2018, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, New urban centre and Expo Centre

This new building should be minimally present in the urban environment, in order to provide space for the future city life and embed the amazing atmosphere of Veliko Tarnovo.


Veliko Tarnovo is the old capital of Bulgaria and some claim it’s one of the most beautiful cities in our country. History tangles with unique nature just like the meanders of the river Yantra intertwine with the rocky slopes of the Royal hills. This is one captivating view which the visitors of the amazing city remember for a long time.
We believe that precisely this wonderful and typically Bulgarian atmosphere is what mostly deserves to find place in the future development of Veliko Tarnovo. We hope that the vitality of the open public spaces interacting with each other, fulfilled with youth spirit and glorious memories, against the backdrop of the grand spectacle of the city, hills and river will all form the appropriate vision of the new city center.
This is our idea of PLAZA ON TOP OF THE BUILDING.
The new city center develops logitudinally from north to south, parallel to the river and the sloping terrain. This gives a good opportunity for creating a bipolar composition with two opposing aspects of public life. The first one forms around the University, the municipal administration, the newly created Expo Center, the brand new Commercial and Sports buildings. Close by is the river over the Yantra river, connecting to the Asenevtsi Memorial.
The second one is located to the south, close to the transportation hub and represents a massive space for the visitor from Sofia and the rest of the country. Here one can find a hotel, a commerce and services building, and an open flower, souvenier and art market.

A pedestrian zone is formed between the two opposing sides of the complex and the buildings have a lively ground floor. Here one can find art and culture spaces, restaurants and shops. The main focus is on the open-air, green spaces, public activities and views over the meanders or the Yantra river and the opposite hills. We believe these spaces with eventually serve as open-air scenes for concerts, performances and live presentations from the adjacent restaurants and cultural buildings.

We believe that this new building should be minimally present in the urban environment, in order to provide space for the future city life and embed the amazing atmosphere of Veliko Tarnovo. The approach is both from above – where the university plaza is and the new commercial zone and from below, where the main plaza with the fountain is on the level of the surrounding street. The project suggests and universal solution with unlimited opportunities for transformation, rearrangement and multifunctionality of the spaces. The open air exposition area creates a feeling of merging of the interior and the exterior together, with the old town in the distance. There is an amphitheater surrounding the building which gives all visitors an opportunity to witness the views over the pedestrian zone, the greenery and the view of the old town. From the amphitheater one can directly enter into the lobby on the upper level of the building. The recreational and exposition areas are located here.
We believe that a good building plan for the new city center includes low-rise buildings with lots of green areas and free zones bustling with life, public events and recreation activities. The new streets and pedestrian zones follow the infrastructural plan for the water mains, since its’ consstruction has left many irregularities across the complicated landscape.  We suggest that underground parkings are created in the hollow underground spaces. This would help solve the traffic problem with parking and promote a vertical planning.
Altogether the planning solution follows the form of the landscape and includes multiple axis, bends and ruptures. We suggest natural stone pave for all the public surfaces.
With it’t low height and horizontal crenelated structure, the complex gives the feeling of a castle wall. The stone on the out- and inside is a reminiscence of the building across the old royal hills.