NellieotAmerica - 29 Apr 2009 // 03:16:52

The bad news is, this dude's work consists of extremely boring steel and glass 1970ies designs.

The good thing is, the funding for the project is up in the air, so there is an excellent chance of the project never getting built.

http://www.dominiqueperrault.com/indexuk.htm

Bulgaria news Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria