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Competition: Samara Arena masterplan

Samara Arena
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Moscow’s Agency for Strategic Development, CENTER, has launched an international contest to remasterplan the 360ha area surrounding the Samara Arena in southern Russia

The two-stage competition seeks ‘effective and economically sound’ concepts for land next to the 44,918-capacity football stadium which was built for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It is open to international teams specialising in urban planning, architecture, and public realm design.

The project, backed by the Samara Region Development Corporation, aims to transform the enormous area surrounding the complex on the northern fringe of the historic city into a new ‘hub for urban development and community, business, and cultural life.’

Samara Region governor Dmitry Azarov, who is head of the judging panel, said: ‘The territory adjacent to the Samara Arena stadium is currently a major landmark that attracts both locals from all over the region and numerous tourists. The legacy of the FIFA World Cup, which Samara successfully hosted in 2018, is being put to good use.

‘Our goal is not just to preserve the infrastructure that we have already created, but also to provide the development of this promising venue with new momentum. That was our motivation behind hosting this international competition. I am confident that the best architects and public space designers will be able to present interesting solutions that will be unique in many respects and will transform this territory into a magnet for locals and guests from all over the world.’

Samara is Russia’s ninth-largest city and the administrative centre of the Samara Oblast. It is located at the confluence of the Volga and Samara rivers, close to Russia’s border with Kazakhstan. Between 1935 and 1991 the city was known as Kuybyshev and it became a ‘closed city’ in 1960 due to its high concentration of defence industries.

The $320 million Samara Arena was designed by Russian practice TerrNIIgrazhdanproekt, and created on former agricultural land. The latest project is the first in Russia to focus on the repurposing of structures created for the World Cup.

An international team featuring London’s Mae Architects won a separate contest to remasterplan Derbent in Dagestan, Russia in November. The two-stage competition, organised by Moscow’s Agency for Strategic Development CENTER, sought ideas to revamp the centre of Derbent, which overlooks the Caspian Sea and is thought to be the oldest city in Russia.

Judges for the latest contest will include Samara region governor Dmitriy Azarov; Igor Galakhov, head of the office of the chief architect of the administration of the Samara City District; Anatoly Barannikov, chief architect of the Samara Region; and Valeri Poli, partner at Valode & Pistre Architectes in Paris.

Round-one applications must be in English and Russian and should include team details, a portfolio, and a covering letter. Round-two submissions will require an explanatory note; planning strategy; architectural concept; and an economic, social, and financial evaluation.

Three finalists will each receive 2.4 million rubles (£28,250) to further develop their proposals and present to the jury. The overall winner – to be announced in June – will receive 3.6 million rubles (£42,360). There will also be a second prize of  2.4 million rubles (£28,250)  and third prize of 1.2 million rubles (£14,120).

The deadline for applications is midday local time, March. 

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

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