When I faced the opportunity to revive one of Sofia’s landmark buildings at first I felt numb. I did not want to make full reconstruction of the décor of the past – this would have been an attempt for restoration. My desire was the new function of the building to go along with contemporary decoration. In the same time, it was clear that I should not be influenced by the post-classical examples of nowadays (ala Marcel Venders, for example). In the context of the building, they would have looked cheap and out of place. Thus, in the process of looking for some type of balance between old and new, I systematically reached some concepts.
The entrance zones keep their authentic decorative elements to a great extend – stairs, panelling, and a column with woodcarving work. As their counterpoint – modern lightning with simple geometrical form were added. The armchairs with high backs and the stained glasses of unused doors to the bar halls are used as accents. The flooring is made from 3 types of granite. The figures and colour intensity of the materials create an optical effect, often seen in the Italian Renaissance architecture.
In the halls on the first floor (where once was the living zone of the house) a night bar is organized. The task was for it to become a whiskey bar resembling those in the lobbies of expensive hotels. That’s why the design centres on colours and elements creating higher density. Dark red and black are used in combination with elements of wood, processed with dark stain. In the big hall consisting of three spaces a massive bar dominates, so as its location aims to unite these spaces. The bar front is made of illuminated “golden” onyx and near the entrance a podium with three zones with sofas is organized. According to the original Project, the small hall (the one with the fireplace), was fully furnished with sofas in four groups. Later, during the construction, it also was transformed into a second hall with high bar tables.
The textile wallpapers on the walls, the massive sizes of the chandeliers and the appliqués in black, the textile of the curtains with their discreet lustre are elements of the decoration, which define the concept. They are supplemented by the rich half tones of the leather and textiles of the furniture as well as by the diverse palette of the stained glasses. The toilets on this floor are in the same colouring (black and red) but instead of using classical decoration, the wall claddings are embossed and with geometrical modern vision.
The new function of the second floor (once the floor with bedrooms in the House of Yablanski) was transformed into a restaurant. The idea was to create a bright spot with gentle and fresh colouring. There are three halls – main triple hall, a small hall with winter garden and VIP hall. The walls in all spaces are covered with wallpapers with diverse textures and different shades of beige. On this discreet base variations in two modes (colours) are upgraded – blue with green and violet. The lightness of colours and shades play an important role here. Accents in the rooms are again the chandeliers – contemporary replicas of the classical ones with elongated proportions. The toilets on this floor are a continuation of the fresh and discreet play of halftones and details. Fornasetti’s emblematic images on them give additional elegance.