Dobrich City Centre
place.make: Nurhan Redzheb, Silvia Chakarova, Magdalena Boboshevska, Margita Vasileva, Teodora Stefanova, Krasimir Solenkov
Design Group Studio: Grigor Perchikliyski, Desislav Evlogiev, Stoyka Ruseva
Lichtkompetenz (lighting design): Lalyo Penev, Zvezdina Ivanova
Maxbox (3D visualisations): Hristo Radoev, Radost Atanasova, Ivan Minchev
Client: Dobrich Municipality
Status: International competition – 1st prize
When we visited Dobrich we saw a very lively and dynamic centre that needs some care and delicate interventions to become a welcoming place that attracts and retains people. Working on the competition proposal, we considered that the quote from the book “Cities for People” by Jan Gehl: “Life, space, buildings – in that order” embodies the priorities that should be set before the development of the pedestrian spaces in Dobrich.
The project proposal aims to add new activities and places in the area to stimulate social interaction between people. Transitional and desolate spaces are turned into places capable to attract people. The proposal focuses on the conditions that allow for various activities to happen and for people to spend quality time outside. The project proposes new elements and structures for formal and informal play for all ages – children, youth, and adults. Some of these are located in designated play places, while others are scattered around the pedestrian center to be discovered by chance. Various seating areas are proposed that offer the opportunity for people to gather and socialize, or retreat in designated areas for solitude and contemplation. The active ground floors framing a significant part of the vicinity keep pedestrian areas lively.
Planning from the 20th century has created vast spaces in the city center, resulting in a loss of human scale. From a pedestrian perspective, the two formally separated squares – Svoboda and Vazrazhdane, are perceived as one large space – hot in summer and windy in winter. The main objective of the project proposal is to clearly differentiate two separate plazas and turn them into places saturated with functions and activities to attract and engage visitors. Demokratsia Sq retains its role of a representative space allowing for various outdoor events to take place. 25 Septemvri Blvd., the main pedestrian axis, is transformed into a place for meetings, play, sports, trade, and recreation. Different in function and scale pockets for socialization are formed along the streets. Natural granite is used in pedestrian spaces to provide durability and unified design, and a Terrazzo mosaic type of pavement is proposed for accent zones. The latter is made by recycling the existing clinker slabs and concrete. In addition, urban furniture elements are made of the same recycled material.
The pavilions and pergolas proposed in the project create a spatial framework – the décor of public life in pedestrian spaces. Their design allows for perceptiveness, creating a sense of lightness and unobtrusiveness and supporting orientation in space. These structures give human scale to large spaces and provide space for additional outdoor and indoor activities that promote public life. Their placement near public buildings (the gallery, the library, etc.) is an opportunity for such activities to go outside the buildings and reach out to a larger audience. The flexible design of the structures allows for their multiplication in different places in the city, including their use as movable objects for temporary events.