In our article about the first tour of the month, dedicated to architect Hristo Peev, we took you on a virtual tour of some of his creations in the Kapana district. At the end of April, a continuation of the event was held, this time focusing on his most modern projects for houses, public buildings, as well as some of the apartment buildings he created. Our hosts were once again Bulgarian Modernist Architecture, whose representative Teodor Karakolev introduced us to the details of construction and the work of the notable architect.
Eleanora and Albert Malapel’s house
The start was given in front of the entrance of Dobrin Petkov National School of Music and Dance, opposite which is the house, which many look at with admiration and a bit of regret, due to the fact that in recent years it is one of the abandoned "beauties" under the hills. Designed in 1933 for the Jewish family of Eleonora and Albert Malapel, it is also one of the most modern houses in the city to this day. The absence of any decoration on the facade, the functional distribution, the expressive visor above the roof terrace, the composition of simple volumes and the exceptional development in every detail are some of its characteristics. Unfortunately, in recent years, the only innovation on it is the padlock on the front door, and ivy is the complete master in the yard and the building.
Bento and Toma Nenov’s apartment building
Probably one of the first of its kind built in the city under the hills. The beginning of the 1930s was the period when the gradual transition from the construction of single-family houses and smaller buildings to the type of buildings that house several apartments and different families began. The project of this building dates back to 1937 and is one of the few of this type on which Hristo Peev worked. The interesting thing about it is that it has two entrances at each end and two apartments per floor. That way everyone has a separate landing. In the spirit of Modernism, there are no ornaments, except for the door developed with metal decorative elements. Typical of the period are the horizontally positioned windows, and the curious presence of a vestibule in each dwelling, which is located right in the middle of the area and is supplied with natural light through a rectangular opening in the roof.
Dr. Popov’s residential building
It was intended to be a home and an office for the radiologist Dr. Popov. The project dates from 1932, and construction was completed in an impressive 6 months or so. On the first floor there were waiting rooms, doctor's rooms and rooms with X-ray machines, and above were the residential floors. To date, it can hardly be recognized, as it has undergone numerous interventions. The space around the front door and in the uppermost part of the building looks completely different. Also, the rooms were designed with sliding doors built into niches, through which the vestibule and dining room could easily be connected or separated according to the needs of the family.
Dr. Hristo Popov’s apartment building
A few years after the first house and a little further down Gladstone Street, after the House of Technology, Hristo Peev designed for the doctor another one of the few apartment buildings he authored. It has three residential floors with two apartments each and commercial areas on the ground floor. Decorative plaster imitating stone cladding was used for the facade.
House of Arts and Printing
In the 1930s and the first half of the 1940s, the building was at the center of cultural life in Plovdiv. At that time, almost all cultural events of the Plovdiv intelligentsia in the fields of music, theater, literature, fine arts, education and science took place in the House. The project dates back to 1932, and its creation is thanks to the work of three Plovdiv architects - Hristo Peev, Vasil Zlatarev and Nikola Ovcharov. In its original form, the second floor was occupied by a large exhibition hall with overhead lighting, which doesn’t exist today. On the ground floor, in today's Radio Plovdiv studio, a modern concert hall was housed. In 1944, the building became the Kultura cinema, and from 1962 it has been housing Radio Plovdiv.
Elisaveta and Dr. Alexander Peev’s house
The house of prominent Plovdiv public figures is among the architect's earliest projects. This can be seen in the partially built roof terrace, as well as the horizontally stretched forms of the windows and their partial unification through facade brick. The fate of its owner is interesting - in 1943 he was revealed as the head of an illegal group carrying out orders of the Soviet High Command. He was arrested and subsequently sentenced to death and executed on November 22.