“In recent years Sofia has changed a lot in a positive direction and what you have done is in the right direction for the city”, said the Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas in Sofia at a meeting with Mayor Yordanka Fandakova. The chief architect Zdravko Zdravkov, representatives of Konfindustria Bulgaria, who organized a conference on design and sustainable development on the Day of Italian Design in Sofia, also attended the meeting.
The mayor and the Italian architect discussed the development and arrangement of square urban spaces, the access of people thereto and how the city could develop its opportunities to become an attractive place.
It is important to free the square space from cars and to include landscaping. “There should be no parking lots on the city squares”, said Fuksas emphatically. He visited the squares around the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and St. Nedelya, where Sofia Municipality funds the performance of archaeological studies.
“The vision for the development of urban spaces is key in our understanding of Sofia as a green city”, said Mayor Fandakova.
It is very important that Sofia municipality is planning to restore the squares that are landmark for the city; to form the connections and the city streets in the centre is essential, also noted architect Fuksas.
Sustainable urban development is one of the key priorities for Sofia. Mayor Fandakova informed the world-famous architect about the proposals for amendments to the Sofia Municipality's Planning and Building Act, which are currently under discussion at the National Assembly. Thereby, we want to limit the height of high-rise buildings in Sofia. At present, we have a consensus that the maximum height in the city should be up to 75 m, said Fandakova. We are also working on proposals for the urban environment that defines requirements for facades and street furniture.
Architect Fuksas is a winner of a number of international awards and a guest lecturer at a number of universities. From 1994 to 1997, he was a member of the urban committees of Berlin and Salzburg. For many years, Fuksas has been dedicated to studying urban issues and has paid special attention to the development of urban suburbs. Among his most significant projects are Zenith - the music hall in Strasbourg (2008), Shanghai International Airport, China (2007), Armani Tower in Tokyo, Japan (2007), the new Commercial and Exhibition Centre in Milan (2005) and the new Congress Centre in Rome, Italy (current project).