Architectural Bureau PROARCH-PLOVDIV was founded in 1991 in Plovdiv by the architects Edward and Margarita Hristovi. The company is a family-run one and their two daughters continue the tradition. Architect Antonia Hristova is a Project Manager at the company. Over the years, they have created unique architectural and design solutions suitable for the individual requirements of investors according to the specifics of the project.
The architectural projects range from large-scale hotel complexes to individual houses and interiors, infrastructure and spatial planning, design of wineries, distillate warehouses, sports facilities, public and residential buildings, solar power plants and sewage treatment plants. The team with which the company works is made up of highly qualified specialists in the field of investment design, architects with many years of experience and proven quality in design.
Architect Hristova, PROARCH is one of the leading architectural offices in Plovdiv and the country. Tell us how the company started and what is the reason for its success?
The company started in 1992 and my parents are the founders. Before starting their own business, they started in a Territorial Design Organization immediately after graduating in Sofia city in 1980. Not so long after that, they separated and started their own company. Their desire to upgrade as well as the desire to break the status quo led to the decision to establish their own architectural studio. With a lot of work, dedication and sleepless nights, to this day they continue to justify the trust of every investor, which later they passed on to me.
What does the company’s portfolio include?
The portfolio has been extremely rich for a little over 30 years. Starting from single-family residential buildings, interiors, medical centers, restaurants, multi-family residential buildings and complexes, car dealerships, manufacturing companies, hotels, wineries.
What strategy do you use to gain the trust of customers?
Always with a good attitude – each of our investors is extremely important, no matter what project he needs!
Understanding – people have ideas that they want us to realize. That is why they seek and find understanding in us. Before we start the design, we make general meetings, comment on the idea, concept, location where the specific project will be implemented.
Support – until the end of construction of the building, we are always close to the people, because our job is not just to hand over the finished papers, but to make sure that every small and final detail is ready in place!
Do you have customers from abroad and what is the difference with those from Bulgaria?
We have, yes, mainly from the former Soviet republics. As with us – so with them, customers care about accuracy and correctness – this is the leading thing in our family business. I have been brought up personally and professionally in this way and I always apply it to every investor and friend. We make long-term friendships in our work and people know that they can rely at any time on us – on the company and on our professionalism.
How did the pandemic affect PROARCH?
The pandemic has taken, but it has also given us a lot, and I’m not just talking about work. It has taught us to be grateful and to appreciate the things we have taken for granted so far. I am talking about family, health and humanity. Our profession requires us not to set limits on our imagination, and this cannot be possible if there is no inner peace. Before the first lockdown, we had projects assigned, which we continued to implement, given that we have strict deadlines, which we must and always comply with.
What is success for you?
Success is never to stop!
For me, a successful person is always developing, setting new goals to follow. This is what I do – I set a goal and, when I fulfill it, I set the next one.
I am constantly learning – in addition to my degree in architecture, I also have an economic education. I learn from my experience as well as from the experience of other people. I do not stop in this regard either. The pleasure of life is to live it every moment, to live it constantly, to the very end. Success is my ability to move from one stage in my life to another, without stopping to dream, without stopping to develop, without stopping to give and without stopping to enjoy everything that life and work give me at any moment!
Success is the satisfaction of investors.
Our task – that of the architect is extremely interesting. You take an idea that is a person’s dream. From a dream, it is transferred to a white sheet of paper and from there to a real project.
My personal success comes when I see that I have fulfilled my plan because I put my whole heart into it. The investment wishes of the customer have been fulfilled, his building has been realized, it is functional and nothing is missing. And they are happy.
Tell us more about the team you work with? How do you manage to motivate them that they can do more?
We have hired amazing professionals, we cooperate with proven specialists in various fields for each project assigned to us.
Some of our colleagues have been with us for more than 20 years, and we have gone through many difficulties. Thanks to our teamwork, our company enjoys the unreserved trust of our partners. The attitude, understanding and indisputable example of my parents is enough motivation for me! Our team is part of us, and we are a big family and I love each of them.
Does your business change over the years and how do you meet the high requirements of customers?
It changes insofar as the market itself changes, the demand, the use of new materials in construction and in interior design, the modernization of buildings. Fifteen years ago, when I started working in our family business, there was no talk in Bulgaria about smart houses, about passive buildings. Currently, more and more investors in private homes, even for larger residential complexes, want to facilitate the operation of the household and rely on the modern home.
What is your formula for effective work and a happy life?
I love my job, it gives me satisfaction; thanks to my mother and father, I have been involved in the design process since I was very young. Watching how they draw on the big drawing-boards, how I then go to the site with my father and how the buildings grow plate by plate – this is what I have always liked very much in the profession. This was the reason why I enrolled to study architecture and graduated with honors. As the saying goes, ‘when you love what you do, you will not have one working day’ is a very true statement and formula for a successful, happy and effective working day and definitely brings great happiness, as well as the support and faith of the people who are most important to me.
Does beauty help or hinder business?
Without inner beauty in humans, outer beauty becomes meaningless. They say that ‘a man well-dressed is a man well-thought of’- in my case I am welcomed by my radiance and sent away by my mind. I like to put a positive and good mood, smiles and charm in my work. Beauty combined with knowledge gives me a much higher self-esteem and this helps me even more.
Do you have time to relax and what are your favorite places to relax?
Traveling charges me and inspires me a lot; I gather new ideas when I travel. I love family moments, and one of my favorite places to rest is in Starosel – my very favorite place.