An open international landscape architecture contest has been announced for a new waterfront park in St Petersburg, Russia
The anonymous competition, organised by Strelka KB on behalf of the Government of St Petersburg and endorsed by the International Union of Architects (UIA), invites both established and early career architects and landscape architects to compete for a major new park on Vatny Island overlooking the Neva River.
The 17.3-hectare project will transform a brownfield former chemical laboratory site within the city’s UNESCO World Heritage-protected central zone into a new public space featuring a ‘single, unbroken pedestrian’ embankment and panoramic views of the St Petersburg’s historic skyline. The plot, located around 500 metres from the Peter and Paul Fortress, has been earmarked for a new park since the 1940s and was cleared for redevelopment in 2012.
Strelka KB chief executive Denis Leontiev said the competition was important because of the ‘wide scope of professionals to whom it [may] appeal, including young bureaus from Russia. It is a unique case where not only internationally recognized bureaus, but young participants as well are permitted to participate in a competition for site of such importance to the city.
‘This will provide variety in the competition proposals and an opportunity for young architects to prove themselves in a significant competition, for whom a special quota has been set aside. As a result of the pre-qualification process, the jury will [select] eight finalists: six bureaus with experience in designing similar sites, and two early-career bureaus”.
UIA secretary general Serban Tiganas said: ‘The UIA is proud to endorse this competition that explores the contribution of architecture and landscape architecture to the well-being of the local community. Our Union prides itself in being at the forefront of the promotion of fair and transparent competitions for architects around the world.’
St Petersburg was founded by Tsar Peter the Great in 1703 and was developed as a planned, modern capital for the Russian Empire connected to Western Europe via the Baltic Sea. Since 1990, the baroque and classical central area of the city – featuring landmarks such as the Hermitage and St Isaac’s Cathedral – has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Zone.
The latest competition focusses on a large site area which hosted naval buildings since the 1720s and was transformed into a base for Russia’s Institute of Applied Chemistry in the 1960s. The call for applications comes six years after Diller Scofidio + Renfro won a contest for Moscow’s landmark Zaryadye Park.
Judges will include city architect Vladimir Grigoriev; Russian architectural historian Boris Kirikov; Oleg Romanov, president of the St. Petersburg Union of Architects; and Martin Rein-Cano, landscape architect at Germany’s Topotek 1. Alternate jurors include Lawrence Barth, professor of urbanism at the Architectural Association, and Irene Djao-Rakitine of Paris and London-based Djao-Rakitine.
During the pre-qualification round, experienced teams must submit three examples of previous similar projects while emerging practices may submit details of both realised and unrealised projects in similar and related fields.
Eight finalists will receive $60,000 USD each to participate in the second phase which runs from February to May. The overall winner, to be announced in early June, will receive a $50,000 first prize while a $30,000 second prize and $20,000 third prize will also be awarded.
The deadline for applications is 15 January.
How to apply
Visit the competition website for more information