Play of Light



Harbors in the cities have always been the boundary between man and nature. The design approach aims to bring this transition space to life and to enrich the harbor’s silhouette. How is this possible? By creating unique space rather than ordinary building – a light installation provoking the imagination, a playground you have to be a part of. The building is situated on the edge of the waterfront – between the sea and the city and its main concept is to create the connection between the water and the ground – welcoming space and an introduction to mainland.

The main idea of the cube is to be used as a performance/theatre space. Its image is rigid and controlled. The distinguishing feature of this concept is a monumental facade of perforated steel, raised slightly above the waterline, which acts as a dynamic and translucent filter, presenting a semblance of the varied activities behind it while still preserving the capacity to change. In the strict geometry a floating space defined by linear edge elements has been created. The space is an interpretation of an artificial “forest” of masts (pilots) defined by the columns appearing from the underground level and hanging from the roof. Rusted steel boxes are spread around them and evoke images of ship-building and relate directly to the industrial character of the place. The boxes provide views to the stages in the building but they can flip their role and can be used for screening and then the stages become the place for the audience. The only entrance to the building is via underwater tunnel in the sea. To reach the water tunnel first you have to go through the water platform, where you can anchor your boat. The underwater tunnel represents the connection between the sea and the coast. People go through the water square and then enter the underwater tunnel. Here starts the journey to the heart of the building…

Play with the strength of light makes the visitor start to explore the building. At the end of the dark tunnel (image #2) light penetrates from a glass platform (image #3) and leads to a dramatic atrium flooded with natural light. Light pipes define this space and also provide it with natural light and ventilation (see detail light pipes). The first performing space (image #3) could be the platform itself with the columns playing the role of a backstage in this case. A backstage which can be only reached if the journey through the underwater tunnel (image #2) is processed – tiny and dark space after which you enter a space resembling a cathedral (image #5) – where light penetrates through the light pipes. This is the primary stage and the core of the cube. The main space with views to the secondary stages – the glass floor stage cut from the building and the performance center above it. When reaching the exterior glass floor stage people with their shadows become part of the performance.





Team: Dobrina Encheva, Stanislava Markovska