Sea Garden Varna EAD


eng. Rumen Rafailov


Universalstroy Consult OOD


Fecta LTD.



Overhaul and reconstruction of the Seaside Casino – Varna


The city of Varna is officially declared seaside resort in 1921.

In prospective development of the city as resort, the municipal authorities decided to build seaside beach, a fountain and a Seaside Casino in the city Maritime Garden. A royal decree issued in 1925 confirms this decision on state level.

With the construction of the central seaside beach, officially opened for public on August 1, 1926, and the northern beach, opened in 1928, equipped with a water slide and a critically approached by the public at the era mixed beach, the city became a modern seaside resort.

The intentions of the municipal authorities in Varna back then were to establish the city as a copy of the French Riviera on the Balkans and it instigated the construction of a Seaside Casino, which began in 1926 on design by the architect Zhelyazko Bogdanov, some 100 meters from the beach. The Casino parameters were impressive: a large 300-square-meter salon with a spacious colonnade terrace, 12 shops to serve as exhibition of Bulgarian national crafts, and two music pavilions.

In its initial (and present) form the Casino has a Blue Lounge with a high open air ceiling serving single-storey parts around it and an open garden that merged without boundary with the Maritime Garden. The latter is now one of the city symbols and is a declared monument of park art. The Maritime Garden has many alleys, monuments, fountains, outdoor scenes, aquarium, museums, dolphinarium, terrarium, and many other attractions.

In addition to its function as a casino, the building became a major cultural center for a variety of events in the period before 1944. Later on, it sustained its role as cultural and entertainment center.

In 1958 the Casino burned down and the reconstruction was completed with the design of architect Panayot Minkov, whose silhouette the Seaside Casino keeps to this day with the second restaurant added - the Red Lounge, on the second main level. The terraces on the second level are extended opening beautiful view to the central beach, the dykes and the Marine station.

The building style features elements of art deco, Bulgarian modernism and secession, while the preserved and restored sculptures - both male and female - give a more exquisite look to the building facades. Their author is Bulgarian Michelangelo - sculptor Kiril Shivarov, who created them in the early 1930s.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the building was completely abandoned and partially burned.

From 2015 the building new owners envision its complete restoration and development as a cultural and entertainment center, a resurrected symbol of the city of Varna.

A project for complete renovation of the building - through overhaul and reconstruction of its entire built-in area of 1 655 sq. m., situated on a real estate of 2 957 sq. m., with a total built-up area of  5 270.91 sq. m. and adjacent summer garden area to the open-air restaurant of 788 sq. m., is designed and approved by the Consultative Council of the Municipality of Varna for the preservation of the city architectural heritage. Given the fact that it is in the middle of a garden and park art monument both the silhouette line and the size of the existing building are preserved. The project has many specific requirements to comply with.

The renovated and reconstructed building has the following separate areas:

Underground - where are located: a night music club with a 360-degree unique for Varna rotating scene with 20 speeds; three separate preparation zones for the restaurants, as well as dressing rooms, warehouses, and toilets;

First floor - with a spacious art gallery, large roof of glazed atrium, made of wood and glass only, a fast food restaurant, serving also the outdoor cafeteria, kitchen zone serving the Blue Lounge restaurant, which consists of two levels, the first being a separate stage with dressing rooms, two outdoor terraces, summertime restaurant, indoor children animation center, as well as an open-air children animation center in the summer garden, and a semi-open outdoor stage to the summertime restaurant;

Intermediate floor - where is located a beauty parlor for special care of guests of the complex, and a management office;

Second floor – it is the second level of the Blue Lounge - a large open air terrace, the first level of Red Lounge restaurant, with a stage, together with a Viennese pastry shop and a VIP hall, as well as a kitchen zone for these, an anteroom, and toilets;

Third floor – on which the second floor of Red Lounge Restaurant is located, an outdoor terrace, an open roof terrace over the Blue Lounge Restaurant - sky bar, serving the common area between the two restaurants, and toilets.

The main idea in implementing the project is to provide opportunities in the art gallery and the summertime restaurant, as well as on the scenes in the complex, to carry out a rich and varied cultural life, to provide the art gallery for various exhibitions and other cultural events.

During the renovation, the building is supplied with gas, floor heating and complete modern ventilation and air conditioning.

The old pedestal on the building northwest side with author also Kiril Shivarov is completely restored from old photographs.

The front doors are made of solid wood with large bronze handles, inspired by the works of Kiril Shivarov by the restorer Kiril Yanev.

During the building overhaul are recreated the unique different types of external wrought iron lamps. The exclusive mosaics have been preserved, while the special high profile ceiling of the Blue Lounge restaurant has been restored with 11 star constellations on the sky, including the Polar Star, which gives the distinctiveness of the place and knowledge to the guests of the complex.

The enormous terraces on the second level are floored with specific mosaic of granite multicolored tiles of Venetian type mosaic, and on the first level the floor is made of travertine.

The outer half-exposed scene is covered with travertine with a unique onyx dynamic luminous wave. The summer garden fountain is restored.

The entire first floor is made of solid slabs of slit travertine providing it with completion and stability in time for the building.

The art gallery and the bistro are filled with unique patterns of colorful marble tiles depicting Bulgarian embroidery.

Thus, the complete overhaul and reconstruction of the symbol of Varna – the complex Seaside Casino, preserves and enhances its history, so that the residents and the guests of the city can enjoy the architectural and artistic values of this unique Bulgarian building.