Competition For Metro Station 20 in Sofia

Deadlines– announcement of the September 27, 2011; ParticipantsAll Bulgarian or foreign natural persons and/or legal persons and their organizations with professional registration in the relevant competent architectural authority in their country of origin have the right to participate in the competition.




Program And Rules Of the Competition

Introduction: Sofia has been one of the relatively rapidly developing European capitals over the past 20 years. Neo-liberal trends after the end of the totalitarian communist regime in 1989 have concentrated Bulgaria’s economic activities in several larger cities. The result has been a higher unemployment rate in rural areas and migration towards these cities. The unplanned increase in population and traffic became a reason for investments in infrastructural projects. Since research on it began in the 1970s, the large-scale project for the development of Sofia’s metro system has been one of the biggest challenges for the city’s government and citizens. It has been implemented irregularly over the last 12 years; however, after 2007 the speed of construction has increased several-fold.
This competition provides a novel opportunity for exchanging and discussing architectural ideas for one of the new metro stations. Being on the periphery of the city, it has the potential to guide the development of new non-urbanized, future public zones. This is also a new attempt to inspire debate between the citizens and the city government. The competition has been launched by the Sofia Municipality, while the architectural forum Sofia Week and its producer Edno Magazine have been charged with its organization.
The competition was announced on October 15, 2010, by Yordanka Fandakova, the mayor of Sofia, at a press conference at the Central Mineral Baths during Sofia Architecture Week 2010. The competition started on September 27, 2011.

Objective of the Competition: The objective of this competition is to attain a preliminary architectural design for Metro Station 20 on Metro Line 1 of the metro system of Sofia Municipality. The project should be a proposal for a comprehensive sustainable architectural concept for the metro station and the public space above it. It should be designed according to the specific requirements of the underground rail transport system as well as the contemporary principals of urbanism. The authors of the project that wins first prize will enter into an agreement with Sofia Municipality and Metropolitan EAD for commissioning the working documentation for this project. Metro Station 20 is expected to be realized according to the project acquired through this competition as part of the completion of the metro line between station “Tzarigradsko Shose” (station 19) and station “Sofia Airport” (station 23). The planned schedule for execution of this stretch is 2014-2015; it will be the final phase in connecting the city centre, Central Railway Station, Central Bus Station and Sofia Airport with a metro line.

Scope of the Competition: The scope of this competition is the analysis and architectural design of the interior of Metro Station 20 on Metro Line 1 in Sofia, as well as the design of the public spaces above and around the metro station. The desire of the competition promoter, the Sofia Municipality, is to create a common space – above and below the ground – with a unified philosophy and visual and functional language.

Sofia Metro and Metro Line 1:
The Sofia metro is the first and only metro system in Bulgaria. It was first deployed on January 28, 1998. As of September 8, 2009, it has 14 metro stations with a total length of 17.9 km.
The metro is a National Object, meaning that its construction is financed from the municipal as well as national budgets and European funds.
The first studies and plans for the building of underground transport in the capital were carried out at the end of the 1960s. In 1972, the Council of Ministers approved a technical-economic report, while in 1973, the special design organization Metroproekt was created. In 1974, based on the technical-economic report, a resolution by the Executive Committee of the Special Scientific Council approved a General Scheme for development of the metro lines. According to this resolution, the metro system will contain three metro lines with a total length of 52 km and 47 metro stations with an average distance of 1100m between them.
First metro line: Obelya – Mladost
Second metro line: Hladilnika – Iliyanci
Third metro line: Knyazhevo – Vasil Levski
The lines intersect in the city centre in a triangular shape with the following apexes: Sveta Nedelya Square, Sofia University ‘Kliment Ohridski’ and the National Palace of Culture. According to the first General Scheme, beyond Sofia University the tracks of metro line 1 was supposed to continue under Tzarigradsko Shose Boulevard (Lenin Blvd. at the time). The change in the track’s direction was imposed in 1993.
Metro Line 1 splits into two directions:

  • north: to Druzhba and Sofia Airport
  • south: to Mladost and Business Park Sofia

The completion of the entire metro line is expected in 2014-2015.

