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Bistritsa Villas Community Plan

In the foothills of Vitosha Mountain in Bulgaria, on a site deemed prohibitively steep, MBB was asked to plan a residential development in harmony with the topography, water systems, and native plant greenery.

Our site planning approach minimized disturbance to the site and costly grading operations while preserving open space and choice views. With an optimal configuration of streets and plots in relation to the hilltop and slopes, the plan envisions a cohesive community of 120 homes perched above the medieval village of Bistritsa.

To ease the challenges of building on uneven terrain, MBB arranged the streets along existing contours of the land to avoid a profusion of stepping properties separated by retaining walls. The main road leading to the hilltop park curves gently around the site to minimize the grade change. These and other planning strategies allowed for more efficient construction, more desirable lot dimensions, and more congenial neighborhoods than previous developers had thought possible.

The plan conserves mature trees and native vegetation, and drains stormwater runoff through a rehabilitated creek and retention ponds along the ravine at the western edge of the site. Landscape architecture by RKLA Studio also includes the Entry Gardens, the Hilltop Park, and the South Embankment with switchback trails and common areas overlooking the village. As part of the plan’s embrace of the rugged topography, MBB carefully preserved view corridors toward Vitosha Mountain National Park to the west.