Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Opening date: December 2021

Area: 1261 m2

Have you ever known that…

The ancient city of Plovdiv was proclaimed the cultural capital of Europe in 2019? The city’s noteworthy history has settled over time, forming, layer by layer, a unique cultural composition. Eras and names have changed, but one constant remained from the very beginning: the Forum. It was the centre of public life, where citizens gathered to exchange their opinions on legal, political and other relevant societal issues.

MGallery Hotel is housed in an iconic former department store. Designers of S+S have discerned, through the ages, the building’s functional connection with the Forum as a place for unification, and reflected the idea of historic and modern layering in the interior.

Reflection in Our Design

The lobby continues the narrative of the Forum through the prism of time. Back when Plovdiv was called «Philippopolis», it was one of the few ancient cities to dispose of its own library, where people had gathered for reading and public discussions. A library bar, framed by bookshelves gives a nod to this epoch, offering guests two seating options, be it socializing at the bar or nobly secluding on the lounge podium with a book and a glass of wine.

The layering idea is emphasized by steps of various heights. A functional art object – a biofuel fireplace – attracts the attention of guests in the reception area with seating and standing desks, the latter made of mirrors and frosted glass. The backlight creates an impression of its transparency and weightlessness.

The lack of windows in the lobby is offset by a daylight atrium. An open-air garden becomes a logical extension and translates the concept of the Forum. Here, Sundukovy Sisters designed a pool area with a water stage and different level podiums with comfortable lounge seating, allowing guests to watch the staged performance from any point in the garden.

Given the configuration of the building, where guest room windows face each other, overlooking the patio, S+S developed a tall folding headboard, which divides the room into two functional areas: a bedroom and a living room. This unique solution ensures guests’ privacy and hides them from the neighbours’ view on the one hand, and on the other, allows them to join the show taking place on stage. Thus, the guest room becomes a private lodge in the amphitheatre.

Turning the bed away from the window, S+S placed a mirror wall opposite the bed. This way, guests are not missing out on a view, while remaining invisible to their neighbours.

Key Points to Success

The sophisticated luxury of the MGallery brand is emphasized by a skilful combination of modern materials, typical of the building, and recognizable ancient Forum motifs in a modern interpretation: rough background with neat brass accents, stucco, elegant gold lamps, natural wood, sophisticated paintings against a background of restrained minimalism.

Each design solution is carefully thought out to bring guests comfort as well as an unforgettable experience of staying in a hotel with a cultural connotation. Here, everything nudges guests toward the centre of social life, leaving an opportunity to retreat to their guest room nook at any time.

The Team:
Design by Irina and Olga Sundukovy
Art director Yana Popok
Designer Ani Abramyan
Procurement manager Ekaterina Kapustina
Project manager Stefania Grigoryan

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