Structure of the Competition: This is an open, one-stage, anonymous competition with international participation. It is announced in compliance with the Public Procurement Act, article 94, paragraph 3 and in compliance with the Regulation for Carrying Out Urban Planning and Investment Project Competitions (accepted with a decree by the Council of Ministers No 75/31.03.2009, consolidated text in the State Gazette, ed. 26, from April 7, 2009).
The competition program has been approved by the Chamber of Architects in Bulgaria and the Union of Architects in Bulgaria. The competition will not be held if fewer than two projects are received.

Participants: All Bulgarian or foreign natural persons and/or legal persons and their organizations with professional registration in the relevant competent architectural authority in their country of origin have the right to participate in the competition. For the participants from Bulgaria, a registration of full legal design capacity with the Chamber of Architects in Bulgaria is required. If the project is designed by a team, at least one member of the team must have such professional registration.

Persons who cannot enter the competition include:

  • representatives of the promoter Sofia Municipality and the organizers Edno Magazine and Sofia Architecture Week, as well as the persons who prepared the program and the design assignment;
  • members of the jury;
  • those in working or contract relations with the promoter, the organizers and the members of the jury.

Applicants will be disqualified from the competition:

  • if violation of the above conditions becomes known during or after the competition;
  • for violating the anonymity of the competition;
  • if their professional rights have been suspended.


  • One first prize – 10,000 BGN and a commission
  • One second prize – 6,000 BGN
  • One third prize – 4,000 BGN

Official language and metric system of the competition
The official language of the competition is Bulgarian. Parts of the competition will be held in the English language:

  • The website, the program and the competition assignment are bilingual – in Bulgarian and English.
  • Official questions about the assignment and the promoter can be asked in both Bulgarian and English. The questions will also be published on the website in both languages.
  • The participants’ documents (questionnaire, declarations) should be in Bulgarian.
  • The projects should be prepared only in English.
  • The meetings of the jury will be held in Bulgarian and English.

In the competition, metric units of measurement must be used.


  • announcement of the competition – September 27, 2011;
  • deadline for registration and receiving the competition program 16:00 on December 9, 2011, at the following address: Sofia Capital Municipality, Architecture and Urban Spatial Development Service, 5 Serdika Str, Sofia 1000, Bulgaria, ground floor;
  • deadline for sending questions to the promoter – December 9, 2011;
  • deadline for sending the competition projects – 16:00 h on December 9, 2011, to the following address: Sofia Capital Municipality, Architecture and Urban Spatial Development Service, 5 Serdika Str, Sofia 1000, Bulgaria, ground floor
  • technical commission – on December 11 – 12, 2011;
  • Jury – December 13 – 15, 2011.

Requirements for the competition projects

Every competition project is required to contain:
Situation plan Sc 1/500;
Plans at all levels Sc 1/200;
Elevation sections through all the levels Sc 1/200;
Two perspective visualizations of the interior and two of the exterior of the metro station;
A text explaining the project in no more than 650 words, written with Arial font (12pt);
All texts for the project should be in English. Texts in any language other than English will be considered a violation of anonymity and the project will be disqualified.
Other visualization materials will not be accepted.

 Format and manner of presentation

All graphical materials must be submitted on 4 (four) mounting boards of ISO A1 size (594mm x 841mm). All panels should be oriented such that the 841mm side is horizontal and the 541mm side is vertical. The panels should include all the compulsory required materials.
The competition projects must be marked with a motto consisting of a six-digit number. On the drawing panels, this motto must have a height of 1.5cm and length of 6cm. It must be placed at the upper right corner of every panel at a distance of 2cm from the two edges.
On the text materials, the motto must have a height of 1cm and length of 4cm and must be placed in the upper right corner of every page.
In a separate, non-transparent envelope, the following documents must be submitted:
– A filled-out and signed questionnaire from the architect leading the team. The questionnaire is included with the registration documents (in Bulgarian);
– A declaration signed by all the members of the team stating that they agree to be represented by their lead architect in all future contracts that may result from the team’s competition entry (in Bulgarian);
– A declaration signed by the lead architect stating whether the team members wish for their anonymity to be preserved in case they do not receive a prize (in Bulgarian);
– A copy of a document proving that the registration fee has been paid (receipt, bank transfer confirmation, etc.).
The envelope should be sealed and should have the motto written on it in the manner required for the text materials.
The project materials and the envelope should be packaged together.
The lack of a document envelope or any project materials which are required by the promoter are grounds for disqualification of the participants from the competition!

