Lyulin 1 - Sofia urban refurbishment

archi[o]logics' new development for LYULIN1, Sofia. LYULIN1 is a neighbourhood located in the largest residential area of Bulgaria´s capital, Sofia, in the western outskirts of the city. LYULIN1 is the most northern of the 10 micro-regions that constitute LYULIN. The project aims to refurbish the center of this micro-region, and intends to gather enough public and political interest as to lead to a complete urban transformation that could eventually shift the identity of the city through anchor activities, multipurpose and civic centers, and a well-balanced combination of free-market and public housing.

[daylight video]

This video shows the architectural proposal at an urban level. It highlights the open, accessible, and highly activated pubilc space. It is crucial to the social sustainability in Sofia to create enough critical mass and designed open areas that easen the everyday use of the urban space. In order to achieve this effect, we propose a program that includes a mix of:

· 8000sqm of office space

· 50000sqm of housing, both public and free-market

· 6000sqm of educational facilities and public management

· 5000sqm of public space

distributed in 8 plots owned by 8 different parties.

[nighttime video]


LYULIN1 is not only conceived as a project that aims to shift Sofia's urban appearance and offer an innovative approach to the use of public space in traditionally static, abandoned planning practices; it is also thought as a commercial strategy able to manage a total agreement among the several developing agents involved in the urbanization and construction process:

- Administration, Lyulin inhabitant's, and plot owners will participate from a parallel process that highlights singular debates and contingencies.

- We manage to combine initially divergent interests through "give-and-take" strategies, and thus to achieve a "win-win" situation through the implementation of a "total project" where we include design, management, and public information procedures.

- The project public facilities and amenities, including: a school, an underground parking lot, a kindergarten, some local retail stores, office spaces, and public housing

- We aim to create good urban practice in Bulgaria, which could become a seed for future projects and developments.

- It is crucial to create a manageable, executable, economically and environmentally feasible project within the Bulgarian legal frame and reinforced by our European work frame, experience and expertise.

- Coordinate the future relationship between the public institutions and private parties involved in the development process, defining future obligations and compromises.

In short, we focused on creating a brand new center for Lyulin; one with identity, quality, services, housing, and employment. A brand new center every citizen could be proud of.



The Integrated Strategic Plan proposal included the documents, phasing strategies, management, and coordination of:

- The regulation plan for neighbourhood 73

- Urban management documents

- Financing and economic viability and feasibility

- Planning, coordination, management, and global project control throughout the whole development.

The Neighbourhood 73 regulation plan contained the following aspects and documentation:

- Plot and building distribution and massing documents

- Regulation plan, legal documents attached

- Other complementary:

- Land owner re-distribution and parcelation

- Architectural sketch design phase

- Service and infrastructures plan

- Economic plan


Sofia regulations are extremely restrictive, constraining and old-fashioned. To avoid unnecessary complexification in our terms, let us just say that the way they approach the open space neglects its very use, as a consequence of giving absolute priority to the modern-like, orthogonal building blocks distribution, which virtually eliminates the possibilities of proposing closed-block typologies or even mixed ones. The distance between the buildings are defined according to their position [measured relative to one another] and height.

Block regulation strategy

We created a system that could re-interpret these dysfunctional regulations in order to allow for fluid, fully-profitable open areas, while guaranteeing the best distribution possible and taking into account bout our own-casted shadows, as well as those by the surrounding buildings [shown in the sun study simulation].

LYULIN1 has been developed in cooperation with Arnaiz and Partners, a leading architectural firm based in Madrid, Spain. archi[o]logics has developed a fully automated, parametric system capable of dealing with the complex urban regulations that configure the urban fabric morphology in Sofia, in order to offer a brand new fresh, innovative image and atmosphere of the "other" city center.

Project distribution - height and sections

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