architecture: residences

Leshten Country Houses

Leshten, Bulgaria

Building type:
Two Bulgarian Country Style Houses
Surface: 2X200 m²
Client: Private
Conception: 2007
Completed: 2009

Leshten is a mountainous village in Garmen Municipality, in Bulgaria’s Blagoevgrad Province. In the early years of the 20th century it was a busy village with more than 500 inhabitants, most of them non-Muslim. Nowadays there are only a few local permanent residents, but many of the old houses have been restored and renovated to be used as summer houses or guest houses. They were built in the second half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century in an architectural style, typical for this region of the country. Most of the houses have very big covered terraces, inner courtyards and their own taverns.

The project consists of two country houses located on the Rhodope Mountains southern slope, overlooking the amazing view of the Pirin Mountains. The houses are built with traditional Bulgarian materials. The construction technology’s style is typical for this region. The first floors are made of stone, while the upper ones are made of clay plaster and wood. The roof is made of slate.

The houses in the region look alike: the ground floor – mosaic shaped stones, the first floor – mud and wood, the roof – shingles. Most homes have an ample covered terrace and a small yard. The interior gets details such as inlaid and wood carved ceilings made by skillful local craftsmen and wood carvers.

Among these old houses the award-winning architect built a new house, which brings together all of the old traditions.