Day after day the new building of Karin Dom gains “density” and “comes to life” from a dream, idea and project to a real building with its own look ready to meet the needs of many families and professionals.
Behind this responsible task is a wonderful tandem of two young architects – the Bulgarian Bilyana Asenova and the Italian Sasha Ciabatti, working in Berlin. Their association UNAS Studio participated in the International Architectural Competition for a new building of Karin Dom in competition with 174 projects from 48 countries around the world. UNAS Studio unanimously won the jury with its compact interior space, precise solutions and maximally preserved green areas.
We had the pleasure to welcome the creators of the project in the new building of Karin Dom. See what Bilyana Asenova and Sasha Ciabatti told us about their first look at the already completed construction of the modern therapeutic center!
How do you feel now seeing that the building is becoming “alive” and gaining density?
It’s very exciting! It is always very interesting to see a space in reality and to feel its similarities and differences compared to how you imagined it during the project phase. After our last visit we were very positively excited.
How did you find out about the competition for a new building for Karin Dom?
We learned about it on a German competition site – Bauwelt.
Every artist has his own approach and way to be inspired. How did you start the plan for the winning architectural project among 48 countries? Did you imagine it; did you want to do something like that a long time ago or was it born step-by-step?
At the beginning of each competition we always try many different options so the project is born step-by-step while taking into account all the parameters and looking for the best solution for the specific situation.
How do you distribute your team commitments and how do you come to the final common decisions?
In the years of working together, we have divided our commitments quite clearly but when it comes to conceptual decisions we always discuss them together – most times we come to a common decision quickly but sometimes we reach a consensus after long discussions.
There are always a lot of ideas while working on a project but in the process we often have to give some of them up. What did you certainly not want/could not compromise with?
It was important for us to keep the idea of the connection with nature not only outdoors but also inside the building – we kept to the size of the windows and the framing of certain views. It was also important for us to maintain a balanced interior with natural materials – wood, natural linoleum and furniture with soft, pastel tones. On the part of Karin Dom so far we have felt a lot of understanding and desire to preserve the overall concept of the building and we are very grateful.
Are there any differences in standards between the practices in Germany and Bulgaria that surprised you and turned out to be a challenge?
Yes, there are a lot of differences. There are mostly standards in Germany that do not exist in Bulgaria which was surprising for us. Also, in the implementation of different details there is a difference in the materials, for example, which makes it impossible to apply certain details in this form so in the process we have often consulted with colleagues with local experience.
In Germany you have compiled many architectural projects for kindergartens and schools. Are there any similarities and differences between them and Karin Dom? What are the modern European practices?
We have certainly been influenced by our experience so far and we have applied modern practices in the new building of Karin Dom. For example, the standard corridors have the function of spaces for communication between teachers, children and parents with lots of natural light and opportunities to sit, lie down, relax, talk and study together.
At the beginning of the year, Karin Dom launched its long-term project – the construction of a new building for a therapeutic and training center. The plans are for the construction to be finalized next year and the work and activities of the Foundation to be completely moved into the new building. The idea is for the building to ensure an extremely functional space for therapy of children with special needs and a modern training center supporting specialists. The plot with an area of 2450m2, located in the extended central part of Varna – between the “Doiran” and “Kiril Shivarov” streets was provided by the Municipality of Varna, and the financing of the construction was provided by the Danish Velux Foundations.
The building consists of one underground level for garage and warehouses, three above-ground levels and a roof terrace. The building will combine various functions: physiotherapy and hydrotherapy, early intervention center, Montessori center and children’s demonstration kitchen, toy library, diagnostic rooms, individual and group therapy, sensory room, medical center, training halls, administrative part, courtyard with two playgrounds.
Строим новия терапевтичен и образователен комплекс във Варна