A3 – Advanced Architecture Apartments by STARH Architects is situated in one of the contemporary areas of Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital city. The neighborhood is a combination of dynamic urban living and a quiet, residential atmosphere with substantial greenery. Located amongst some of the city’s most modern and dynamic buildings, the forms and views of the adjacent Vitosha Mountain strongly dominate the environment and inform the elegant architecture of A3, which is characterised by soft rounded forms and expansive glazed surfaces designed to absorb maximum daylight.
A3 Advanced Architecture Apartments
A3 Advanced Architecture Apartments
Form Follows Function
A3 is the result of a team collaboration, including players ranging from client to architect, engineer to manufacturer. From the outset, the client had a clear vision with respect to the building’s program, including the creation of clean, orthogonal spaces and spacious rooms. "The creation of A3 flows from the inside to the outside, the design strictly follows the function, which is the approach the studio considers correct for residential building design. The uncompromising function complies fully with the investor program", the architects explain.
A3 – Volumes that inspire
The combination of two powerful context components, being the surrounding architecture and mountain views, results in the dynamic and modern shape of the development, without harming its function. A3 is organised into five distinct volumes, positioned together as an ensemble to determine the overall final shape. Each of the volumes is outlined with soft and elegant forms, allowing imaginations to run free. STARH Architects explain the correlation of the five building volumes to five mountain peaks, or the silhouette of a family with three children. They note the deeper concept however is to stimulate viewers to define their own experience of the building. In other words, for each individual to be inspired by the architecture and become the author of a new form themselves.
In total, the building is 100 meters in length and rises 17 storeys. The length is divided into five distinct blocks, each with its own entrance and independent vertical circulation. The first two blocks (A & B) include two apartments on each floor, while the other three blocks (V, G and D) service three apartments on each floor. The small number of apartments per floor was a strategy adopted with the aim of enhancing a feeling of luxury living as well as providing privacy to the tenants. In total, there are 158 apartments in A3.
By achieving the maximum built up area, the result was a 110-meter long facade for each building, which could appear imposing. In order to mitigate this, all edges were softened and curved in order to reduce an aggressive visual impact. Further to this, the curving oval forms help to function as noise screens, a valuable strategy as the development is located adjacent to a busy boulevard.
Aesthetics, Functionality and Longevity
According to Svetoslav Stanislavov of STARH Architects, aesthetics, functionality and longevity are the three components which define the architecture of A3. ‘’Despite ensuring a lasting grace, the glass, concrete and steel used in the façade provide a long life and easy maintenance,’’ he says.
Successful Collaboration Between Architect and Manufacturer
Selection of manufacturers was key for the success of the project, particularly with the curtain wall system and glazing who play such an important role in the architectural scheme. ‘’The building is designed to be of great quality in each aspect, including the materials used,’’ says Stanislavov. ‘’Having this in mind, choosing Reynaers Aluminum with their systems CW 50 and CS 77, amongst concrete and fiber-concrete panels and glass was logical. We were given the chance to visit some of the projects completed with the above-mentioned systems and introduced us to their manufacturers. The façade elements were assembled in the companies' factories and delivered in flawless condition.’’
Stanislavov adds, ‘’A close cooperation with the manufacturer’s representative during the design phase is a guarantee for the further high-quality realisation, which is our main goal. To create aesthetic, functional and long-lasting buildings. Beyond the substantial, the physical, the most remarkable in the building is that it impresses and stimulates the imagination.’’
Svetoslav Stanislavov graduates in architecture at the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy, Sofia, Bulgaria with Honorary Award from the Union of the Architects in Bulgaria for Best Diploma Project in Residential Buildings Department in 2003.
During the period 2003-2012 is a managing partner in a leading architecture studio.
Establishes his own architecture practice STARH Stanislavov Architects in 2012.
Numerous international honors and awards winner and laureate, amongst which - World Architecture Triennial INTERARCH, National Contest Building of the Year, American Architecture Prize, Architizer A+Awards, including ArchDaily Building of the Year 2018 nominee.