Monday 29 September 2014

Friday 26 September 2014

Plovdiv Central Square competition - first prize for the Portuguese office FORA

Architecture, International Competition

Sent by Atelier FORA, from Portugal

Atelier FORA just won the first prize on an international competition for the qualification of the Central Square of Plovdiv, the second largest city of Bulgaria. The contest was promoted by the city's Municipality and this Portuguese office was chosen among 125 international entries. We invited FORA to publish this project on our blog. More information about this open competition can be found on its website.

"One of the greatest achievements of the Roman system was its practicality: under the coliseum in Rome, a large scale apparatus fed the audiences with an array of events, from wild animals to trees, boats and chariots, it was possible to experience a full range from desert wars to sea battles...

In the battle of contemplation versus ‘public use’, Plovdiv’s city center gradually lost the urban unity that was characteristic from its founding.

How can we reconcile the terrifying beauty of the naked ruin with the city’s need for usable open space?

Can we have both? Can archaeological research expand under a fully functioning city surface?

The new square will perform as an apparatus for continuous discovery, a malleable surface that can transform to accommodate different urban events. An operable platform is at the heart of the square, that when activated can cover a range between the intimacy of small scale pockets until a fully open and unobstructed plaza.

The new wood surface protects the unveiled ancient Forum, and will cover progressively the entire site, signalling archaeological areas of interest and revealing the tension between above and below ground.

This light veil aims also at transforming the archaeological endeavour in a permanent spectacle, enabling excavations to progress under the city without disruption.

Since the significance and splendour of the Forum of Philippopolis can only be observed once it is fully exposed, we propose to excavate the maximum surface possible of ruins within the limits of the intervention: the new archaeological museum will cover the full extent of the square, and will be landscaped like the Forum in Rome, merging with the park at the western edge, and emerging at the underpasses.

The renovated open basement of the post office would function as its core, housing information center, museum services, temporary exhibitions. The refurbished concrete structure would become in itself an archaeology."


FORA is an architectural collective founded in Athens in 2009 by João Fagulha, Raquel Oliveira and João Ruivo. The office is currently based in Lisbon, collaborating on a regular basis with other architects, urban planners, designers and engineers on the production of architectural and urban projects. The work continuously explores the relation between public and private realm, and the role of architecture as the ultimate social tool.

Their work has been awarded in several international competitions, including first prizes for"Upto35" international competition for the design of a student residence in downtown Athens and "Inovation and Quality in School Environments" for the design of a 13.000m2 High School in Mem Martins, second prize in "Europan 10" for Lisbon and "Plateia Teatrou", both urban scale proposal, and were finalists in the ‘Nordic Built Challenge’, in Ellebo, Denmark.

The office took part in several exhibitions, including the 2012 Venice Biennalle.

João Moura Fagulha, born in Lisbon 1980, graduated in architecture in 2006 from Instituto Superior Técnico, after studying one year in the Faculty of Architecture & Urbanism of Rio de Janeiro Federal University. Since 2007 established activity in Lisbon, collaborating with other professionals in various projects and competitions.Raquel Maria Oliveira, born in Porto 1981, graduated in Architecture from the Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto in 2006, having studied one year in the Technical University of Delft. She started her professional experience in Netherlands, at West8, in Rotterdam, and worked after at DP6 Architectuurstudio, in Delft. In Madrid she worked at Ezquiaga Arquitectura.

João Prates Ruivo, born in Lisbon 1980, graduated in architecture in 2004 from Instituto Superior Tecnico, where he was a student of Prof. Manuel Vicente. After studying one year in the Technical University of Eindhoven, he worked in Rotterdam between 2005-2008, were he collaborated with Theo Deutinger (TD*) and at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, from where he moved to Athens to start his own practice. In 2014 he started a PhD at the Goldsmiths Institute in London.

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Projects Wanted - Bar Aquarium, Next Level Studio

Projects Wanted is an initiative promoted by DIMSCALE Blog, in which we invite architecture offices to share new projects. We are open to receive projects from all around the world, regardless of their dimension or typology. Please send us high quality photos (indicating their authors), drawings and descriptive texts in English to our Marketing e-mail - It will be our pleasure to help spreading new Architecture concepts and ideas.

Bar Aquarium
Uherske Hradiste, Czech Republic
Next Level Studio, Czech Republic

Year: 2012

Photos: Martin Kocich

"The area of café - bar is located in the back additional building of town house, which dates from the 90s of the 20th century. The reconstruction was cleaned out from age-old layers of "design" and the airing of the space by removing the original decorative arches. Additional building fills the whole ground and therefore the only source of daylight is the original skylight.

From the beginning investor insisted on retaining the original name "Fountain Bar" but there was
a change during works.
The name here served as a source of inspiration to the concept of discourse space. Free Association: Fountain - geyser - water level evoke a dynamic, changing shape and color story. This variability of light, flickering lights, colors and reflections are inscribed in the interior by
a form of undulating structure of lighter color changing fibers.
The whole area is delineated monochromatically that its effect is most emphasized. The light creates color information whereas curtly dealt space focuses on the materialization. Important is the surface of the light - its texture,
a fine contrast between matte and glossy surfaces.

The space is light colored structure of light-conducting fibers. The fibers with a diameter of 3 millimeters through 12 glass frames that determine the final morphology. Total has been used over 1000 m fiber and two light sources that create gradual spillover colors through fibers. You can regulate the speed of color change or suspend it in a certain tone. The structure was designed using a parametric design method, where based on our creating of software tools, were generated different shape variations after entering certain parameters. These were examined in visualization and then changed again. The basic parameters that can be changed are the dimensions and distance of glass frames, their radius controlled by ripple control circles, the number of fibers passing through the frame, their densification, etc. The method of parametric design served not only for finding the optimal shape, but also to easily create production drawings glass frames and accurate determination of the required length fibers.

The new name "Aquarium" is derived from 6 m wide aquarium, which is integrated into the front panel. Together with light structure create a major dominant of space and compensate for missing view of the street. In the openable front panel are located aquarium technology and resources light color changing fibers. Fine fiber network also serves as a breaker sounds. RGB LED strips deposited on glass frames are used for any illumination and coloring space." 

- Next Level Studio


Wednesday 17 September 2014

Projects Wanted - Call For Entries III

We are proud to release the third Call For Entries of Projects Wanted initiative!

The feedback we've been receiving since we started this initiative motivates us to keep going with it and now we invite again all international Architecture offices to send us their newest projects. All the information is available below - we'll be waiting for the new entries on the e-mail you all!

The flyer for this Call For Entries features the project "Coín Courhouse", sent by the Spanish office Donaire Arquitectos.

International version

Portuguese version