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Competition: The Spit in Nizhny Novgorod

The Spit in Nizhny Novgorod
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The Union of Moscow Architects has launched an international ideas contest to remasterplan a prominent waterfront area in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

The anonymous competition, open to teams of architects, town-planners and conservationists, seeks proposals for a new recreation-led district on a large plot known as The Spit at the junction of the Volga and Oka rivers.

The call for ideas – held as part of the city’s upcoming Eco-Shore 2017 festival – aims to boost interest in the regeneration potential of the area, which is a short distance from the under-construction Nizhny Novgorod Stadium where World Cup matches will be played next year.

According to the brief: ‘The main task formulated for the competition participants is to suggest a conceptual solution demonstrating a contemporary approach to the complex development of the introduced site and to transformation of the former storehouse and public utilities areas of the Nizhny Novgorod spit into the new spaces with elements of public, tourist, and recreational infrastructure integrated into the context of the already existing historical and cultural environment of the city.

‘The competitors must offer a town-planning composition, functional zoning and principles of territory improvement intended for active public use and recreation. It is necessary to suggest an approximate nomenclature of buildings, which are supposed to be located in this territory, their functionality, to provide for an easy access to technical services and their maintenance, as well as to envisage a necessary number of parking spaces for both: motor cars and tourist buses.’

Nizhny Novgorod, around 400km east of Moscow, grew into one of the most important scientific, educational and cultural centres of the Russian empire. During the Soviet era, it was renamed Gorky after local author Maxim Gorky, and transformed into a major military-industrial hub.

Despite being closed to foreign visitors during this era, Nizhny Novgorod continued to play an important role in river-based tourism due to the confluence of the Volga and Oka at its north eastern edge. The Spit hosted the All-Russia Exhibition in 1896 and nearby landmarks include the historic Main Fair Building and the St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

Proposals should transform the post-industrial plot into a new cultural, sports and recreational environment, promoting innovative technologies, active lifestyles and the regeneration of the wider riverfront area.

Concepts must take account of the historic cathedral and the new 45,000-capacity stadium. Two surviving warehouses from the All-Russian Exhibition may also be incorporated into proposed developments.

Schemes may feature sports, cultural and entertainment facilities; office buildings; new transport infrastructure; public spaces; museums; shops; cafés; restaurants and hotels.

Digital submissions should include two 140 x 90cm display boards featuring images and text. A judging panel of local and international architects will be announced later this summer.

The overall winner, to be announced on 16 September, will receive around £4,000. There will also be a second prize of £2,700 and two third prizes of £1,350. All participating teams will be invited to attend the Eco-Shore 2017 festival.

The registration deadline is 15 July and the deadline for submissions is 30 August.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

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