About VFU "Chernorizets Hrabar"

Students in Architecture from Varna Free University will present Bulgaria in Madrid during the international finals of the 13th edition of the contest "ISOVER Multi-Comfort House"

The national stage of the 13th international contest for students in Architecture "Isover Multi-Comfort House" was completed.  The contest task was "Renovation of a residential group of buildings in Madrid, Spain". 7 teams of students from the architectural faculties of four Bulgarian universities took part in the contest of ideas and knowledge: Varna Free University “Chernorizets Hrabar”, University of Structural Engineering and Architecture “Lyuben Karavelov”, New Bulgarian University and the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy.



The first place traditionally won the students from Varna Free University. Polina Slavova and Angel Petrakov are 4th year students in "Architecture", who have proven the high quality of their studies achieving success in various architectural contests.



Three projects, which will present Bulgaria at the international finals in Madrid, Spain, were awarded at the national stage of the contest. The international stage of the contest will take place in early June 2017 and 57 projects from 25 countries will be presented.


The contest expanded from dozens of contestants during the first edition held in Bulgaria to over 1,600 registered students from over 100 universities in 2016. It provides participants with the opportunity to showcase and develop their ideas on sustainable and passive architecture, energy efficiency, comfort of living, innovation and modern trends in building practices, as well as exchange experience with colleagues from over 20 countries during the international finals. In 2017, more than 30 participants and guests attended the national finals in Sofia; the opening and the lecture course took place separately at the universities in Bulgaria, where "Architecture" as a specialty is taught.



The contest tasks are a contemporary response to the world architectural practice - developing concepts for a hotel, a family house, an office building, revitalization of abandoned urban area in Paris, a skyscraper in New York, transformation of industrial buildings in Nottingham residential area, the school of the future in a hot climate in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, residential architecture in the cold climate of the capital of Kazakhstan - Astana, a community in Brest, Belarus and finally to come to the 2017 contest task for "Renovating of a residential group of buildings" in Madrid, Spain. The task is an architectural challenge aimed at renovating a group of two standard four-storey residential buildings, part of an area built during the industrialization of the Spanish capital - a conceptual design with a realistic character and increased requirements for functional, economic and environmental feasibility as well as technical feasibility. The contest task is an opportunity for the participants to offer a solution that will serve as a "model" for the renovation of the existing buildings in the city. The object of a detailed architectural development is a standard multi-functional residential building that needs to meet the concept of "Isover Multi-Comfort House" - an idea based on the principles of "passive" construction and providing optimal living comfort.


The projects of the contestants in the national stage of the competition were evaluated by a jury composed of:

Prof. Dr. Arch. Boryana Genova – a long-time lecturer at the Department of Residential Buildings at UACEG, Sofia.
Prof. Dr. Arch. Borislav Borisov - Rector of USEA “Lyuben Karavelov” Sofia.
Arch. Julian Nachev - one of the first in certified designers of passive buildings in Bulgaria, from the Passivhaus Institute in Darmstadt, Germany. An expert in sustainable architecture, green building technologies and energy efficiency, who has 3 passive buildings built in Varna, a graduate of Varna Free University "Chernorizets Hrabar".
Arch. Bogdan Radichev, arch. Radoslav Todorov and arch. Rossen Yordanov - the team that won the 1st prize at the international stage of the competition in 2016.
Eng. Dimitar Penev - Manager of St. Gobain Construction Products - Bulgaria, Isover and Rigips Divisions.



The "Green House" project of the students of Varna Free University, which won the first place, a prize of 1000 leva, as well as the right to present Bulgaria at the international finals in Madrid, stood out with a memorable idea combining a modern approach in the dealing with the volume and spatial architectural solution and traditional motifs characteristic of the architectural, historical, natural and social context of the city. The city-planning idea follows the idea of ​​the city government to create green spaces and at a micro level it is expressed in organic park spaces, while the storage areas are dug at the basement level. Protection from the sun is solved through terraces, forming the façades. There is a ventilation scheme and the possibility of using renewable energy using photovoltaic modules on the sloping roofs of the buildings, as well as integrating an additional innovative façade solution for energy generation.



2nd place: a prize of 600 leva and the right to represent Bulgaria at the international finals in Madrid won the project of Denitsa Chavdarova and Hasan Hasanov, 5 year students at USEA “Lyuben Karavelov” Sofia. The project stood out with a memorable volume-space solution with rich plasticity and characteristic architectural compositional styles, such as rhythm, articulation, contrast, etc. The modern vision of the solution is also reinforced by the closure of the inner courtyard through two contrasting volumes containing a kindergarten and a multimedia library. The façade solutions stand out with their diversity, characteristic compositional appearance and a harmonious color solution. The storage spaces are separated in the vicinity of the housing units and their sedign is economically feasible and easy to implement. Technical layouts and details are presented. The graphical "utterance" is at a good level.


3rd place: a prize of 300 leva and the right to represent Bulgaria at the international finals in Madrid won the project of Alexandrina Alexandrova, a 6 year student at NBU, Sofia. The project, titled "Game of Shadows", focuses on the in-depth study of the climate and the direction of the sun's rays, manifested in a dynamic façade structure that creates a characteristic image of the renovated buildings and protects against the hot summer sun. Using computer animation, the sun's path is analyzed at different times of the day, as well as on different days of the year. The newly designed storey is designed on the basis of contrast and offers a higher standard of living. The author of the project presented her work excellently - with a clearly and calmly, within the 5 minutes provided for each presentation.

All participants showed were at a good level, presented themselves equally well, enabling the jury and the audience to find the positive direction in the work of each project team and were awarded honorary certificates for their participation in the contest.


by ВСУ Черноризец Храбър