Collider Activity Center International Competition

Architect , Marin Keremidski has sent us her project for Collider Activity Center International Competition (a place that gathers all active people and offers unlimited combinations of sports, rest and networking) and it was ranked as one of the TOP10 projects.

1.Introduction. Concept. Goals.

The current project for Collider Activity Center aims not only to construct a building with materials appropriate for active sport, but also to bring a piece of nature into the urban environment. It follows the idea to both create city space and influence human psychology. The goal of the project is to bring people back to nature. To provoke them. To make them curious and passionate about something new in town. “New” as a concept and a way of life. The project aims at visual and spiritual harmony that makes people associate themselves to a place they actually belong to. Collider Activity Center aims to become not just the next fashionable place in the capital, but to be perceived as an oasis in the physical and spiritual sense of the word. Addiction to a piece of land in Sofia. 
The concept of Collider Activity Center is attractive and speaks for itself. What this project adds to the general picture is that it can actually addict large number of people, successful, active, or just citizens of Sofia, to a building with no defined walls and a rooftop they can walk on – a place they can be themselves and truly feel comfortable by discovering various types of leisure activities, by relaxing, networking, practicing sports or simply enjoying the location. 


The Collider Activity Center plot has an excellent location and transport connections. The extension of Andrei Liapchev Blvd. to the north /presently under construction/ leads to Tsarigradsko Shose Blvd. which takes you directly to Sofia city centre for about 10-15 min. At the same time you can access Mladost District form two different places from Alexandar Malinov blvd. The plot itself will be reached from northwest and southeast from Zecho Gumuchev Str. There is a metro station in immediate vicinity to the plot, as well as two bus stations with bus lines leading to different parts of Sofia. Pedestrians will get access from Zecho Gumuchev Str. at two spots – through the main entrance near the street and though a ramp directly into the restaurant. The staff parking lot /together with the staff entrance/ is positioned to the north in order to make use of the unfavorable exposure. The visitors’ parking lot is located out of the construction line in order to make use of the space. There are two access points at approximately equal distance. On the other side of Zecho Gumuchev Str. there are residence buildings. Behind them Vitosha mountain can be seen. The building naturally goes into the terrain, there is no fixed limit, which allows a view both to the mountain and to the southeast. In clear days there will be a view to Stara Planina Mountain. Two future projects are planned in the area: northwest- tv studios, to the south – a commercial center. The location of the building aims to avoid restriction of the view to the city and the mountain by the two projects. The complex /a building and a park as a whole/ is organized along the length of the plot and is developed in two directions: to the bottom of the plot and with a façade southward. 
A natural extension of the building is an axis shaped as a canyon, providing space for climbing walls, winter gardens and other facilities. The Boulder park is located on both sides of the canyon, and at the end of the plot – Ropetopia and a beach volleyball playground. The canyon leads northeast to the events stage. Southeast near the restaurant is situated an outdoor swimming pool, followed by a fountain and children's facilities, followed by a deep swimming pool. There is also a route for rough terrain mountain biking and jogging. 

3.Architectural concept. 

The architectural concept is expressed not only in the construction of a building with an adjoining park, but in the creation of a symbiotic organic whole –a building, green areas, water areas, alleys: a piece of nature incorporated in the urban environment with no clear boundaries within the plot. The result is natural and harmonious blend of the different elements. Visitors will be able to pass "through" the building, over the building, along the building. This creates an environment close to nature – surprising, harmonious and diverse, without clear distinctions between the elements. There is always more to discover. 
The "walls" of the building turn harmoniously into alleys in the park and the canyon that is actually a winter garden with spots for climbing. Practically there are two main 
elements: "rock" solid part and a green part. The climbing process will not only be associated with climbing walls, but will be provoked by the terrain and the building itself. There is an option to climb the southern part of the building close to the restaurant, as well as “conquering” the green roof. 
The building, part of the complex, will reach 22.00m at its highest point. In view of recent changes in the Law of Spatial Development in Bulgaria cornice level will now be determined and measured by the current project for the plot /"Vertical planning"/. Thus the plot as designed in the project is the one to be considered, and not the existing plot, which is an option to design greater height. The present project takes into consideration the existing terrain which creates an option to further design a greater height. 


