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Contest opens to revamp Old Russian Consulate in Hakodate City

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The Japanese port city of Hakodate has launched an open international ideas contest to overhaul its historic Old Russian Consulate building

The anonymous two-stage competition organised by the HakodateMonozukuri Forum seeks new ideas to ‘utilise, preserve and maintain’ the disused 3,732m² building which first opened in 1906.

The building occupies a steeply sloping site overlooking the Hakodate harbour which was the first Japanese port to open to foreign ships in 1855.

The Art Deco-influenced wood frame and brick structure was designed by German architect Richard Seel and used as a consulate up until 1944.

It was then used for student seminars after purchase by the Hakodate City Government in 1964 but the structure has been completely disused since 1996.

Proposals must preserve the old consulate’s exterior but an annex structure and the site’s perimeter wall may be dismantled.

Participating teams are free to create a new interior and propose new buildings and tree planting within the garden.

The competition winner will receive £1,800 and the second placed entry will take home £600. A £300 third place prize is also available alongside five honourable mentions receiving £60 each.

The deadline for registration is 7 July and a shortlist will be announced on 4 August. The winner will be revealed alongside the opening of an exhibition of submitted projects on 24 August.


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