Looking at this crisply modern house in Sozopol, a charming seaside town in Bulgaria, it’s hard to imagine that it once featured a jumble of sloped roofs, tile cladding, quaint bay windows and arches. Built just 15 years ago, the original building adopted the town’s traditional architecture, an act of revivalist folly that the new owners wanted to turn on its head by transforming it into an architectural exemplar of contemporary minimalism. The project’s primary challenge lay in minimizing the complexity of the building’s geometries while highlighting the structural principles through spatial and organizational enhancements within the interior. Enter Bulgarian architect Alexander Yonchev, founder of Sofia and Nice-based practice Simple Architecture, who not only succeeded in radically reimagining the three-story house as an all-white haven of understated sophistication but also managed to forge a deeper connection between the interiors and the picturesque setting by capitalizing on the panoramic views of the Black Sea.
In stark contrast to its original appearance, the house is now characterised by clean lines, simple cubic volumes, and large rectangular openings in orderly grids. Swathed in an all-white palette, the building’s pared-down exterior is matched by the minimalist interiors where the architecture’s rectilinear geometry is softened by a series of abstract, organic forms such as sofas, chairs, bathtubs and other furnishings. Rendered exclusively in white hues, the monochromatic interiors allow the omnipresent views of the sea to take centre stage as well as imbue the house with an art gallery sensibility, enhanced by a contemporary art collection.
A spacious open-plan living and dining area occupies most of the ground floor, while two expansive master bedrooms, complete with en-suite bathrooms, dressing rooms, and a shared balcony, dominate the upper floor, while an additional two bedrooms are located on the ground and lower floors. The generous interior spaces are complemented by a series of terraces around the house, ranging from intimate patios to a large pool terrace that appears to float above the sea, thanks to the property’s clifftop location.