Two-story Bulgarian home partially buried into the hillside

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An architectural masterpiece of wood and glass, this two-story contemporary home designed by I/O Architects is perched hillside overlooking the skyline of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Offering unparalleled views is one of this home’s many outstanding features, with the front facade overseeing the city, while the rear of the home showcases the mountains. The exterior facade offers walls of glass to capitalize on the views, while the rest of the structure is comprised of a thermally-modified fir wood cladding, which references the properties rugged surroundings. The client was an investment banker who requested that his home function in two ways, the first of which was to centrally showcase his classic car and the second was to create a home that features comfortable living environments for his small family. Part of the home is buried into the hillside, which mostly houses the utility rooms.

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The main living spaces are on the upper level, encompassing the living room, dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms, two bathrooms as well as separate living quarters for the children. On the rear of the property, the second floor is level with the slope, while on the front of the property, both stories are visible. This allows the sleeping quarters to be more private and have convenient access to the gardens. The whole rear facade is comprised mainly of glass, drawing nature in and blurring the lines between indoors and out.

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The interiors features clean lines and a simple material palette, with stylish designer furnishings that are comfortable enough for a family to enjoy. Warm textures creates a cozy atmosphere, while an open and spacious layout creates a nice flow between spaces that is very inviting. Views of the Vitosha Mountains beyond the gardens can be enjoyed from the main living spaces.

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What We Love: The spectacular views that seem to be from all angles for starters, these homeowners seem to have the best of both worlds with city views on one side and mountain views on the other. The way the home is half buried into the hillside is not a new concept, however it is always interesting to see how each architect creates their vision of how they will address this site issue and how aesthetically pleasing the finished result ends up being. This is a fantastic home, both on the interior and exterior… what do you think, is there a design feature you like or don’t like?

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Here on 1 Kindesign we have featured some other homes that are partially buried into the hillside. So if you were inspired by this home design, may we suggest you have a look at, Cliff house buried in the mountain off the Granada coast or this striking feature, Half-buried house is full of unique details.

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One of the most important requests to the design of this home was storing this classic car in a space where is could be a showpiece. The architects created an interior atrium that is accessed via an entrance hall and by a staircase from the upper level. The car also has a motorized door that opens to allow the car access to the street when the owner wishes to take it for a cruise! If you notice, the interiors of the home are influenced by the car through the concrete flooring and black metal referenced in the handrails, window frames and structural supports.

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Notice the translucent flooring above the staircase, allowing natural light to flood through.

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Photos: Assen Emilov

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