The open call for a development concept for the northern and eastern wings of Sofia’s Central Mineral Bath started in 2020 and is looking for well-reasoned solutions for the optimal use of the building in the interest of the citizens and guests of Sofia. At the fist stage of the open call participated four Bulgarian and foreign legal entities and associations. Each participant submitted a list of experts, a summary of the concept, a summary and structure of a business plan and model and a proposal for a method of work. A 15-member jury selected three of the teams that as of October 2020 are developing in more detail their concepts. They will be presented publicly in November 2020 and provided to Sofia Municipality for the future development of the project.

Based on the concepts of the three teams - "Sofia Thermal Baths", "Kengo Kuma & Associates Inc and Yamazaki + Ivanova Architects" and "Historical Bath", Sofiaplan is developing a plan for the renovation of the northern and eastern wings of the Bath. It was submitted for consideration in the Metropolitan Municipal Council on 16/04/2021. The report was submitted by the chief architect Zdravko Zdravkov and the municipal councilor Malina Edreva. You can download the plan from this link:


Team Sofia Thermae

Architects: Maya Shopova, Slava Savova, Maria Karazlateva
Economist: Stilian Grebenicharski
Culturologist: Ivo Strakhilov
Sociologists: Maike Isaac, Gailin Davis
Mineralogist: Mirjana Apostolova
Plumbing: Teodor Petrov
Hydrogeology engineer: Miroslav Krastanov
HVAC: Kalin Kifonov

Kengo Kuma & Associates, Inc.

and Yamazaki + Ivanova Architects Ltd.

Architects: Minoru Yokoo, Tomohiro Matsunaga (Kengo Kuma & Associates)
Yoshi Yamazaki, Nadia Ivanova (Yamazaki + Ivanova Architects)
Hydrogeology engineer: Velichko Velichkov
Plumbing Engineer: Vasil Yordanov
Financier: Rosalina Kozleva-Ribarova
Sociologist-anthropologist: Miladina Monova
Management: Elena Radeva
Civil engineer: Nikolay Milev
Restoration architect: Georgi Tsapkov
Tourism: Constanta Hristova

Civil Association

Historical Bath

Architects: Veselin Alexiev, Elitsa Dimitrova, Nadezhda Sucheva
Economist: Ivo Anev
Hydrogeology engineer: Pavel Penchev
Sociologist: Lea Vaisova
Plumbing engineer: Gavrilia Haralanova

Association Plan

for Central Mineral Bath

Architects: Krassimir Raynovski, Radoslava Lesnevska
Plumbing engineer: Stanislav Darachev, Anton Zankov
Business management / economist: Vasil Bachvarov
Communications and Media / Management and Journalism: Trayana Kaleycheva
Sociologist: Maria Kyurkchieva


Stage 1

In the first stage all teams apply with documents, in which they present a list of experts, a concept summary, structure and summary of business plan and model and a proposal for method of work. The applications are reviewed by a jury-panel consisting of 15 members from Sofia Municipality, Architecture and Urban Planning Division, various political groups in Sofia Municipal Council, business representatives and independent experts, which selects three teams to participate in the second stage of the competition.

Stage 2

In the second stage, the selected teams develop in depth their concepts in all required parts and present their proposal publicly. All participants in Stage 2 receive remuneration, and Sofia Municipality acquires the developed concepts and has the right to choose one of them for implementation, to combine elements of the individual concepts, to invite one or more experts from the teams for further actions to implement the concepts and to negotiate with the authors of the concepts for something else.


Zdravko Zdravkov

Chief Architect of Sofia Municipality

Zdravko Zdravkov has been Chief Architect of Sofia Municipality and Head of the Architecture and Urban Planning Division (NAG) since 2016. He won the competition for Chief Architect with his concept for managing the system and process of urban planning and development and restructured NAG to provide better coordination between units and increase efficiency. At his suggestion, a Vision for Sofia was initiated and developed and the project Sofia - a city for the people was launched. Arch. Zdravkov also organized an international competition for the renovation of St. Sunday square.

Ljubo Georgiev

Director of Sofiaplan  

Lubo Georgiev is an architect combining design, academic and socially engaged experience. He studied architecture at IUAV (Venice, Italy) and TU Delft (Delft, the Netherlands). He has lived in Scotland, Italy, the Netherlands and China. He is the author of articles and has participated as a speaker at various conferences in Europe. He has extensive experience as a designer and leader of multidisciplinary teams. He was the director of ONE ARCHITECTURE WEEK in Plovdiv, after which he led the team of Vision for Sofia and became the director of the municipal enterprise Sofiaplan

Dr. Veneta Handzhiyska-Yankulova

Director of the Regional History Museum Sofia

 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Veneta Handzhiyska-Yankulova is an archaeologist with over 15 years of field practice. She teaches at the Department of Culture, Historical Heritage and Tourism at the University of Library Science and Information Technology and specialty Archeology at St. Kliment Ohridski Sofia University. Her research interests are in the field of ancient archeology and she is the author of a number of articles and monographs on ceramic production, trade contacts, urban development and urban planning in antiquity. Since 2017 she has been the director of the Regional History Museum - Sofia.

Dr. urb. Angel Burov

Urbanism Expert

Lecturer in the Department of Urban Planning at UACEG in the programs in Urbanism, Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Landscape Planning. An urban planner with experience in developing a detailed development plan for the Western direction and the design brief for the competition for Sveta Nedelya Square. Leader and participant in team developments of development and strategic plans, research and civic projects. Vice-President of the Union of Urbanists in Bulgaria and member of the Chamber of Architects in Bulgaria.