- Elevation+ 0.00m 
The access to the building is organized from two places: for visitors and for staff. The visitors access the building through the main entrance through a lobby with an information centre, bathrooms and others. The lobby provides a visual air connection to the upper level with climbing halls, and to the lower level with the multifunctional hall, fitness, spa centre and others. It also connects to the administration part through a staff entrance. An elevator and stairs provide the access to both levels. The ground level and the lobby is a distribution spot for the building. Function schemes of the building and staff at the information centre will give more information for directions. There is air space above the multifunctional hall, 3.50m elevation, as well as above the fitness. Above both spaces there will be galleries with usable area. The gallery above the multifunctional hall will access directly the courtyard of the terrace next to the restaurant. 

- Elevation + 3.75m 
This is the main level of the building with climbing halls. It accesses directly the uplifted courtyard. The restaurant is located at the same level with direct access to the courtyard and the swimming pool. The café is a connection between the two climbing halls and also provides access to the winter garden into the canyon through a ramp. At particular points the café visually connects to the climbing hall. Climbing walls are also located between Funtopia and the restaurant. The briefing room and lockers space at Funtopia is shaped as a sculpture through climbing walls where people will be able to climb, and in summertime the windows may be opened and thus the process of climbing outside and inside will be joined. 
The climbing hall is organized as follows: 3.75m elevation – hall for high climbing walls. Through one of the climbing walls visitors will be able to reach the upper level to the Boulders hall. This climbing turns into a sequential process and becomes an adventure. Boulders with be further reached by elevators and stairs. 
Depending on the climbing walls requirements, all surfaces of the present projects can be changed in different directions. 
Crane premise – elevator platform serving the hall for high climbing walls and the boulders hall. 

- Elevation +12.80m 
The location of the Boulders hall, accessible through a climbing wall from the lower level and through two staircases and an elevator. At a particular part of the slab above the hall for high climbing walls there is air space with visual connection to it. This level ensures access to the rooftop through the same vertical communications. 

- Elevation 18.95m 
Roof terrace. Access by stairs and elevators built into the side of the building. While climbing the stairs from 12.80m elevation visitors pass above the hall for high climbing walls, very close to climbing people, so the process is visible. The rooftop is a green terrace offering the option of a picnic. The necessary service facilities are provided, together with a visual connection to the climbing halls through upper lighting. Handrails are hidden in the greenery. There is an option to “conquer the hill” in both directions of the green rooftop. 

- Elevation-3.15m 
Lobby, multifunctional hall, fitness, spa centre, service and technical premises and others, including the lower level of the administration block. The offices are designed as duplexes with regard to natural light coming in the premises from +-0.00m. through the air space above the lobby. The fitness and the multifunctional hall on the southern side also have natural lighting through displacement of the outer terrain. The building gets natural lighting through the façade system with double-curved glass and upper lighting. 

The courtyard is a natural continuation of the building, the construction, the concept and the geometrical shape. It is accessible both through internal space of the building and directly through the street. Through the building it is accessible from the restaurant and the common climbing spaces and from the café through a ramp. The courtyard is organized around the axis of the artificial canyon, which is a natural extension of the ramp from the cafeteria. The canyon is a concave space with climbing walls as retaining walls. Inside the canyon there are a café, a winter garden, and a space with an option to position temporary pavilions, kiosks, stands, that will not be calculated in the build-up area of the complex. The winter garden can be covered by tents. The canyon leads to an external events stage. The Boulder Park is located amongst greenery on both sides of the canyon. The building walls in the restaurant area can be used as climbing walls and naturally switch to a stone surface leading to the canyon. Nearby the restaurant there is an outdoor pool. The terrace at the same level leads to 
the gallery above the multifunctional hall where there are showers and lockers. The pool can be used by the people in the multifunctional building. There is a beach volleyball playground nearby the Boulder Park. The complex terrain of the park will challenge people to climb, to go to picnic and have fun.The floorings of the park is the following: green stone slabs in front of the building, stone flooring naturally merging with the building’s paneling, green areas with an option for vehicles to pass on them. Excavation and building works will be organized according to a relevant plan. 

