Competitions – Case study No. 2 – Library – Architects for Urbanity – Bulgaria

Competition Culture in Europe 2013–2016: Varna Library, Bulgaria, 2015
Case study No. 2
Special attention was paid to the graphic design, fonts, photography, and layout

The A10 survey into Competition Culture in Europe 2013–2016, commissioned by Architectuur Lokaal, has made it clear that the word ‘competition’ does not mean the same thing in every country in Europe. Sometimes a competition refers to a design contest without any intention of realization, sometimes it refers to a full tender procedure, or anything in between.To gain a better insight in the nature of competitions in Europe, A10 correspondents collected 50 case studies from 17 countries. Combined they show the differences in topics, fees, procedures, scale, transparency, and clients.

The brief of the Varna Library competition, issued by the Varna Municipality and the Chamber of Architects in Bulgaria, is a clear and user-friendly document. It presents a general overview and introduction, a description of the urban context, and a short history of Varna and the Varna Regional Library.

Included are documents comprising planning and other competition project information (competition tasks, competition area, urban planning restrictions, transportation and access, functional programme of the new building, and special requirements), the method of registration, and the required documents. The information is accompanied by rich visual material, with photos, schemes, charts, infographics, and 3D visualizations of the task, area, and so on. All the information is organized and written in accessible language so that foreign architects not acquainted with Bulgarian legislation, can also get a clear idea of building restrictions, the competition’s legal framework, and many other details. The functional programme is represented in a visually friendly style as well. Special attention was paid to the graphic design, fonts, photography, and layout. This same attitude can also be seen in the competition’s website.

Architects for Urbanity, NL

The winning project is currently being realized and has just passed its design development phase.

The competition culture in Bulgaria was surveyed by A10 correspondent Aneta Vasileva in Sofia. This survey is the start of a four-year research project by Architectuur Lokaal and A10 new European architecture Cooperative. Copy editor: Dutton Hauhart. Images: Architects for Urbanity, NL



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