Prof. Ph.D. arch. Todor Krastev

Expert Real estate cultural values

Professor of Cultural Heritage Preservation at UACEG. Honorary member of the International Council for Cultural Monuments and Landmarks, member of the ICOMOS Academy and honorary president of ICOMOS Bulgaria. UNESCO World Heritage Expert. Manager and author of projects in the field of cultural heritage, incl. of in the general development plans of Sofia and Plovdiv. Author of scientific publications. Winner of the Alexei Komech International Prize for Contribution to the Preservation of Cultural Heritage.

Eng. Vanya Nikolova

Mineral Waters Expert

Geological engineer - hydrogeologist and chief expert Mineral Waters at NAG. Researches the geological basis of the capital and is responsible for the creation and development of a system Geology and Mineral Waters to the Master Plan and Strategy and Program for the use of the potential of mineral waters and heat (geothermal energy) in Sofia Municipality. Eng. Nikolova works consistently for the use of mineral water from the field Sofia-Center and keeping the function of the Central Mineral Bath.

Leona Aslanova

Business Development Expert

Leona Aslanova is an expert and consultant in innovation, with over 15 years of professional experience. She is the founder of Innovation Starter, the Innovation Explorer Innovation Forum and the Innovation Academy, together with leading universities in Bulgaria. She worked as a Partnership Manager at Mobiltel, Sales Manager at, Customer Relations Director at Network Media, Marketing Manager at M3 Communications Group Ltd. She is currently a doctoral student at the Faculty of Economics at St. Kliment Ohridski Sofia University.

Anton Gerunov

Project Management Expert

Anton Gerunov is an expert in financial analysis, risk management, innovation and business modeling with experience in the private and public sectors and for global companies in the Netherlands, England, USA and Saudi Arabia. As an advisor to the Council of Ministers, he has managed e-government projects and participated in legislative changes. He has led national initiatives for Open Data and the introduction of impact assessments of laws and policies. Associate Professor of Economics at Sofia University and author of articles and reports. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer of LogSentinel, an information security company.

Dr. Veronika Dimitrova

Urban Sociology Expert

Veronika Dimitrova is an assistant professor of sociology at St. Kliment Ohridski Sofia University. Her main research interests are in the field of urban sociology, sociology of medicine and healthcare and sociology of gender.

Daniel Laurer

Expert Evaluation of entrepreneurial projects

Partner in the BrightCap Ventures fund. He has held senior positions in Mercury Interactive, which sold $ 4.5 billion to HP. He founded OPTiiM, a system integrator for banks and telecoms, which has grown in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Malina Edreva

Chairwoman of the GERB group

Malina Edreva is chairwoman of the GERB group in the Sofia Municipal Council. She is Chairman of the Committee on Education, Culture, Science and Cultural Diversity (since 2007) and a member of the Committee on Health and Social Policy. Delegate to the European Committee of the Regions. She holds a master's degree in Biology and Chemistry from Plovdiv University. She specializes in Cultural Studies in Italy, Leadership at the ASPEN Institute (France), and the Cultural Policy Management Program in Grenoble (France). In 2019 she was chairwoman of the jury in the competition for reconstruction of Sveta Nedelya Square.

Milka Hristova

Representative of the BSP FOR BULGARIA group

Milka Hristova is Deputy Chairwoman of the Sofia Municipal Council, a lawyer with a higher education degree in law and business management. Municipal councilor and deputy chairman of the BSP for Bulgaria political group.

Marta Georgieva

Representative of the DEMOCRATIC BULGARIA – UNION group

Marta Georgieva was born in Sofia, graduated from the French High School and Philosophy at St. Kliment Ohridski Sofia University. She has a second master's degree in administration and management from the University of Nantes, France. Additional qualifications in the Council of Europe (France), Tor Vergata University (Italy), Højskolen Østersøen (Denmark) and others. Municipal Councilor, member of the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Agriculture and Forestry and of the Standing Committee on European Programs, Projects and International Cooperation at the Sofia Municipal Council.

Borislav Ivanov

Representative of the PATRIOTS FOR SOFIA group

Borislav Ivanov was born in 1983 in Sofia. He has a higher education degree in Business Administration and is a municipal councilor with mandates 2011 - 2015 and 2019 - 2023. He is Chairman of the Standing Committee on Public Order and Security and participates in the Standing Committee on Spatial Planning.

Boris Bonev

Independent municipal councilor

Boris Bonev was born in Sofia, graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration from Sofia University and two master's degrees in economics and management at the Sorbonne, Paris. He is the founder of the civil organizations Save the Metro and Save Sofia, with which he has been working for 10 years to improve mobility, the urban environment, ecology and protection of the city's cultural heritage. Since 2019 he has been an independent municipal councilor in the Sofia Municipal Council and a member of the standing committees on architecture and urban planning and transport and tourism.


The competition has a total prize fund of BGN 30 000, distributed equally between the three finalists in the first stage. The three teams will be invited to sign a contract with Sofia Municipality to develop their concepts in the second phase and each of them will receive a fee of BGN 10 000. The payment is 30% upon signing the contract and 70% upon submission. 


March 26

Online presentation of the design brief with questions and comments from the audience — see HERE

March 26 — April 12

Feedback on the design brief. More than 200 comments, questions and answers have been received, which you can see HERE, and the summary of all feedback is HERE

May 15

Announcement of the open call

May 15 — June 26

Stage I

June 26

Application deadline

May 15 — May 22

Time to ask questions on the procedure. A list of questions and their answers is available HERE

July 6 — July 12

The jury evaluates the proposals and selects three teams

July 15

Announcement of the selected teams

July 16 — July 24

Signing of contracts with the selected teams

3 Months

Time for work of the selected teams in Stage II

October 26 — October 30

Publication and presentation of the results of the work of the teams

Design Brief

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