Effix Pavilion: Design of a small shape in the urban environment: a difficult task

The international competition for young architects and students, known as “Effix in the Sea Garden of Varna,” ended on the 15th of August 2016. The event organized by Devnya Cement AD and Varna Design Forum was a great success, as we witnessed increased participation and enjoyed the presentation of many quality projects. (http://effixpavilion.com/).

Having benefited from the excellent collaboration of organizers, and the international composition of the jury, the competition has enjoyed both, an enhanced   credibility, and attracted the participation of 95 teams from 34 countries and 5 continents. The Bulgarian participants numbered  21, followed by those from:  India – 5, UK – 5, Italy –  4,  Iran – 4, Russia – 4, Romania – 3, Ukraine – 3, Georgia – 3, Philippines – 3, Hong Kong – 3, Indonesia– 3, Ethiopia – 3, United States – 3, Sweden – 2, Spain – 2, Hungary – 2, China – 2, Colombia – 2, Peru –  2, Japan – 2. Projects were also presented by teams from Germany, Greece, France, Belarus, Kosovo, Poland, Lebanon, Egypt, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Bolivia, and Venezuela. In this aspect the competition enjoyed great success. We were pleased to see that comments on the pages of the contest were overwhelmingly positive. Many expressed gratitude for the chance given young architects, through the contest, to learn so much about the topic – “This Great Ocean” (Yassaman Abzade).

The competition gave its interpretation of the contemporary understanding of ”the shape”, how it is a reflection of its creators, and of the public attitudes regarding the subject (the audience award).

The anonymous contest targeted architects under the age of 35 years and students. Our initial intentions were to have an even lower threshold of 29 years of age. The competition confirmed once again, the classic relationship between results and accumulated professional experience.

Having intentionally set rather challenging restriction the contest organizers intended the contest as an opportunity aimed specifically at the young professional in our field. We were full aware of the challenging economic conditions faced by the entire world. The finding of a job, even more so a job where one can be challenged to grow and think, a job which stimulates one’s imagination and creativity is a heavy task especially for the novice in the field. To help in this regard, was the first of three specific objectives of the competition.

The essence of the task was indeed  of, “oceanic” proportions. The principal difficulty emerged from the combination of several important requirements. To create both a functional and uniquely impacting shape. To achieve modularity. To use concrete prepared in the laboratories for innovative technology of Devnya Cement.  And finally this material to be used as an important shaping factor in the context of the Sea Garden of Varna.  Thus, the application of innovative and yet unknown materials, was the second specific objective of the contest.

The third specific objective was the enrichment of the urban environment of Varna, (a basic goal of the Varna Design Forum) which in turn would add to the global enrichment of the creating of shapes globally. Looking at the winning projects and the number of others lauded by the jury, it is clear to see that this year’s competition achieved its goals.


Rositsa Nikiforova, Christo Topchiev 24.09.2016

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