Submitting the competition projects
The competition projects should be submitted personally by authorized persons, by post or by courier to the following address: Sofia Capital Municipality, Architecture and Urban Spatial Development Service, 5 Serdika Str, Sofia 1000, Bulgaria, ground floor.
When the project is submitted through post or courier, the date on the postmark is considered the date of submission.
Projects submitted via e-mail will not be accepted.
The panels with drawings and the text material of the competition project should not contain any information disclosing the identity of the participants in the competition.

Copyright and commissioning
The competition project materials become the property of Sofia Municipality upon submission. Sofia Municipality has the right to publish parts of them or their entirety for archives or publications, but only in connection with the competition. When partial or entire projects are published, their authors must be mentioned.
The authors of the projects will remain the owners of the copyright in the sense stated in the Copyright and Related Rights Act.
The first prize winner will be commissioned to execute the next phase of the project. If for any reason he is not capable of fulfilling this obligation, he will have to collaborate with another registered architect of his choosing, subject to the jury’s approval.
If the first prize winner is a non-Bulgarian architect, his rights to work in Bulgaria are granted according to the rules of the Chamber of Architects in Bulgaria.

Technical commission

Not later than December 11–12, 2011, the promoter must appoint a technical commission with the following members:

  • Two representatives of the promoter, at least one of whom must be a lawyer;
  • Representative of the Chamber of Architects in Bulgaria;
  • Representative of the Union of Architects in Bulgaria;

The members of the technical commission must sign a declaration stating that circumstances relating to Art. 8, Para. 1, Sec. 4 and Art. 45, Para. 1 from the Regulation for Carrying out Urban Planning and Investment Project Competitions are not in evidence.

The technical commission should:

  • Open the outside packaging of the competition projects; cover the motto with a new sign and make a working list with the new signs and the corresponding motto. The list must be sealed in a non-transparent envelope with the note “List of New Signs” and given to the chairman of the jury (the architect Petar Dikov), along with all other materials.
  • Check whether the contents of the competition projects follow the competition program; fill in the results on a separate form for every project; make a separate list of the projects which are incomplete; make a report for the jury, noting the adequacy of the projects with respect to the competition requirements.

If fewer than three projects have been received by the given deadline, the jury will propose that the mayor of Sofia issue an order stopping the competition.
If the projects received do not correspond to the criteria and conditions of the competition, the jury will propose that the mayor of Sofia issue an order stopping the competition.

Criteria for evaluation of the projects

The jury will evaluate the projects based on the graphic and text materials submitted by the participants.
The jury’s evaluations will be based upon the following criteria:

  1. aesthetics and architectural concept of the metro station and the surroundings;
  2. functionality of the solutions;
  3. consistency with the requirements of the assignment;
  4. construction and technological possibility for execution of the project.
  5. The criteria are weighted in the evaluation as follows:

Criteria a) – 30%
Criteria b) – 30%
Criteria c) – 25%
Criteria d) – 15%
Methods for calculating the grades:
Formula for calculating the points for criteria A
а. Т = Х/10 х 30
X is an average value of all the grades of the members of the jury on a 10-point scale.
Formula for calculating the points of criteria B
b. Т = Х/10 х 30
Formula for calculating the points of criteria C
c. Т = Х/10 х 25
Formula for calculating the points of criteria D
d. Т = Х/10 х 15
*The method of evaluation marks whether and the degree to which competition criteria have been fulfilled.
Formation the complex grade: a+b+c+d

Awarding of Prizes

The jury will grade the projects and award three prizes as follows:

  • one First Prize – 10,000 BGN and the project commission;
  • one Second Prize – 6,000 BGN
  • one Third Prize – 4,000 BGN

If the team awarded the First Prize is disqualified for objective reasons (see section 4 from this Program), the prize is awarded to the project ranked second.
Rewarding the authors of the winning projects will happen after the contest.

Exhibition: The competition projects will be exhibited and discussed in public after the end of the competition.


Competition documents

Source: http://station20.eu/

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