architects: Lenko Mihov
“KULTURa” settlement project has diverse functions, fields or areas of interests and topics that are to some extent of crucial importance to the wellbeing of the social present day urban citizen. Everything in this concept has multiple functions, as well as the numerous meanings of the word culture, hence the name of the project. Pragmatic and simple are the two words describing this concept the best – nothing more, nothing less.
The location of the project is on the outskirts of Dolna Banya – small town in central Bulgaria, popular with its mineral hot springs and beautiful nature and mountain ranges views, where the building complex is positioned on a mixed use and agricultural land on the bank of Maritsa river. The site provides wide range of natural resources, all together adding up to everything that an artificial city structures offer, allowing people to appreciate and even in some cases understand the basics of our existence.
The main idea of the project is to offer an alternative to citizens from bigger cities to spending their free time or vacation days not only in resorts with pure relaxation purpose, or in the other hand investing in vacation property that serves only one purpose, but to get the opportunity to appreciate the genuine principles of our life going back to its roots. This can be seen as an up to date interpretation of village life, optimized and transformed to the mind, way of thinking and habits of a modern citizen, providing all advantages of both the city and the village, without making big city life obsolete and redundant, but actually exactly the opposite – it should be an addition to the urban reality in which we live in.
The building composition consists of four structures, each with a different purpose and function. The two public use buildings – the auditorium and the wellness correspond with each other the same way as the two residential structures, so that the four buildings form a space – a square, offering the residents some outdoor area with city atmosphere. The configuration of those four buildings provide its inhabitants a façade and view in both directions – to the square and in direction the open vista of agriculture land and nature.
The horizontal plane base on which the ensemble is placed on has the purpose to provide a natural barrier and line between settlement private property and the uneven agricultural land. Each personal property has a private stair connecting the green terrace with each garden stripe. Another characteristic of the project is the irrigation channels with multi purpose use, obtained from Maritza river around the platform base wall.
Sun is the major factor shaping the positioning and alignment of the building composition and it is as well the reason for the descending height towards south, allowing sunrays in the cold season to reach all units of the complex.
All in all, the concept aims to diversify and relax the stringent city structured life based on two major things – work and free time, to a more flexible and natural lifestyle, less dependent on the norms carved through the last decades in society’s mind, reminding again what substantial and important actually is to individuals.