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New Competition Launched to Redesign Saratov City Center

In the southwestern Russian city of Saratov, a competition has been launched for the redevelopment of the historical city center, focusing on the transformation of five individual sites.

The competition is aimed at redeveloping the central area of the sixteenth century fortress city, after new construction on the city’s outskirts in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries left a negative impact on public spaces in the city center.

Architects from around the globe are encouraged to apply to the competition, which will ultimately see the redevelopment of the former Saratov-Tsentralny Airport, Park Pobedy Memorial Complex, Zeleny Island, Glebuchev Ovrag, and Pokrovskie Peski Island.

“The competition’s goal is to choose a concept that can offer options for the use of this territory while accounting for the necessary environmental rehabilitation of green spaces and allowing for the creation of an exemplary residential district on the territory of the former airport,” said Denis Leontiev, CEO of Strelka KB, which is the operator of the competition.

Applicants must develop architectural and urban planning concepts for integrated development which define primary planning, landscape, and transport solutions. The solutions found as a result of the competition will allow the city to expand its center, develop public and business functionality, create new public spaces, and re-evaluate recreational spaces in built-up areas.

“The project is important for the historical center, as the development of new territories will help reduce the usage load on the city’s historical center,” Leontiev said.

The competition will take place in three stages. First, a jury of experts will review all applications submitted and select five participants. Each participant must develop an architectural and urban planning concept of integrated spatial development based on a technical brief they will receive. The jury will choose two finalists based on those results. The finalists’ work will then be exhibited and a popular vote will take place to help determine the winner, who will be announced in Spring 2021. The winner will be chosen by the Government of the Saratov Region, based on the jury’s recommendations and the popular vote.

Each of the five participants will receive a remuneration of 5,500,000 rubles (USD $77,000). The second-place finalist will receive an additional 2,000,000 rubles (USD $28,000), and the competition winner will receive 4,000,000 rubles (USD $56,000).

The international competition is being organized by DOM.RF together with the Government of the Saratov Region. It is operated by Strelka KB, and held with the support of the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP).

Find out more about the competition and apply by September 3, 2020.

Photography: Strelka KB

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