Nesseber Municaplity


Obedinenie MSKG DZZD


eng.Georgi Dimitrov& eng. Lazar Dimitrov


arch. Tania Mitakeva, arch. Plamena Dimova


Nesseber, Julieta Shishmanova Sqr.

The old town of Nessebar is one of the seven Bulgarian monuments – part of UNESCO World heritage list. The town is an example for succession and harmony, because of its extraordinary saturation of high architectural

specimens from various eras. Namely this very succession and saturation of testimonials from different times is what becomes the guideline of the new cultural and town center of Nessebar.


Being situated in the heart of the new town, the architecture of the building and the reconstruction of “Zhulieta Shishmanova” square shows very clearly that this new complex belongs exactly there – in Nessebar. The main principles of the architecture typical for Nessebar have been followed, without trying to imitate any specific forms or age. The building follows the logic of the old Nessebar house with a stone ground floor and wooden upper floors with dynamic bays. This typology has not been followed eclectically, but was used to stress on the different functional blocks of the building.

The big peak offers shadow and creates the necessary frame for the town events, which take place at the square. It is supported on furcated columns which refers to the distinctive slanted wooden supports upholding the bays of the renaissance houses. The difference being the material used – steel. References to the typology of the nessebar house can also be found in the master plan. The distinctive hall, which distributes and makes the connection to all other rooms is also the social space in the house. In this case it is replaced by a massive atrium, which creates both horizontal and vertical connections between the rooms and acts as an exhibition space as well as space for meetings.

The logic of the interior expands to the outside space, designed as a town square. It should meet the present demands of the townspeople, but is directly connected to the Old town and the sea, taking into consideration these two main elements of the environment. Through its orientation and composition the square directs the stream to the Cultural Center, to the sea and to the old town.


The cultural and town center of Nessebar is the new place for the development and enrichment of any kind of cultural activity in order to the intransitive cultural continuity to stay alive, which has made Nessebar world-famous.

The project for the reconstruction of “Zhulieta Shishmanova” square comprises of several functional areas – the main approach from the new town /the space around the entrance of the Cultural Center Artium/, main approach from the old city, space around the secondary entrances of the Cultural Center /a public restroom and a bank/, open air stage, free square space for public events, recreational areas and landscaping, walkways which connect the square with the other parts of the town. An underground car park with capacity for over 60 cars is designed under the square. The pedestrian exit from the car park leads the visitors directly to the square. The back of the exit building is a bus stop.


A major challenge in the design of the square is its landscaping. This is constructed as a green roof because of the underground car park. Due to the lack of rainwater drainage a solution has been developed that uses the natural slope of the terrain in order to drain the rainwater from the square and the surrounding buildings. The water drains on the surface and is channeled into a specially designed drainage channel that slows the flow of the rainwater. From there the water enters the infiltration system. The system consists of a reservoir collecting conditional clean water for irrigation of the green areas and a well for absorbing excess in the event of large rainfall.

The square lighting consits of three types of illuminators - high luminaires with a height of 10 m. to provide a general lighting of the square, medium-height bodies with a height of 4.5m. to illuminate the main sidewalks and pathways and low bodies with a height of 1.2m. for ambient lighting in areas with seating. Five and eight cm thick concrete slabs produced by Semmelrock Stein und Design GmbH are used for the pavement of the square. The pavement is combined with 15 cm thick granite paver blocks for the steps and veneer made of thermal finish granite for all the planters and other decorative elements. Patina COR-TEN steel is used to limit the lawns.


The Artium Cultural Center building is the new accent in the composition of the square. It will host public events organized by the municipality of Nessebar, as well as educational courses, library and theatrical activities. The newly designed building is free-standing and consists of a basement with an underground garage and service rooms as well as four above-ground floors.

The building consists of three bodies – south, north and central /atrium/ connecting the other two. The functional scheme of the building is very complex.

There is a tourist information centre, a public restroom, a café and a bank on the ground floor.

On the second floor there is an administrative block and an actors housing with the adjacent dressing rooms, rehearsal room, costumes warehouses and other service rooms, as well as the scene of the Main hall.

On the third floor a small multifunctional hall with flat floor is located as well as the lobby and the entrances to the Main hall for 280 people with a slanted floor.

The last floor houses a hall for courses, dance hall and the new library of the city with a loan and reading room with a view to the sea and the old town of Nessebar.

The atrium is Artium’s heart. It is the link between the different halls and areas of the building, and it houses the representative ladders and lifts for the visitors of the building. Its interior is designed in light colours. Natural stone is used for the veneer of the ladders. Special attention is paid to the details of the stair railing, as well as the lighting concept.

Three automated fire curtains of Stoebich Brandschutz GmbH (representative for Bulgaria – JUNG OOD) have been built to achieve the required fire safety.


The roof of the building is flat with metal construction. TPO-waterproofing supplied by VJF OOD is used. The facades of the building are three types - ventilated facade with composite HPL panels with wood decor  produced by Fundermax (representative for Bulgaria - Venta Group EAD), ventilated facade from fibre cement plates produced by Equitone (representative for Bulgaria - Corel 67 EOOD) and natural stone facing. The provided thermal insulation corresponds to the selected facade system. All ventilated facades, as well as the glass facade, are executed as engineering and installation by Tal Burgas OOD.


The end result is fascinating, above all, with the harmony between the city square and the new building. It shows the clear request of the contemporary city leaders to contribute to this Nessebar being recognized on the cultural map of Bulgaria.