INVESTOR:Ministry of Culture
GENERAL CONTRACTOR:Bigla ІІІ-Evroplam SOCA
ARCHITECT:EKSA AD,arch.Konstantin Peev
The project at hand comprises reconstruction, adaptation and restoration of the former King’s Palace building west wing, situated on 1, King Alexander Batenberg square, Sofia, Bulgaria, covering a total of 5140 m2. built up area, which has been listed as a cultural monument of national significance.
The present appearance of the building dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, when eventually it got the status of a King’s Palace.
Its architecture is largely influenced by the Vienna baroque style and bears resemblance to the French palaces of the 18th century.
Within the period between 1995 and 2008, the building elevation, the east roof section, the central towers, the main staircase, as well as, few exhibition halls of the Ethnographic museum, have been restored to their original appearance.
The current stage of restoration includes the central and west wings of the Palace, which at present accommodate the Bulgarian fine arts National museum. /BFANM/. It concerns display halls, library, office rooms, technical and sanitary facilities, works of fine arts storage depots, additional area in the attic /subroof/ space, as well as restoration of the roof itself.
The project provides for optimal function of the /BFANM/, as a constitution, while at the same time preserving the authentic spirit of the palace building.
Contemporary building materials have been used in the process, only, where newly formed spaces appear, just to emphasize the contrast between authentic and modern look.
The project, also added considerable improvements to the building infrastructure. Introducing energy effective solutions, ensuring disabled persons access through implementation of contemporary passenger lifts and sanitary rooms, providing modern A/C, water, sewage, heating, ventilation, power and light installations, fire alarm, as well as security access control and computer guide systems.
Exposition hall and works of art storage depots areas have been increased also.
Highly effective, thermal insulation woodwork was introduced, specially designed to match the appearance of the original one.
Roof restoration was completed, copying the authentic solution with elaborate ornamentation, zinc water drain system and “shiffer” roof tiling, while adding contemporary insulation system.
Optimal conditions for storage of works of fine art have been provided, both in the exposition gallery and storage depots, through introducing a system for sustaining constant levels of temperature and humidity.
Light intensity was balanced by use of blinds on windows, specially restored light fixtures with remote control on power and direction of lighting.
Integrated system for safety and protection of /BFANM/ was introduced, including alarm and video surveillance.
Preservation, conservation, restoration and adaptation activities on the project include:
Reconstruction of authentic decoration details and elements, rehabilitation or replacement /as per original samples/ of existing floor cover, wall cladding, metal ornamentation, roof cover, wall and ceiling crack treatment, decorative ornamentation over new installations passage.
Large parts of the throne hall ornamentation was originally gilt. At this stage however, interior painting is used to preserve and prepare it for future restoration of its gold cover in case of eventual financing.
Unique solution of a problem, complicated both architecturally and structurally, of provision of a three stops passenger lift to the main staircase of /BFANM/ was found, while at the same time preserving the authentic interior.
Another ingenious technical solution was offered, while erecting the attic floor structure. Contemporary technology, using combined wood-steel beams was implemented to take the overload of newly designed display halls and storage rooms above.
The building foundations were additionally enforced structurally.
As an overall result, the /BFANM/ gained comfort and technical equipment, relevant to the leading world examples of similar museum institutions, while the building restored its glamour and authentic royal look.