River Park

Ivo Petrov – Architects: We designed the houses in River Park to be homes, not just buildings

Ivo Petrov - Architects is an architectural company established in 1990 with the ambition to provide its clients with high-quality services in the field of residential, public and industrial buildings design – from urban planning developments through all stages of investment planning, to interior and furnishing design.

River Park is one of the major projects in IPA's portfolio, with a team of over 10 of the company’s top experts working on its creation. Work on River Park started in 2018 with the concept development and preparation of a number of creative proposals by architects Denitsa Drumeva and Daniela Angelova. Architect Angel Hristov joined in during the technical and detailed design phase.

1. At what stage of the River Park planning did you join the project and how long did it take to develop it?

Arch. Denitsa Drumeva: The client already had a clear intention - to build a new generation residential complex, and we, as experts, were meant to draw up the creative concept and guidelines for the realization of the overall investment plan.

2. What is River Park’s most distinctive feature?

DD: At the start of the project, we identified several of the client’s requirements and desires, which included three important key concepts - comfort, warmth and environment. The client constantly encouraged us to ensure that the houses are cozy and welcoming – to be homes, not just buildings.

It was also important for the project to benefit from and fit in with its surroundings. To achieve this, the landscape concept provides for as many endemic plants as possible. Looking at the master plan of the complex, you can see that there are green areas around the river and inside the complex, where residents will have the opportunity for rest, relaxation and entertainment – a barbecue area, playgrounds, benches, gazebos and pedestrian walkways. In addition to the green areas, there are “Shared streets” - spaces designed to accommodate both cars and pedestrians.

3. What is distinctive about River Park’s architecture?

DD: Throughout the working process, we went through a number of architectural options together with the client. This is how we reached the final concept: a modern, minimalist look - clean lines without too much clutter.

To complement the feeling of coziness and warmth, we picked wood as one of the main materials on the facades. We also included a few slightly more unconventional solutions - the sheet metal panels, which are usually laid only on the roof, continue on the side facades in River Park. This “enclosing” of the sheet metal additionally creates the feeling of completeness, intimacy and coziness.

4. What houses are there in the complex?

DD: The area of the complex is very large and when we starting working on the master plan and thinking about a general concept, we decided that we would go with a few separate types of houses. Together with the client, we specified the size and area of ​​the individual housing units. With so many housing units, it was a challenge to ensure that the complex was not boring and monotonous. We created three main styles for the houses in the complex, which develop according to the phases of the project implementation. For the first phase we chose the first style of the houses, in the third phase of the project we envisage another style, and the second connecting phase combines these two styles. Regardless of the different types of style, the final look of the complex is both unified and diverse.

The main advantage of the interiors is that they are created to benefit the living areas as much as they can. There are almost no common areas and unused spaces in the houses. The living rooms are spacious, the height of the windows allows the residents to feel even closer to nature in their home. Thus, the environment enters the home, and the home fits into the environment. The houses do not have straight angles. We wanted to achieve an offset in direction and height, so that each one has the most open and beautiful view possible.

Arch. Angel Hristov: The advantage of each type of house is that it fits perfectly into the new reality. Currently, gated residential complexes with houses are best suited to the current situation. It’s a real problem when you need to convert a 50-square-meter apartment into a two-bedroom apartment. The houses in these complexes are best suited for this new reality. Here proper distribution and space are assured.

5. What stage of the project are you currently at?

AH: The main task that is currently being done is monitoring the construction process. We constantly meet with subcontractors, with whom we comment on how to optimize the details, in order to achieve the desired appearance. Almost every day representatives of the architectural team visit the construction site and monitor and observe the implementation to ensure it is in accordance with the project we created.

A major challenge at this stage is to ensure the implementation of the wishes of the families who already bought houses as much as possible. Usually, after a person buys a new home, they want to adapt it as much as possible to their needs. We receive a number of requests, which lead to additional tasks.

6. Bulgarians choose their homes with increasing precision and consciousness. They are aware of the smallest details and make an informed choice. How can the homes in River Park win over the buyers?

AH: People prefer the complex because of its connection with the city, which is extremely fast, but at the same time offers the advantage of living in a house. The quick connection to the mountains is also attractive. It is true that it applies to most places in the city, but when you live at the foot of the Vitosha mountains and have easy access to them, the feeling is completely different.