Sofia, Bulgaria / Concept
On Thursday before Easter in 1925, inside of the church Saint King (Sveta Nedelya today), Bulgaria loses more senior officers than in every war until that time. The unthinkable terrorist attack takes the lives of 213 people and wounds more than 500, including women and children. Today, 96 years later, the victims of the horrific event are left with no memorial to commemorate their lives. Until recent years, it was the largest terrorist attack in Europe and yet it remains insufficiently discussed in Bulgarian society. We are using the current international architecture competition initiated by the government to rethink the Sveta Nedelya square and to propose a contemporary urban installation, which is meant to be a part of city life, but also to act as a reminder to the horrific events that happened on the historic square.
The proposal consists of a forest made up of 213 pillars to the eastern side of the church representing the total lives lost as a result of the attack. In plan they are unevenly spaced where the smallest distance between them is 3 meters in order not to disturb the flow of people on the square. The unique placement for each of the pillars, not subject to a strict geometry, preserves their individual presence. The pillars are the same height and each of them is topped with a small cross at the level of the Sveta Nedelya cross. The excessive length aims to shift the focus of the memorial vertically and preserves the square for the city. The sense of a forest, and not of a cemetery despite being located at the apse of the church, allows for urban life to flow through the memorial.