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In early 2018 the practice won an international competition for the masterplan and delivery of a new town centre for Borovets. Located in the Rila mountains 60km south of Sofia, it is the oldest ski resort in Bulgaria and popular with both local and foreign visitors.

The wooded triangular 2ha site is in the centre of the resort and is currently occupied by a collection of small wooden buildings of varying architectural quality used as shops, cafes and bars. The brief called for their replacement with more modern facilities and the proper integration of the wooded areas into the public realm. It was also evident that the town suffered severe congestion during the peak season with cars, pedestrians and skiers effectively sharing the same space on the main street linking one of the largest ski areas with the main gondola lift.

Our solution separated the cars, pedestrian and skiers, by creating a new underground car park, proper pedestrian routes and a new ski piste through the woods in the centre of the site, leading to a ski bridge over the main road and giving direct access to the gondola station. A new parade of commercial units, beneath a unifying wooden roof address both the main street and central woods which will be used as public gardens during the summer months.

Working with local practice SGI International we are now developing the masterplan and detailed design for the client, the municipality of Samokov.

Project Details

Borovets, Bulgaria
Municipality of Samokov
Date & Status
2018 - ongoing
Ambra Chiesa, William Conway, Edward Kilkenny-Brown, Joe Randall
SGI International
SGI International