RESTORATION

The modern Bulgarian approach to restoration is to knock down and replace with a concrete replica, wooden planks are then nailed on to give that special aged effect. Unfortunately the communist traditions have very nearly killed off any national feeling for heritage displayed in old buildings. Buildings constructed since 1946 are almost without exception extremely ugly and very badly built … a bit like old Ladas. Before communism Bulgaria had a fine tradition of building elegant houses and public buildings using traditional materials worked by skilled craftsmen.

The first thing the communist planners did was to abolish this tradition, labelling it Bourgeoisie, and introduce a style best described as Stalinist Brutalism. The sad legacy of that unhappy day is that most Bulgarians now consider this is the only approach to construction and architecture.

Many fine pre 1946 buildings have been left to rot and can never be replaced. These could have been saved and the essential character of the building preserved by carefully restoring and replacing rotten wood or crumbling stone. It is very simple to incorporate all the modern essentials such as European standard wiring and plumbing.

Bulgaria has an abundant supply of good quality pine and hard woods such as oak, beech, cherry and walnut as well as many indigenous species. Most of this ends up supporting concrete or is exported as hard wood floors. This wealth of low cost quality timber could be used for the purpose of restoring many old buildings. It is considered strange to use these materials in buildings. Floors, ceilings and roofs are considered “more stable” if made in concrete. It is difficult to find any natural materials in a modern Bulgarian building.

Another real difficulty is to find skilled wood workers, although there is an abundant supply of good quality Bulgarian furniture (presumably made by Bulgarians). Things like wooden staircases are therefore very difficult to source. It is almost impossible to find a team of skilled worker who are able to sympathically restore many of the wooden features in old buildings.

However once in a while the impossible happens as the pictures testify to. If you persevere, or use Blackseavillas Restorations, you can obtain remarkable results.

Before                                                  After

               
               

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