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Contest opens to revitalise giant Russian reservoir

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An international competition has been launched to regenerate Russia’s Voronezh Reservoir

Architects are invited to participate in one of two competitions for the 30 kilometre-long urban reservoir.

The Department of Natural Resources of the Voronezh Region has launched an open ideas contest to find technically and financially feasible renovation concepts for the enormous artificial lake.

A closed professional competition will meanwhile also seek a regeneration strategy for the heavily polluted, 6,000 hectare lagoon.

Known locally as the Voronezh Sea, the reservoir was created in 1972 to supply fresh drinking water and leisure facilities to the historic city which now has a population of 1 million.

Within twenty years of completion however the sea was declared unfit for swimming and today its waters suffer from high levels of organic waste, heavy metal salts and effluent suspended solids.

Furthermore a silting process means some areas of the lake, which is 500 kilometres south of Moscow, are now very shallow.

The cost of cleaning and repairing the reservoir is thought to be too high for local budgets without a public-private partnership.

Voronezh Reservoir

Voronezh Reservoir map - click to view

Submissions to the ideas contest must transform the reservoir into a new resource for the city, addressing ecological issues and proposing new urban development around the lake.

Entrants may reduce the size of the sea by creating artificial islands or focus on just one part of the site.

The deadline to register for the open ideas contest is 14 June. Project submissions are due on 27 June. Around £10,000 will be shared between the winners.

The professional contest is open only to practices which have experience of working on similar scale projects.

The competition seeks a masterplan to improve water quality, prevent untreated water entering the reservoir and transform the area into an attractive part of the city.

Teams have until 26 May to submit their portfolios for the professional contest. Four teams will be selected for the second round.    








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