5.Construction. Building materials. Construction Technology.
-Concrete and metal main structure. Walls: solid concrete, light concrete, brickwork, insulation. 
- For double surfaces / three dimensional / a scheme will be offered in order to reach the level of economy of standard solid construction. The scheme will include: 
- Unification of Certain radii in three dimensions; creation of a database of a number of repeating three-dimensional shapes that will reduce the cost by using three-dimensional formwork / thus full shuttering will be avoided: the same form will be used for a larger number of elements/. 
- phased use of formwork 
-staging in the various areas 
-build a ready three-dimensional elements in the factory that can be delivered and fitted on spot. This will allow the simultaneous work on the main construction and the walls. 
The roof of the building will be landscaped according to a pre-given architectural detail. The sloping area with inclination over 10-15 degrees will be landscaped with an enhancing system with frames, curved perforated elements or readymade square metal frames with diagonals in order to avoid landslip. There are number of companies offering different details /ZinCo Georaster; Cell-Tek Geosynthetics and others/ 

External cladding can be fulfilled in two ways: 

a/ through stone cladding with a large size of the slate /Slate Lite technology/. The material is flexible and can be curved. SLATE LITE consists of layers. It is 100% natural stone with thickness between 1 and 4mm and a base made of polyester with glass fiber for strength and stability. Possible sheets dimensions: 2700 x 1500mm and the gaps between the sheets can be almost invisible. The same material can be applied in the 

interior spaces. The material can be half-transparent and allow light inside. The cladding can be laid at long narrow strips 270/10-20cm. 

Advantages of the material: 

• Ecologically clean, treated natural stone; 
• Frost resistant to; 
• Easy fitiing, cutting and final processing; 
• Significantly reduces the weight of the building; 
• Reduces the cost of fittings and adhesives during application; 
• Stone cladding which, due to its flexibility, can be applied at corners, columns and other specific profiles; 
• Easy to transport, load and unload; 
• Large size of the plates; 
• Environmentally friendly; only 1 to 4 mm stone thickness; 
b/ facade painting by using a new painting system with "stone plaster". Better choice of texture and colours compared to Slate Lite. Stone plaster may create a visual effect of horizontal lining and a geological section of a rock and its layers. 

-Landscaping will be designed and fulfilled according to an architectural and landscaping project applying building indexes and required minimal area of 2/3 high greenеry. 

6. “Green energy” 

The following building efficiency measures are planned: 

-Roof planting 
-Watering system using rainwater drainage systems and through reservoirs in the area. 
-Wastewater system, reuse of wasterwater in toilets and water system

-A natural ventilation system through: 
a / canals / tunnels in the ground to create a natural flow to the spaces underground. The channels output will be at a shady place. For better performance, the canals will have a system of fans. 
b / system of holes / flaps in the walls, depending on the season and the flap to be opened will be create natural ventilation or isolation for turning the hot air. 
-Use of effective methods of heating, geothermal systems, heat pumps and more. 
-System for separate collection and recycling of waste and use it for additional revenue the site. 
System of mini-turbines to solve some needs for smaller loads, such as duty lighting, advertising lighting, etc.. 
-Lighting in the park with photovoltaic modules. 
-Using photovoltaic panels to heat the pool. 
Electronic centralized system for managing all energy-efficient systems. 
Possible LEED standard certification. 

7.Built-up area. 

Floor area – 1998sq.m. 
Area above ground level - 5715sq.m. Underground area – 2382sq.m. 
Total built-up area – 8097 
100 parking places