conTEMPORARY Plovdiv

The ancient city of Philippopolis is buried about 4 meters below the surface of present city center of
Plovdiv. Researching the site, there were few questions that we asked ourselves:
– How to combine contemporary Plovdiv with the ancient Roman past in one coherent public space?
– In what way can we stitch the lower/ancient level with the upper/present level and make it an eternal
contemporary, cutting edge city center?
– How can we make an opportunity from the disadvantage of a massive private property in the middle of
the most public domain of the city?
Our proposal synthesize the private/commercial ring with the historic layer and the contemporary urban
lifestyle. Plovdiv Square is an ongoing public space which will acomodate contemporary and temporary
activities. The archeological excavations will become part of the on-going activities at the square. Visitors
and residents of Plovdiv are welcomed to take part in the excavation process of the Roman city in
different levels. On the more accessible level, walking on the Forum upper new bridges and walkways,
learning about the history of the old Philippopolis. On the more thorough level, people can tour the lower
archeo-garden or join an archeological excavation workshop.
We imagined walking on the roof of the old roman forum and observing the hectic market below “where
merchants and people from the city and the region gathered to exchange Thracian grain, wood and
honey for fine pottery and bronze vessels brought as far as Italy” (Quote from Roman Plovdiv website).
At 2019, our proposal will realize this experience by providing a new temporary walkway at the level of the
existing square which will follow the geometry of the old forum. The walkway will become an everyday life
stage for passersby who would sit on the wooden steps either while lunch break or at cool evenings
enjoying the shade of the new trees.