Papers of BAS. Humanities and Social Sciences

Vol. 8, 2021, No. 1

The messages in the architectural image

of the building of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Dimitrina Popova

Abstract. The main focus of this article is the architectural image of the building of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) as a visual benchmark in the urban structure in the centre of Sofia. In fact, this building contains two contrasting images: one of them is turned to itself, to a quiet and calm inner yard, while the other is exposed to the city, with its messages to the public. It is precisely the second that is the immediate subject of this study. We consider the façades that have composition and volume-to-space relations with some other key buildings in the political centre of the capital city such as the symbols of statehood, the buildings of the Bulgarian Parliament and the Christian St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral towering over the former two. The thesis we would like to provide our reasons in favour of is that the façade composition of the BAS building was constructed according to principles and symbols as set by the architecture of the Italian Renaissance. This building’s representative façades may be likened, not literally but based on a sufficient number of stylistic characteristics, to the Italian palaces in Florence from late 15th and early 16th c.

Keywords: Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS), Sofia, architecture, Bulgarian architects, eclectics