Since its foundation in 2017, SOBA Studio for architecture and design has broken new ground in each of its projects. Architect Kiril Georgiev shares more
What is SOBA Studio?
SOBA is the ambition of a team to create a better, more sustainable living environment in Bulgaria. To bring Bulgarian architecture and design closer to international trends and understanding for quality of life, habitation and work in an harmonic environment. An environment that uses architecture and design to educate, discipline and engage people's minds. We believe that behind architecture and design primarily comes the philosophy of creating both an environment and a meaning of finding the best solution for the investors. This asks for many meetings before a quality solution is found.
For what clients is SOBA?
We work equally well with corporate and individual clients alike. The approach is rather different, but what unites them is their trust in us. This is the most valuable thing. We have designed both spaces of thousands of square metres and small projects, and we have discovered that they are hardly different if both sides want the project successfully finished. Our experience has taught us that in order to find a life and meaning in what we design, the two sides in the process need a bare minimum of shared thinking and understanding about the approach and the end result. We believe that architecture has many faces and is present not only in residential and public buildings and interiors, but also in industrial buildings. Clients are the ones who know why they seek us and what they want from us.
What are your goals as authors?
To continue creating quality projects: dream homes for ones, successful business models for others. We love participating in Bulgarian and international architecture competitions and we strive to be a company that does not design for design's sake, but that sets a new identity and vector of motion in Bulgarian architecture. We are always open and honest with clients, even if this means that we might part our ways over creative differences. Our main goals are the same as any Bulgarian's desire to inhabit a harmonic environment.
Your project Villa ROSE was nominated in the 2020 edition of ARCHI NOVA architecture competition. What are its strong sides?
The competition in the single-family houses category was very tough. A lot of projects participated in it. Our respect for Archi nova has increased with the years and we are sorry that due to the current situation the award ceremony was online and we were unable to thank properly to its team. We would like to do it on the pages of your magazine.
Villa ROSЕ was a project where the designer's creative freedom transformed into quality architecture for the client. The task was interesting: we had to create a large and beautiful house. We did. It was located in large enough space but which was full with high wild vegetation. We could have removed it, but then a decision was made to keep each tree and shrub in its place, as nature has designed it.
Eventually we saw that this was the right approach: to subdue architecture to nature than the other way around, to design the house into the existing space. We functionally used the cardinal directions. To the south, where we have most direct sunlight, we placed a two-lane swimming pool and relaxation zone. In addition, we ended up with a south yard enclosed in thick greenery that creates the feel of cosiness of inhabitation. To the east, where there was a sharp denivelation towards neighbouring properties and the plain beyond, the ended with a deep vista from the inside towards the outside. We repeated this approach in the general architecture. We sought balance between nature elements like Vratsa Limestone and modern composite materials. We also introduced the element of the famed Bulgarian rose in the architecture with a decorative sunshade construction of stylised roses that throw intricate shadows on the south terrace. This is why we named the house Villa ROSЕ.
One of the major tasks was to allow nature deep inside the interior. We achieved this in-out connection with a large-scale glazing and options to "remove" the windows with sliding and tucking them together.
Our end goal was to achieve a sustainable architecture that will withstand the change of architecture trends. We invested a lot of time and efforts into it, but the satisfaction of the end result and the recognition of our colleagues during a professional competition show that it was worth it.
Sofia, Bulgaria, 37 C Cerkovski St
phones: +359 88676728, +359 897926368