Residents of Plovdiv and guests of the city can view the overview exhibition Hristo Peev: the researcher, the architect, the man, which is set up on Roman Stadium Square until April 23. It is dedicated to the memory and work of the famous Plovdiv architect Hristo Peev on the occasion of the 130th anniversary of his birth.
Hristo Peev was an architect from Plovdiv, known for being the first and only one to study and document the disappearing architectural heritage of Old Plovdiv since the 1930s. Thanks to the material collected by him, many remarkable buildings have been restored to their original form, houses that were destroyed years ago are also "resurrected". To this day, his book on Revival houses is an encyclopedia used by architects, restorers and builders. In addition to being a researcher, Hristo Peev was also a productive architect, the author of hundreds of buildings in Plovdiv and the surrounding area - wonderful modern projects from the 20s, 30s and 40s, imbued with the most current trends of modernist architecture. We walked by some of them - in the Kapana district and around it, together with the creators of Bulgarian Modernist Architecture, and they revealed to us various details and curious stories from Peev's life and work.
We started with the Popular Bank, which is located right across the Roman Stadium Square and was built in 1922 with a project by the architects Yordan Yordanov and Dimitar Koev. In the early 1940s, the interior was rebuilt in a modern style by Hristo Peev, as evidenced by the checkerboard cement mosaics, pipe railings and the characteristic round openings.
Today, it houses the offices of the 2019 Foundation and other institutions.
If you are a connoisseur of architecture, we guess you couldn't have missed the big yellow building almost next to the underpass of the Maritsa pharmacy. The ground floor currently houses the office of a mobile operator. It was built for Elisaveta Obreikova in 1933 and combines elements of Art Deco and Modernism. Typical of the latter are the details on the stairwell, the curves, and from the former– its the dome on the top floor.
The building is one of the most recognizable and characteristic projects of Hristo Peev with its representative appearance.
We continue to the creative district, where the architect's next residential building rises on Marukyan Square, better known among the locals as Shirokoto. The ironworks of Marukyan was built in two parts, on two separate plots. To date, it is well maintained and preserved in its style.
Another very well-preserved example of the architect's work can be seen at the very corner of Hristo Dyukmedzhiev, in the part towards the underpass for Old Plovdiv. You will recognize the characteristic shape of the windows, the excellently preserved roof terrace and the typical slightly overhanging balcony.
We are now on Zhelezarska Street, where we stop in front of Sarkis Hovsepiyan's house from 1933. Here, the recessed top floor (with a flat roof) and terrace and the wide glazed trapezoidal bay windows are very clearly visible.
An interesting example of the architect's work is the Isak Behar building on Saborna Street. With it, due to the irregular shape of the plot, Hristo Peev used one of the concepts of the Revival architecture, namely – the use of triangular bay windows to ensure the correct shape of the premises.
We finish our tour on Main Street, where we took a good look at the Albert Panigel Building. In its design, one can notice some of the earliest signs of the emerging modernism – horizontal profile plaster on the corners, balconies with horizontal metal elements, ending with an expressive semicircle and a flat roof.
We look forward to the next part of the architectural tour, dedicated to the projects of architect Hristo Peev. It will be held on April 21 at 6 pm with a meeting point in front of Dobrin Petkov National School of Music and Dance, 8 Krastyu Pastukhov Street, to take us around the buildings around the Tsar-Simeon Garden.