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Competition: Port of Cultures, Mariupol

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An open international competition has been launched for a new multi-functional cultural centre in Mariupol, Ukraine

The single-stage anonymous competition seeks ‘original and courageous’ proposals for a new Port of Cultures museum exploring the rich history of the coastal city which has seen an influx of new residents following the creation of the Donetsk People’s Republic nearby and Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

The 3,254m² project will transform a former Internal Affairs complex (pictured) which was damaged during the region’s armed conflict six years ago into a landmark new cultural centre and museum. Planned facilities include a permanent exhibition space, events space, media library, learning studio, children’s play area, offices, gift shop, café and hostel.

According to the brief: ‘The goal of competition is to create an architectural idea for the new urban centre, Port of Cultures, and to establish a partnership with the winning team of architects or the author for the further project development in collaboration with the team of the centre, municipality stakeholders and interested locals. The architectural concepts of Port of Cultures should include spatial elements that would address the history of the building in an original way, aiming to provoke a discussion about contemporary heritage.

‘Understanding that the competition site is limited in size but ambitious in its programming, we will appraise architectural solutions that are flexible and transformable, as well as functional in order to accommodate different activities within the same space by modifying slightly the spatial elements, be it modular space divisions, pop-up stage, hanging structures. New ecological design and technological solutions are encouraged.’

Originally founded as Pavlovsk in 1778, Mariupol is a historic coastal city overlooking the Sea of Azov which was transformed into a major centre for steel production following the creation of the Soviet Union.

The settlement was occupied by the Nazis during the Second World War during which many of its Jewish and other residents were murdered and deported. The city was also attacked several times during the country’s armed conflict in 2014 and is now the administrative centre of Ukraine’s eastern region.

The project focusses on the creation of a major new public building for the city which has yet to receive any significant new civic architecture since the fall of the Soviet Union thirty years ago. It will focus on the site of a former Internal Affairs complex on Heorhiivs’ka and Artem street.

Applications may be in English or Ukrainian and should include a single A0 board featuring plans and sections and a booklet of up to 20 A4 pages illustrating and explaining the scheme.

Judges will include Vadim Boychenko, the mayor of Mariupol; the architect and co-founder of local practice Locument Studios, Romea Muryǹ; and the Polish historian Janusz Marszalec.

Submissions will be judged on their originality, sensitivity, spatial organisation, interpretation of the historic building, sustainability, feasibility, and potential to become a new landmark for the city. The overall winner, to be announced on 7 April, will receive €1,500 while a second prize of €1,000 and third prize of €750 will also be awarded.

The deadline for applications is 8 March.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

Port of Cultures Competition
Mira Avenue 70

Email: info@port-of-cultures.com

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