An open international architectural ideas contest is being held to upgrade Vyzvolennia Square and its surroundings in Mariupol, Ukraine
The anonymous single-stage competition invites architects, landscape architects and urban planners to draw up concepts to pedestrianise an historic plaza in the centre 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 call for concepts aims to identify practical solutions to transform Vyzvolennia Square into a new high-quality civic space for the city and to convert an existing ‘DASU’ building overlooking the area into a new community centre. Proposals should include new gardening, paving, lighting and street furniture along with mobile market stalls and a monument dedicated to the 500th anniversary of the Zaporozhian Cossacks.
Mariupol city mayor Vadim Boichenko said: ‘Currently Mariupol is a magnet for new opportunities on the map of Ukraine. We are building a remarkable future of the city by the sea. Mariupol is famous for its notable industrial and maritime potential. The city has won the fame of Ukraine’s outpost, the city of changes, large-scale reconstruction, pilot projects and European level festivals. Behind it all lies its rich history, traditions and architecture.
‘This is exactly why our international ideas competition is dedicated to the famous and legendary architect of Mariupol, Viktor Nilsen. It is not an easy task for you to propose a project that will change the face of the historical square of Mariupol. Nowadays it is called Vyzvolennia Square. This is a historical heart of our more than over 240 years old city. Earlier the site was a marketplace. Today we want to revive it and at the same time to append new bright colours into its present. Let’s write a new history of Mariupol together and make the city inspirational and outstanding.’
Originally founded as Pavlovsk in 1778, Mariupol is a historic coastal city overlooking the Sea of Azov. It 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.
In January, an in open international competition was launched for a new multi-functional cultural centre. The results of the single-stage anonymous competition – which sought ‘original and courageous’ proposals for a new Port of Cultures museum – are due to be announced later this month.
The latest call for concepts, organised by Mariupol City Council, is the inaugural Viktor Nilsen Ideas Competition, named after the city’s former chief architect who designed several local landmarks including a water tower, the radio hub building, the Church of Kostiantyn and Yelena and the present-day House of Nilsen.
Judges will include Boichenko; Vitalii Viazovskyi, head of the Donetsk Regional Organization of the National Union of Architects of Ukraine; Monika Konrad, head of the Municipal Office of Town Planning and Development Strategy in the City of Warsaw; and Stavros Gargaretas of MVRDV.
The overall winner, to be announced on 26 September, will receive 150,000 UAH (£4,400) while a second prize of 100,000 UAH (£2,900) and third prize of 50,000 UAH (£1,400) will also be awarded.
The competition is free to enter and submissions must be in English. The deadline for applications is 7 August.
How to apply
Visit the competition website for more information