SOFIA I EN I Guéorgui Raphailov

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Guéorgui Raphailov

GRID
30.12.2013  – 17 h
77a, Dimitar Hadjikocev Str. Sofia 1421, Bulgaria


Introduction

After graduating The University or Architecture Civil Engineering and Geodesy (UACG) in 2004 in Sofia, I worked as freelancer architect, designing mostly industrial buildings and large hangar constructions for big commercial stores. In 2011 we founded the architectural agency GRID Architects & Engineers. In our most recent projects we worked on the design of a small school planetarium in Koprivshtitsa (small historical town in Bulgaria), of a vacation house in Pavel Banya (other small town in Bulgaria) and on the design planning of an urban beach, on the top of a mall in Sofia. What’s interesting and with what all these projects resemble is that for their main concept for the design was the application of a geological dome.

Questions

Which building would you like to have drawn?
The courtyard of the British Museum.

Which project are you most proud of?
The one that lies ahead!

Tell us about some interesting details of your projects?
For example, the external cover we designed for the planetarium in Koprivshtitsa is interesting. With the idea to use as many natural materials as possible, for isolation we used natural sheep’s wool and we covered the roof of the dome with wood twigs.

When was the first time you felt as real architect?
One of my first projects was the design of a huge hall for a big commercial store. When I visited the building site, by then the builders were up to put the columns – from 12 to 19 meters between each other. This huge space impressed me and I felt proud of having drawn this project that I was watching being built at that time.

What is the architectural program that you would never do?
Well, I have never thought about a question like that but maybe I would never design a mall.

What would be the perfect city for you?
According to my opinion, the perfect environment for living is not the city or whatever type of surroundings in which the habitats of the persons are densely regrouped. It is all connected with the progress of the new contemporary technologies. Nowadays people can exchange information from big distances. It is not necessary anymore to be all densely regrouped with one another. What happens in China is in no case my picture for a good way of habitation.

Do you prefer to draw or to write?
To draw!

What is the question that bothers you?
It is the situation in some cases Bulgaria is too “provincial” in terms of events. People here don’t have enough faith in their own abilities. They can’t believe they can create interesting things and this actually impedes them from creating things that could impress. From practical point of view this reflects to every one of us. It is ambiguous because on the in the same time there is some kind of unemployment in the country but on the other when you have the possibility to create something interesting, in most of the cases there is no one who/ to whom you could address to.

What does exasperate you in architecture?
Well it comes as a consequence of the situation that I just descried. It has a direct impact on the architecture as well. Our society doesn’t dare to dream, to believe in itself so better projects to come

What is the most grotesque building for you in Sofia?
A kindergarten that is in a form of a huge colored snail.

What is the music of the moment?
For the moment it is Rudimental.

What would you say to young architects?
Create amazing things but create them for the people

Who is the architect that accompanies you?
I could say Frank Lloyd Right

What did you remember from your years as student?
When I was student I appreciate the most the fact that I crossed the world at that time.

What did you do today?
I drank some wine (laughing). But yet it is Christmas time

What‘s next?
It is the time that we make only good projects.

The question that I should have asked you?
I am not sure what exactly should be the question but I consider that what we should pay more attention for is the environmental protection. I consider that the building should be less harmful for the environment. In Bulgaria in particular people do not pay attention to so called sustainable architecture. For not many people it is important the place the construction materials come from, or how they are produced. For me an important aim is to build with local materials that come from a relatively close distance from the building site.

 

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