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Krasimira Choneva Architectural Collection

Identifier: Ms-2007-003

Scope and Content

The Krasimira Choneva Architectural Collection span the years 1958 to 1994 and cover projects Choneva completed in Bulgaria. The collection includes conceptual drawings, working drawings and supporting documents for six projects including, Hotel "Victor" in St. Nikola; Apartment building for B. Mikhov on Llinden St. in Varna; Pavilion with changing rooms to the Euxinograd Palace near Varna; Vacation house for Burov in the subdivision of Briz, Varna; Vacation house for Manasiev in Euxinograd near Varna; and a Vacation house for Shulekov on the Monastikski Rd. area. The collection also includes one biographical sketch written by Choneva herself, as well as an additional biography written by Milka Bliznakov in 2007.

The majority of Choneva's work includes architectural drawings of residential apartment buildings and vacation homes. Items of particular distinction in the collection include Choneva's early work on the Pavilion for Euxinograd Palace and her apartment designs utilizing prefabricated panels and accent colors.


  • 1958 - 1994

Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.

Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Biographical Note

Krasimira Zheliazkova Choneva was born on September 23, 1935 in Varna, Bulgaria. Her father, Zheliaazko Maldjiev (b.1901) was an insurance agent and her mother Elena Ivanova Maldjieva (b.1898) was a middle school teacher who moved with her family to Varna from Macedonia after the Llinden uprising in 1903.

Choneva's family emphasized hard work and education, as a result Choneva's brothers attained university diplomas in electronics and technology and her cousins studied architecture. At the encouragement of her family Choneva enrolled in a Construction and Technological High School where she began her study of architecture. In addition to academia, Krasimira participated in sports, specifically swimming, eventually taking second place at a national competition in Bulgaria.

"This sport helped me to aim at being the best, to follow the prescribed rules and to organize my time and activities. I didn't continue my architectural education in the university for the following reasons," Krasmira states, "First, because I was in training to reach the international standards in swimming. Second, university entrance in the architecture program required contacts within the ruling communist party."

Choneva's professional architectural experience began in 1958 when she started working in the construction office of Varna's ship building industrial complex. The experience cemented her "love and commitment for architecture." In 1959, Choneva's won a draftsman competition in the design organization for the town of Varna.

Choneva worked for this state organization until her mandatory retirement in 1990, calling this period her "university training." The work experience provided Choneva with the opportunity to work with several architects including, Marin Marinov; Simeon Dimitrov; Kosio Khristov; Julia Angelova; Daniel Ognianov; and Philio Ginev on multiple design projects.

In 1961 Choneva married Marin Choveve (b.1932) a conductor of the leading Bulgarian choir "Morski Zvutzu" (The Sounds of the Sea). The choir performed abroad giving her the opportunity to visit multiple countries and familiarize herself with their architecture. "During the years of the 'Iron Curtain' such knowledge gave me considerable advantage," Choneva recalls.

In 1971 Choneva became involved with construction of mass-housing utilizing prefabricated panels. The system developed after WWII in Western Europe and was later imported by the Soviet Union. "Regardless of the persistent endless criticism of prefabricated multi-family apartment housing," Krasmiria insists, "it was justified by the large migration of people from the agricultural sector (small towns and villages) to cities with large industrial developments. The prefabricated system gave to almost all urban dwellers the option to reside in their own apartment with adequate space and sanitary facilities. The modular panels (5.10 meters x 3.60 meters) allowed for functional arrangement of the required spaces. Speedy construction, however, allowed for sloppy finishes and shoddy appearance of the apartment buildings. I am glad to have responded to the societies demand for improved quality and to my personal desire to give the ugly panels a more attractive fa├žade appearance."

In the latter part of the 1980's the Union of Bulgarian Architects (SAB) invited Choneva to join their organization. This was a distinct honor giving Choneva the right to open a private practice after the change in Bulgarian government between 1989 and 1990. Choneva opened a private office where she designed residential houses and apartment buildings for twelve years from 1990-2002.

Choneva had three children, two daughters and one son. Her daughter, Liuliana Marinova Chonevea (b. Oct. 14, 1962) joined her at the practice when she graduated Sofia Polytechnic in 1990. Upon her retirement Choneva transferred the practice to her daughter. Her son Kalin Tchonev (b.1971), also a choral conductor and piano performer, resides in North Carolina.


3.1 Cubic Feet (1 box and 7 oversize folders)


The Krasimira Choneva Architectural Collection includes conceptual and working drawings as well as supporting documents for six projects. The projects range in date from 1958-1994 and were all designed and completed in Bulgaria by Krasimina Choneva. The collection also includes one biographical sketch written by Choneva herself as well as an additional biography written by Milka Bliznakov in 2007.


The collection is arranged chronologically according to project.

Source of Acquisition

The Krasimira Choneva Architectural Collection was donated to Special Collections in 2007.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Krasimira Choneva Architectural Collection by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement and description of the Krasimira Choneva Architectural Collection commenced in March 2010 and was completed in April 2010. Preliminary processing including a detailed inventory was completed in March 2007.

Krasimira Choneva Architectural Collection, 1958-1994
Dayne Mauney, Student Assistant
2010 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US