Norilsk Design Competition, North Russian Architecture Contest, CENTER Lab News

Norilsk Open International Design Competition

post updated 15 September 2021

An Open International Competition for the development of an architectural and planning renovation concept for the city of Norilsk up to 2035 was announced today by the TASS information agency. The competition was initiated by the city administration and the Norilsk Development Agency (ARN). The operator is CENTER Lab, an international urbanist laboratory.

Norilsk Design Competition in Krasnoyarsk Krai

Norilsk Design Competition in Krasnoyarsk Krai

The competition participants will be given a particularly challenging task: they will need to take into account the unique geographical location of Norilsk, as well as its climatic characteristics, historical development features, and the new vision for its territory. Norilsk is currently seeing active development both as a world-class metalworking hub and a skill, knowledge, and research center in the Arctic.

The design contest press conference was attended by Dmitry Karasev, head of the city of Norilsk; Maxim Mironov, Director of the ANO “Agency for the Development of Norilsk”; Larisa Zelkova, Senior Vice President-Head of the HR, Social Policy and Public Relations unit of Norilsk; Sergey Georgievsky, founder of the CENTER Group of Companies.

The press conference dedicated to the start of the competition can be viewed at the link in the playlist of the project on the YouTube channel of the Agency “CENTER”:

15 Jul 2021

Location: Norilsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai, northern Russia

Norilsk Calls For Architects Around The Globe

Norilsk Design Competition Russia

Norilsk Open International Competition

The mission is to evolve from the concept of a monocity, where the entire community works in a single industry. Norilsk wants to expand its specialization by supporting business, creativity, and tourism.

“All of us have a lot of work to do if we want to renovate the city of Norilsk. The process will include renovating the existing housing stock and building new residences, schools, kindergartens, outpatient clinics, and other social facilities. The concept will, first and foremost, give us a future-focused understanding of our city’s architectural and planning features. The wishes and suggestions of the local community will absolutely be reflected in the Norilsk renovation concept. What we are talking about here is a qualitative transformation of the city, meaning that we will have to use the latest innovative materials and technologies. The competition for the development of an architectural and planning renovation concept for the city of Norilsk up to 2035 is an international event, so we are expecting to see a lot of interesting ideas and proposals from all over the world,” says Dmitry Karasev, mayor of Norilsk.

The international competition is open to Russian and foreign professional organizations specializing in integrated land development and urban planning, architecture, design, creation of concepts for the development of public spaces, master planning, who are able to attract specialists in economics, finance, and content programming.

The participants will have to propose solutions on making the city more appealing as a place to live, study, and work in; improving social activity in urban areas; overhauling the existing territories; and developing the transport and engineering infrastructures.

“Just as the initial city development in Norilsk was carried out in the classical revival through the efforts of architects and town planners from different cities and republics, the current renovation of Norilsk will also be a team project involving professionals from all over,” says Maksim Mironov, director of the Norilsk Development Agency. “The renovation of Norilsk is currently the Arctic region’s most ambitious project aimed residential, social, and utility infrastructure construction. The final execution will follow the architectural and planning concept selected during the contest, and will involve highly qualified professionals with relevant experience.”

The judges will include government officials from Norilsk and Krasnoyarsk Krai; representatives of Nornickel and the Norilsk Development Agency; and Russian and international experts in integrated land development, ecology, economics and spatial planning, marketing and communications, and technologies and innovations.

“When I visited Norilsk a few years ago, I was amazed to find many, many people who were interested in building something new in their city. The creation of these new facilities is an immense challenge for Norilsk due to its highly specific location and climate. The city needs to find creative, contemporary ideas. I am confident that this competition will bring together the international knowledge and experience of talented architects and urbanists,” said Cees Donkers, architect and urban designer from the Netherlands, during a conference call.

The creation of the architectural and planning concept is an important stage of the city’s social and economic development program under the four-sided agreement between the government of the Russian Federation, the government of Krasnoyarsk Krai, the Norilsk city administration, and Nornickel.

Norilsk Competition Russia

Signed in February 2021, this document allocates RUB 120 billion for the program’s collective funding. Out of this amount, RUB 24 billion are provided from the federal budget; 14.7 billion come from the consolidated budget of Krasnoyarsk Krai; and 81.3 billion are invested by Nornickel. The company also intends to provide up to RUB 150 billion of additional funding until 2035.

Nornickel’s goal is to create favorable opportunities and environment for the city’s development and sustainable growth. Today, we have every opportunity to turn Norilsk into a city of the future. To achieve this, we need to engage with the best experts from Russia and beyond, and use the latest architectural and technological solutions, both when designing residential buildings and public space and when creating a utility infrastructure,” comments Larisa Zelkova, Senior Vice-President at Nornickel.

To take part in the competition, candidates need to fill out an application on the official competition website at: between July 13 and September 21, and provide a portfolio of completed projects that demonstrate relevant experience, along with an essay with a description of ideas for the future development of Norilsk that would maximize its potential.

In October, the judges will assess the applications and select the three finalists. The finalists will then start working on Norilsk renovation concepts. The competition will complete in March 2022.

“The competition that we announced today is truly global, not just in format but in meaning as well. The world will give Norilsk its best practices in territorial development, urban planning, and architecture; and Norilsk, in return, will give the world a unique case of urban renovation beyond the Arctic Circle, and demonstrate its new development ambitions. We are hoping that the experience that the participants will leverage when designing their submissions will spur on the city’s long-term development,” highlights Sergei Georgievskii, cofounder of CENTER Lab.

Norilsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia

Norilsk is a city built in the Russian Arctic, almost exactly on the 69th parallel north. It is one of the coldest cities in the world and the northernmost community of over 150,000 people. The origins of Norilsk go back to the discovery of rich deposits of nickel and copper in the area. Geological exploration around the modern Norilsk began in 1919. In 1935, a decision was made to build the Norilsk Combined Plant and the eponymous workers’ settlement nearby.

The formation of the existing urban planning structure in Norilsk began in 1939, when the Leningrad architects Witold Niepokojczycki and Lydia Minenko were tasked with designing a master plan for an “appropriately modern, comfortable city.” The first wave of development was in the classical revival style. In the 1960s, standardized construction trends were introduced into the local architecture, and over time, the city districts were rigidly divided by construction period.

Autonomous Non-profit Organization “Norilsk Development Agency” is a territorial development institution that supports improving the quality of life in Norilsk, developing the social environment and bolstering the city’s human resources. The Agency strives to create favorable conditions for the city’s sustainable socio-economic development, shape a favorable investment climate, and execute economic diversification and urban transformation projects. The Agency’s main focus areas are: business environment development, urban environment development, tourism development, investments, and socio-cultural and educational projects.

CENTER Lab is an international urban laboratory, bringing together unique experts on transforming the environment of the modern world. The laboratory offers solutions both for cities and for territories well beyond their borders. It specializes in analytical research and projects that benefit both businesses and the government. Its main objective is to bring new life to territories of any scale. CENTER Lab and Agency for Strategic Development CENTER are both part of the CENTER Group.

All detailed information about the contest can be found on its website

Norilsk Design Competition, Russia images / information received 150721

Location: Norilsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai, northern Russia

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