Projects to construct new skyscrapers in the trendiest parts of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, have triggered fierce debates about Sofia’s city planning and the loose regulations on large-scale property investments.
After two tall business towers recently rose up in central Sofia, transforming the look of the city centre, several further projects for skyscrapers were announced over the past few months, with one, for a 215-metre-high Paradise Tower, sparking most controversy.
“This is a normal market development. Those are private investments that function on a market principle – this is why they appear in attractive areas,” Angel Zahariev, manager of the AAA bureau, which designed two of the landmark skyscrapers and Bulgaria’s tallest buildings – Capital Fort and Sky Fort at the entrance of Sofia – told BIRN.
Zahariev, who is also a member of the independent architects’ community Grupa Grad, which advocates better urban development in Bulgaria, added that there is a place for skyscrapers in Sofia – but better rules and limits on their height are needed, as well as a ban on such buildings in the centre. “The question with the Paradise Tower is how it fits in,” he said.
The Russian-Georgian investment, which will rise 55 storeys high in the Hladilnika neighborhood, was greenlighted by the city government in April.
The project is designed by ProArch, a company whose majority owner is the former chief architect of Sofia, Patar Dikov.