LH residential building is situated in the historical centre of Varna. It is located at a corner plot between Slivnitsa Boulevard – the main pedestrian artery leading to the Sea Garden – and Stefan Karadja Street. Black Sea Hotel is located just nearby, a local landmark of the city. The context of the building is quite vibrant due to many historical buildings which are present, as well as the dynamic city life of the central zone.

The existing 2-storey building dates back to 1923. According to the Cultural Heritage Legislation of the country it does not have “immovable cultural property”, but does categorize as “ensemble importance”. It is characterized by limestone ornaments and decorations, including sculptures of two children above the corner pediment, all done by the local sculpturer Kiril Shivarov. Although the building is not a protected one, the concept of preserving its appearance and decorations is developed in the project for reconstruction and re-use. Since some of the architectural elements and decorations are degraded or missing due to outdoor conditions, they are reconstructed.

The concept of the project follows a contemporary design approach in historical context. The investor’s program consists of having three additional floors above the existing ones; hence the new design aims to distinguish itself from the existing one in a respectful manner. In this way the project is fair both to the past and to the present. Following the urban planning restrictions of the lot, the architectural volume is defined in a specific way, taking into account the nearby urban silhouettes. A rigid and minimal grid is used for the façade in order to achieve certain harmony with the existing façade, as well as not to be dominating over it. A ventilated suspended system is used both on the façade and on the roof facing the streets, which is implemented by fiber cement panels. Two different types of finishes of the panels bring a certain dynamic, which is boosted with large scale windows around the corner. In this way, additional light is led inside of day zone spaces and a visual contact with Sea Garden entrance is achieved. The existing facades are reconstructed with high quality smooth plaster with natural white toning. The new volume above is treated in the same toning in order to achieve a complete and unified appearance of the whole building. All friezes, medallions and figures are laser scanning surveyed and restored with polymer concrete casts.

Reorganizing of the program and interior spaces is made. The building consists of four residential floors and ground floor as a public space and café. There are a total of three apartments in the building, the last one being a maisonette on two floors. The residential part entrance is through a under passage located on Stefan Karadja Street. The public space’s access has remained the same – through the corner entrance of the building. Additionally, an inner courtyard is added to the same space.

Client: Private owner
Functional program: Residential building
Location: Varna, Bulgaria
Built-up area: 1 157sqm
Project year: 2020
Completion Year: 2023

2024 Arch Design Award | Golden Winner | Architectural Design Category
2023 Building of the year | Winner | Residential buildings
2023 Bienala de Arhitectura Dobrogeana | Winner | Architecture
BLL Architectural Design Awards | Winner | Renovation – Multifamily Buildings
International Exhibition-Competition INTERARCH | Winner | Retrofitting & Refurbishment