Varna, Bulgaria: a new residential building stands out for its eye-catching façade made of Corian® Exteriors
Varna Wave residential building with a façade made of Corian® Exteriors, an innovative solution based on Corian® Solid Surface; project by STARH;

November 2018 - Popular for its beaches and mineral springs, the Bulgarian city of Varna and its surrounding area have long offered an enviable quality of life. The vibrant metropolis is considered the most cosmopolitan outpost on the Black Sea, a curious blend of port city, naval base and seaside resort. Home to Roman baths, Orthodox cathedrals and postwar high-rises, its skyline is now witnessing a dramatic transformation.

One of the most impressive additions to the city’s urban fabric is found in the heart of downtown. In 2018, local architectural practice STARH unveiled a remarkable new work, the 9-floor, 10 000-sqm Varna Wave residential building. For design cues, architect Svetoslav Stanislavov, the founder of STARH, didn’t have to venture far, opting to look to the nearby undulating waves that lap against the region’s sandy beaches and which attract tourists from near and far.

 

Varna Wave residential building with a façade made of Corian® Exteriors,

an innovative solution based on Corian® Solid Surface;

project by STARH; photo by 3inSpirit, all rights reserved.

 

The fluid design envisioned by Stanislavov centered on an eye-catching facade for the L-shaped building. On eight floors of the apartment building there are balconies designed to replicate the effect of waves rolling in and out to sea that wrap around the tower’s northwest and southwest sides. To conjure up free-flowing waves in a static structure, Stanislavov turned to Corian® Exteriors, an innovative solution based on Corian® Solid Surface. The advanced surface’s ability to be thermoformed into fluid, seamless shapes provided the architect and his team with the perfect solution.

 

Varna Wave residential building with a façade made of Corian® Exteriors,

an innovative solution based on Corian® Solid Surface;

project by STARH; photo by 3inSpirit, all rights reserved.

 

The material was incorporated into the railings on the building exterior’s using specially thermoformed sections from Corian® Exteriors prepared in the matte Glacier White color. “The design is inspired by the movement of the sea,” explains architect Stanislavov, owner of STARH. “The loggias of the building are designed in a dark graphite color, creating an additional effect and outlining the elegant feeling of the white horizontal elements. The oval form of the corners softens the overall feeling of the building giving it an elegant and subtle look.”

 

Varna Wave residential building with a façade made of Corian® Exteriors,

an innovative solution based on Corian® Solid Surface;

project by STARH; photo by 3inSpirit, all rights reserved.

 

The brief called for approximately 1,500 sqm of Corian® Exteriors, which was paired on the railings with glass, which is present in the middle section of each balcony to offer homeowners unobstructed views. The exterior skin of the building is clad in panels of Swisspearl, a high-density fiber cement that contrasts sharply with the creamy white hue from Corian® Exteriors, helping to further spotlight the Corian® surface and the wave-like effect.

Beyond its aesthetic appeal, there were the material’s functional aspects that further convinced Stanislavov to select Corian® Exteriors. “Used as a ventilated facade, Corian® Exteriors panels increase the energy efficiency of the building offering also high moisture resistance.” Moreover, their UV-resistance offered excellent colorfastness together with the well-known repairability.

Upon completion of the project, which marked the first instance of Corian® Exteriors being utilized in Bulgaria on the exterior of a building, the team from STARH were impressed with the results – indeed, the studio has now set up its office on the 2nd floor of the Varna Wave. “There was a good synergy between us and the investor,” says Stanislavov. “From the very beginning, I was looking to build a modern, innovative, functional and memorable building. It was a challenge to make the first building in Bulgaria with an innovative solution such as Corian® Exteriors. The decision for the facade material was made in the beginning of the process and was never changed. I am glad that the building did not undergo any revisions and was built in the way we designed it.”

 

Varna Wave residential building with a façade made of Corian® Exteriors,

an innovative solution based on Corian® Solid Surface;

project by STARH; photo by 3inSpirit, all rights reserved.

 

Slated to accommodate 47 apartments and a ground floor that will host shops and a café, the Varna Wave has spruced up the tree-lined street it inhabits and has become a conversation piece. Given that Stanislavov’s firm often favors developing facades with white ribbon-like detailing on the exterior, it is highly likely there will be repeat orders for Corian® Exteriors in the future. “Corian® Exteriors is an innovative solution,” adds Stanislavov. “It has extraordinary adaptability, thus giving us the opportunity to create complex forms.”

 

 

 

Varna Wave residential building with a façade made of Corian® Exteriors,

an innovative solution based on Corian® Solid Surface;

project by STARH; photo by 3inSpirit, all rights reserved.

 

About STARH (www.starh.bg) – Svetoslav Stanislavov created architectural studio STARH devoted to the cause of helping society and bringing out each architect’s imagination. The architects' mission is to break down stereotypes with their fresh, imaginative approach, expressing themselves through strong and determined forms. The studio looks to overcome challenges with its creative spirit, innovation and bold aesthetic sensibility. Its work covers a wide range of challenges in the built environment – from small architectural structures for private clients to large public projects. By welcoming new approaches, putting feeling into and enjoying each and every step of the creative process, the studio believes it can create new dimensions in the environment that we inhabit.

 

 

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