Black Sea Encounters

Due to Covid-19 and spending the academic year in my home country, instead of working on the Mancunian Way, I had to search for a similar site close to where I live. This headed me to individually explore a site among one of the most congested European roads E-87, passing through the city of Burgas, Bulgaria.

The concept behind “Black Sea Encounters” lies within the understanding that the connection between humans and nature is key to providing a future for both our humankind and all living eco-systems. The conditioning of Nature as something external has placed people in a position of separateness and has come to be one of the primary reasons for what we now call “climate emergency”. The main objective raises the question “How can we reconnect people and nature together to raise awareness and inspire one’s empathy to become part of the solution without disrupting what is present?”. And a forgotten place within the city, where the salty waters of the Black Sea meet with the sweet waters of Lake Mandra, and birds stay all year long, provides a fantastic opportunity for this Encounter to happen.

"Black Sea Encounters" allows both citizens and tourists to reconnect with nature by being submerged in its beauty, while also becoming aware of the dangers that it faces. The journey starts from E-87, following a walkway and continuing inside the building which acts as a transition point between the main road and the existing Birdwatching centre. The new structure includes a Visitor centre area with Exhibition spaces on the land and partly underwater and a Cafe which leads to an Observation tower. Taking little space within the site, the building lies on it as it has always been there waiting to be found and enjoyed by its visitors. This way the project raises two crucial questions - how can Architecture and Nature transition as one and how can we provide a long-term positive state of change/flux?