Varna (Bulgaria) Library Competition

Organizer: WhAT Association, Municipality of Varna

Type: Open, international, one-stage, anonymous

Eligibility: Open to registered architects

Languages: English, Bulgarian

Entry fee: None


1st Prize:    20 000 BGN (or ~10 000 EUR)

2nd and 3rd Prizes:   20 000 BGN (or ~10 000 EUR)


The winner in this competition will be invited to enter into a contract with Varna Municipality for preparation of design development and design execution with maximum expected fee of 600,000 BGN (or 300,000 Euros) 


• Trine Berthold, schmidt hammer lassen architects (Denmark)

•Â Matja Bevk/ Vasa Perovic, bevk perovic arhitekti (Slovenia)

• Petr Lešek, projektil architects (the Czech Republic)

• Kaloyan Erevinov, Zaha Hadid Architects London (Bulgaria)

• Representatives of Varna Municipality and the Chamber of Architects in


Design challenge:

A solution is yet to be found for a long-standing problem of the city of Varna which has been without proper building of its library for years. The Library of Varna is a 130 year old institution, but presently its collection of over 860 000 library items is spread in 6 different buildings throughout the city. The new building aims to collect the library under one roof, to ensure its comfortable and smooth working process and at the same time to create a new and active public space in the centre of Varna.

1. To design a new library building for the city of Varna, which takes into consideration the surrounding cityscape and adjacent buildings (as described in the Competition Area Chapter, page 25). This building must be designed according to the current Urban planning requirements (page 28); as well as considering the pedestrian and traffic flows (page 31), and the fact that it is located on one of the city’s main arteries.

2. To develop a directive for the effective functioning of all the activities in the building, based on the provided Functional Program (page 33) and the Guidelines for design and usability (page 53).

3. To suggests solutions for the restoration of all the greenery which might be destroyed during construction. The expectations are that the new building and the surrounding space will offer greenery of similar quantity and quality (page 54).

4. To develop ideas on how the building’s exterior spaces could be used by people for recreation or other activities independent of library operations. (For the restrictions on impacting the surrounding area see Urban planning restrictions on page 28).

5. To propose ideas how to integrate the Library building and the open areas around Varna Municipality Hall into a new, attractive public urban area.

6. To ensure full accessibility to and around the building for disabled people — with physical or sensatory disabilities.

7. To meet the requirements for energy efficiency, internal microclimate, lighting, acoustics, and the other environment specifications listed in Special requirements chapter on page 55.

8. To work within the financial framework of the investment as listed in Budget limitations on page 57.*

*All page references are to the competition brief

For more information and to download the program, go to: