The Anglo-American School in Sofia (AAS) has opened its new Rila Renaissance Centre where the children can develop and present their talents to their school mates, parents and the wider community. The 10 million euro project uses state-of-the-art technology for sound, lighting, audiovisual and multimedia arts to maximise the guest experience.
The Director of the Anglo-American School of Sofia, Jim Urquhart, along with the U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria Eric Rubin, and the Deputy Chief of the U.S. Mission to Bulgaria Justin Friedman, the UK Ambassador Emma Hopkins, the wider diplomatic community, invited guests and members of the school took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of the centre. Students from the school then entertained guests with a short musical and dance program.
Rila Renaissance Centre is located in a new two-story building with a total area of 6500 sq. m. The main core of the building is a multifunctional hall/theatre which can be used for training, performances and conferences. It has a total capacity of 344 seats and all the necessary control booths, a workshop for performance set and prop building with direct access to the stage area and a technical room. The building also houses a smaller theatre performance space, which has 108 seats on mobile platforms, music halls for choir and orchestra and rehearsal rooms. The building also has fine art, digital art, video production, robotics, multimedia training areas, a conference room and a visitor’s centre for prospective families.
“We built the Rila Renaissance Centre with the idea of providing opportunities for practising and presenting all the traditional and modern forms of art – from music and theater to digital arts, presentations, video productions and even robotics. Our goal is to provide a space for performance not only for our students, but also for interested artists and talented young people from the local community. We are convinced that art should be in the foundations of a good education,” said Jim Urquhart, Director of the Anglo-American School of Sofia.
The new building is of the highest energy efficiency class. It has a number of innovations that allow optimization of energy, water and environmental impact as a whole. These include:
- „Cool roof“ – the roof of the building has been built with special technology to achieve an optimal index of sun reflection back into the atmosphere. This way the building will be kept cool.
- Neutralization of carbon footprint from heating – using biomass for the building heating, purification installation and chimney filters. In this way, the carbon footprint of the building is almost completely neutralized. Pellets obtained after the processing of sunflowers will be used as a source of biofuel for heating.
- 40% economy of water compared to the standard levels – using high-efficiency mixers and zero drinking water for irrigation of green areas and cleaning of toilets. For this purpose, a special rainwater tank has been built for the building.
- Facilities for energy-efficient vehicles and bicycles – preferential parking spaces, dressing rooms and showers near the entrance of the building (for cyclists).
- International Energy Efficiency Certificate – the art centre will be the first professional audiovisual building in Bulgaria, which is expected to receive a Gold Certificate from LEED.
The Anglo-American School of Sofia (AAS) is an international school with over 50 years of history. Since its creation, AAS has grown considerably and has become the international school of choice in Bulgaria. The school is located in a spacious and landscaped campus, which includes 6 dedicated play areas for the younger students, a dance studio, 2 large indoor sports halls, 3 outdoor sports fields, tennis courts, a lake and park area, a school garden, and now the newly opened art centre. Currently, more than 570 students from more than 50 countries attend the school and 99% of school-leavers continue their education in some of the most prestigious universities in Europe and North America and go on to build successful careers in many and various fields.