The Five Houses
I reconstruct digitally houses from 19th century which existed in different towns in Bulgaria. They were represented into architectural drawings by professional architects in the 1950’s and in the early 1960’s. For decades the files stayed archived at the Institute of Art Studies. Now I revitalize the houses from the shelves through the digital three-dimensional reconstructions. The recreated houses and their adjacent areas are represented very close to their real counterpart. However, on the way between buildings and drawings information has been lost. I fill the gaps with my own architectural creativity. In this sense, as a result of my project artistic Transition 1, namely from paper to digital space, they are artefacts themselves.
The artistic Transition 2 is represented into digital compositions that establish critics on the gender stereotypes framed into domestic environment. I extract the element of hearth that concentrates the female space. It is source of heating, light and place of cooking and thus it is the social center of home. In some of the reconstructed houses this centrality is super exposed by the geometrical position of fireplace and chimneys but in other examples its location is pushed to the backside of domestic space or totally hidden. The levels of accessibility and visibility of hearth are principles to interpret the position and role of woman into the family hierarchy.
This house existed in town of Etropole. It is selected among the other since it comprises a residential unit of 19th century patriarchal house. It consists of one room with fire place, indicated by the chimney, and second room with windows. A small storage is situated on the west side. Underground there is a basement for storing food. The house space is extended by yard space where everyday life happened in the warm seasons.
The house is transformed into a model made of card board and sticks. The change of scale and material of house represents that change of stereotype that construction works demand physical masculine power.
The house once was located on the road between two towns in Bulgaria – Teteven and Ribaritsa. Just like the House 1, It is representative of the mass model family house in 19th century and consists of a room with fireplace, a room with two windows and a basement for storing food.
The transition 2 of this house is about the reuse of the domestic idea. The artistic transformation is a nod to the Japanese Pavilion of Venice Bienalle 2021 Japan Pavilion: Destruction | Reconstruction | Reuse. Here the house is decomposed of its structural elements and arranged into piles of its initial starting point.
The House 3 was home of two families of two brothers. The building from the town of Sungulare accommodated two residential units with separate entrances from the yard. They contained as well premises for public facilities like inn, post and shop which doors faced a small-town square.
The House 3 transformation seeks for answers about shared living. There are two houses integrated into this building and as long architecture is social order each of the domestic hearths is a center of rotation of walls. Each family order influences and aligns to the other up to a moment where living together is possible. The transition uses as a reference the art installation An Architectural ‘Correction’: Ignasi Aballí from 2022 Venice biennale.
The House 4 was situated in the center of town of Berkovitsa in Bulgaria and was built and owned initially by a rich Ottoman aristocrat. The house existed near 100 years. The architectural drawings give detailed information about the yard and its elements such as marble table, well and trees, and data about the interior space such as the decorated ceilings, bath water pool and enormous service room with three big fireplaces.
The transition 2 of this house is explored in the dynamic of spaces through following the main walking lines within the house. The spaces are represented through levels of visibility and accessibility.
The House 5 was situated on a peninsula at the Black Sea coast. It was divided vertically into different zones without access between each other. The basement and first floor were dedicated to production and storage of wine while the domestic activities took place on the second floor. There were three separate stairs that go to each floor.
The house structure is repeated 365 times into a new composition of repetitive everydayness. The new structure represents the domestic as immersive framed space of unexpected levels and stairs that leads to lingering into a labyrinth and to disorientation.