Villa DO by Rado Iliev

Villa DO is a modern single-story retreat located in Stara Planina, Bulgaria, designed by Rado Iliev.

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About Villa DO

Creating a Mountain Retreat in Bulgaria

Nestled on the northern slopes of Bulgaria’s Stara Planina, this mountain retreat spans 100 square meters (about 1,076 square feet). It boasts a living area, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a wardrobe, and a storage room. The house, surrounded by a forest rich in mineral springs and large oval stones, enjoys a diverse landscape with towering beeches, offering ever-changing, majestic views.

Sustainable Construction on a Budget

The client’s brief called for a simple, low-budget construction with basic finishes. We chose a painted timber cladding on a concrete base. Locally sourced timber and a small team brought this design to life. Large, triple-glazed windows are fixed directly to the timber frame, while hatches in the walls provide natural ventilation. Our design aims for an unobtrusive yet uncompromised simplicity that complements the rich landscape.

A light-colored stone driveway leads to the north-facing entrance. Here, a 20-meter (about 65 feet) façade with narrow vertical windows greets visitors. Large stones unearthed during construction add a natural touch to the front.

A Harmonious Interior Design

Double doors on both the north and south sides create a breezy passageway in summer. The south doors open onto a sun terrace, seamlessly blending with the sloping terrain. Inside, the interiors offer human-scaled spaces with large, framed landscape views. Dark dyed beams crisscross the ceiling, with minimal lighting tucked between them. The simple fit-out and natural finishes create a space that is light, spacious, yet cozy and warm.

Photography by Vencislava Vasileva

Visit Rado Iliev

- by Matt Watts