A state-of-the-art exhibition centre for Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast

An EU-funded project has made it possible for infrastructure at the Flora exhibition centre in Burgas, Bulgaria to be brought up to date, enabling it to host cultural, educational and social attractions all year round. The innovative and ecological design and construction methods used for the renovation showcase the approach taken by local authorities towards sustainable development policies.

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External view of the renovated Flora Burgas exhibition centre © Antoniya Novakova, Burgas Municipality External view of the renovated Flora Burgas exhibition centre © Antoniya Novakova, Burgas Municipality

" The Flora Centre is the first project in Burgas supported by the Regional Fund under the JESSICA initiative. In the short time since its opening, the multifunctional exhibition centre has established itself as a popular place for entertainment, art and business. This is due to its attractive architecture and respect for detail, the building’s ‘green’ identity and not least its unique location in the heart of the Seaside Park with its inspiring sea views. "

Martin Zaimov, Executive Director, Regional Urban Development Fund

Various elements have been integrated into the centre’s structure, both to make it greener and to add value to the original architecture. They include a solar energy system comprising a total of 33 panels in two subsystems on the roof that provide an annual energy yield of 15 773 kilowatt hours.

The roofs have been landscaped and façades furnished with vegetation have been added. Parts of the façades made from glass emit low levels of heat. As well as improving the building’s aesthetics, this protects it from overheating in summer and offsets vegetation loss during construction.

Rainwater collection and energy-efficient lighting

Due to the high volume of water needed to irrigate the building’s green areas, roof gardens and façades, a system has been installed to collect rainwater in a tank to feed the on-site irrigation systems. The use of LED lighting increases the system’s energy efficiency and makes it possible to illuminate each zone of the building in different ways.

Energy-efficient air-conditioning and ventilation systems have been fitted which are able to recover heat. In parts of the building, upgrades have also included the laying of bricks with enhanced insulation properties. Flora won Bulgaria’s ‘Building of the year’ award for 2015 in the ‘green architecture’ category.

A multi-purpose facility in a natural setting

Located in Burgas’ Seaside Park, popular among residents and visitors for rest and recreation, Flora Burgas was designed to avoid impacting on the garden’s permanent vegetation and to blend in with its natural setting. With room for up to 300 people, a flexible, multi-purpose layout and modern audio-visual facilities, the centre is able to host a variety of events.

Previously, the income generated by the facility did not cover the maintenance costs, while the lack of basic infrastructure meant that it was not available for year-round use. In the first six months after its reopening, more than 30 events were held at Flora Burgas attracting some 15 000 people. They included flower shows, beer, jazz and craft festivals, puppet theatre performances, exhibitions by language schools and the regional construction sector, presentations on health, an organic market, international conferences, and ecology lessons for children.

The project is helping Burgas to overcome the impact on local employment created by the seasonal character of the tourist industry, which is the main source of revenue in the area. It has created six permanent jobs, with between five and 20 temporary positions regularly arising depending on the type of event taking place.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Exposition Center” is EUR 1 775 716, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 544 358 through the “Regional Development” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.


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