By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Your browser seems to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser.


Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


Contest seeks peaceful re-use ideas for world’s largest submarine

An open ideas competition has been launched to transform a Russian Typhoon-Class submarine into a peaceful architectural installation

Open to students and professionals, the contest – organised by Matterbetter – seeks to identify new ways to re-use the 175 metre-long vessels which will soon be decommissioned.

Six Typhoon-Class submarines were built at the height of the Cold War in the 1980s and three remain in service.

Officially the largest submarines ever built, the vessels will cost around £6 million each to decommission. According to the brief, the submarines’ original designer Rubin Design Bureau – has therefore already begun searching for alternative uses.

The brief said: The Cold War is over and the world has to become a more friendly space. And we believe it’s a right time to get rid of nuclear weapons of mass destruction aiming to turn the Earth into ashes in several seconds.’

It continued: ‘One of the symbols of these frightening times was a Russian Typhoon Class submarine - the largest nuclear submarine ever built. By placing it vertically the Typhoon class submarine could be compared with Mies van der Rohe Seagram building or Swiss Re high-rise by Norman Foster.’

Proposals may use the entire volume of the vessel except the nuclear power plant which must remain in place. Additional volumes may also be added.

Installations may be located anywhere accessible from open water or on land within 200 metres from the shore.

Designs will be evaluated on creativity, functionality, the clarity of design, use of technology and the realisation of architectural potential.

The registration deadline is 24 August and submissions must be completed by 30 August.

Registration costs £48 before 30 June but increases to £64 throughout July and rises again to £80 in August.

The winner – set to be announced on 15 September – will take home £2,400. A second place prize worth £1,600 and third place award of £800 are also available.

How to apply

Visit the competition website to register


  • Tom Milavec (US), associate architect at Gensler;
  • Thijs Asselbergs (NL), chiarman of the Architectural Engeneering, TU Delft;
  • Ercu Gorgul (CN), associate professor, Tongji University, former senior architect SOM;
  • Cristina Cassandra Murphy (US), owner XCOOP, former OMA;
  • Andrea Bertassi (IT), owner XCOOP, former OMA;
  • Theo Hauben (NL), owner & researcher HAU;
  • Marieke Rietbergen (NL), owner design innovation group;
  • Daria Polozkova (NL/RU), founder The ART GLOBE and art-director of Mir-Expo.






Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

Related Jobs

Sign in to see the latest jobs relevant to you!

The searchable digital buildings archive with drawings from more than 1,500 projects

AJ newsletters