DOBROMIRA LULCHEVA: DESIGNING GARDENS OF EDEN
Founder of Landscape Design Studio has the dream job – to connect humans, nature and urban environment
Women have been associated with gardens for millennia, including in Bulgarian traditional culture. Landscape architect Dobromira Lulcheva is giving this connection a new meaning. Dedicated to the mission to create spaces where urban residents can get closer to greenery, she and her studio Landscape Design create places where one can freely breathe and enjoy moments of full relaxation, connectivity with nature, and inner peace. By doing this, one garden at a time, Dobromira Lulcheva wants to achieve even more – a better, cleaner and greener world for the future generations.
How did landscape architecture become your life choice?
Destiny! When I was preparing for my university entry exams I had no idea what exactly landscape architecture was. While preparing for the entry exams, my art teacher was insisting that I should draw landscapes and should apply for this programme. In my application form, however, I did not tick landscape architecture as a possible programme to enlist in. When the application officer in the university saw this, she tore my application and made me write a new one. This time, I ticked landscape architecture. I was accepted and I quickly fell in love with the subject.
NV Tower, Sofia
However, I realised that this was my road in life later. I was working simultaneously as an interior designer and a landscape architect, but a moment came when I had to choose one. The question that determined my choice was not: "What this profession is giving to me?," but rather "What can I give to society and the environment through my profession?". Interior design focuses on the individual or groups of individuals. Landscape architecture cares for the urban environment, nature, climate, biodiversity and the health, wellbeing and social connections of the whole society.
Which are the current trends in landscape architecture and design?
Climate positive design and the design of vertical forest buildings are taking the world by storm. Climate change is an urgent matter and landscape architecture is one of the few professions that can offer solutions to the urban problems that it provokes. The trend for climate positive design and environmentally friendly buildings and structures that do not harm the environment, benefit the ecosystems and help "to heal" the damaged landscapes is taking over the world. Until not that long ago high-rising buildings "covered" in trees were a phenomenon, nowadays they are becoming an archetype. The idea of "hybridisation" of multi-storey buildings and trees is fully grounded from an architectural, urban, environmental and technical point of view. The vertical forest buildings are a model for sustainable architecture and urban afforestation that helps for the recovery of the environment and the urban biodiversity without restricting the expansion of the city territory.
Biophilic design is a new trend in architecture founded in the idea that people need to be connected to nature. The word biophilia means "love for nature" and some experts believe that is the piece missing from current sustainable design. Biophilic design aims to create strong connections between nature and the human, which will positively affect people's health, wellbeing, and productivity, and will boost their creativity while reducing stress.
Another key trend is the design targeted towards more social interaction. The social isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic affected the ways in which humans interacted and changed how we live and work. This helped us to realise the need for more open green spaces close to our homes or workplaces. The trend to live and work in a sacred contact with nature has now become vital for us. Regardless of whether it is the design of residential areas, business or retail parks, one of the crucial requirements of the project is the creation of more green spaces where people and nature can cohabit in a symbiosis and full harmony.
What inspires you?
I find inspiration in everything around me – a word or a verbal expression, a symbol or a space function. But, most often, I find inspiration in nature. Our projects are inspired by mountains, rivers, crystals, dragonfly wings and more. This is why the motto of Landscape Design Studio is Sense of Nature.
The company gets nominated in prestigious competitions such as Building of the Year on a regular basis. What is the secret of this success?
First, you have to believe in yourself, to dream and set clear goals. Then come full dedication, hard work, continuity and discipline.
How a landscape architect imagines the dream city? What does your dream garden look like?
The dream city is a place where people, industry and technologies cohabit in perfect harmony with nature. A city that uses renewable energy and is free of roads, cars and harmful emissions. A place with lots of green spaces, pedestrian zones, bicycle lanes and squares. A city where buildings and plants work as one organism. This might be a utopia for most people, but for me it is a matter of time. I am positive that soon we will witness new revolutionary urban policies and a paradigm shift in urban planning.
If I am living in the dream city, then the dream garden will be everywhere.
Sofia, 64 Patriarch Evtimiy blvd, foor3, suit 5
+359 2 973 48 14; +359 896 72 48 14
LinkedIn: Dobromira Lulcheva
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