Sirius Seafront Promenade Competition Russia, Russian architecture contest, CENTER Lab news

Sirius Seafront Promenade Competition Winner

7 Feb 2022

The winner of the Sirius Seafront Promenade Competition proposes new, innovative public spaces

Sirius Seafront Promenade Competition Russia

Sirius Seafront Promenade Competition in Russia News

LandLAB –, a design-led team of landscape architects and urban planners based in New Zealand, wins the international competition for the concept of the seafront promenade in Sirius federal territory. The competition was organized by VEB.RF state development corporation, ProGorod OOO (part of VEB.RF Group), and the Center for Urban Studies of the Sirius University of Science and Technology, jointly with Strelka KB.

The winning design hangs upon expanding the green areas from 7 to 12 hectares and adding over 12,000 sqm of new public spaces, including concert venues, auditoriums and other event spaces and pavilions, a yachting school, and a number of other amenities.

The existing promenade connects a range of different urban and waterfront precincts: river edges, port, Olympic park, and residential areas. The proposed solution enhances the links between them and opens up the seascape. Today, tall seawalls and jetties obstruct the view along 3,1 out of the 7 km of the promenade. The designers focus on creating a dynamic interface between land and sea, connecting the urban and natural environment to develop a vibrant, distinct identity for Sirius as a unique urban coastal territory.

“Sirius federal territory is designed for innovations, education, and tourism. It must meet all the criteria of safety, accessibility, and year-round comfort, thus becoming a benchmark for urban development. The winning concept makes the most efficient use of the limited space available. We were happy to discover a New Zealand-based practice with international experience and an active cooperation with Russian architects. Respecting the distinctive features of the area, the proposal blends the Olympic heritage and subtropical greenery into a single vibrant interface for the entire area. The renovated Sirius waterfront will surely provide a stimulating environment for the young generation to study and create, developing innovative solutions and standards for a variety of disciplines, to be scaled up to a national level,” says the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko.

Elena Shmeleva, Chairwoman of the Board of Sirius Federal Territory, believes that on top of providing state-of-the-art design solutions, the winning concept meets the needs of the people that live, study, work, or vacation in Sirius. “We know their needs very well. Our task in the jury was to represent the citizens, and our main goal was to improve the quality of life rather than just introduce new solutions for novelty’s sake. Cohesion and continuity were also an important requirement. The winning concept is environment-driven, focusing on the cultural and historical heritage of the area as well as its functional programming. We are happy to know that the jury agreed with us in the selection of a concept that matches both criteria.”

Selecting a winning design is just the beginning, says Shmeleva. “What we need now is to develop an implementation plan in close cooperation with the local residents. We shall work together to realize this ambitious project.”

Sirius Seafront Promenade Competition Russia

“An open international competition for the best seafront development concept opened a new perspective on the potential of this unparalleled coastal area. The shortlisted projects feature outstanding solutions aimed at creating a world-class public space for the benefit of Sirius students and teachers as well as the visitors of Sochi and other southern regions of Russia. The next step is to bring the concept to realization in a joint effort of a multi-stakeholder partnership,” says VEB.RF Chairman Igor Shuvalov.

“I would like to make a point of the excellence and efficiency of the winning concept. An iconic project of this scale requires a high level of professionalism, and LandLAB has just the portfolio for the purpose. The proposed concept respects the local geographical, historical, and cultural context as well as the distinctive landscape. This project was the only one based on the tectonic features of the landscape, offering a variety of public space scenarios and seafront experiences. The project ensures long-term resilience and meets ESG criteria. As a result, Sirius will become a welcoming and inspiring place to live and work in,” says Martin Rein-Cano, founder and managing partner at Topotek 1.

Andrei Litvinov, Chairman of the expert board and Director of the Center for Urban Studies of Sirius University, appreciates all the shortlisted projects and finds them exciting, each in its own way. “Selecting one out of six was not easy. In naming the winner, we relied first of all on the feasibility of the proposed solutions. Both in terms of the timeframes and renovation phasing, the proposal emphasizes a smooth, pleasant promenade experience at all times.”

The competition generated submissions from 68 practices out of 48 countries. The six shortlisted teams are:
− BIG + Wowhaus;
− AB CHVOYA + Dreamer United + Smena Projects + John Lööf Green + Sergey Stanichny + Arseny Kubryakov;
− l’AUC architectes et urbanistes + Michel Desvigne Paysagiste + Atelier Marc Barani + Franck Boutté Consultants;
− LOLA Landscape Architects + Taller Architects;
− LandLAB;
− !melk landscape architecture & urban design.

Members of the Jury:
− Dmitry Chernyshenko, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation;
− Igor Shuvalov, Chairman of VEB.RF state development corporation;
− Elena Shmeleva, Chairwoman of the Board of Sirius Federal Territory;
− Vladimir Silkin, President of the Russian Yachting Federation;
− Martin Rein-Cano, founder and managing partner at Topotek 1;
− Alain Philippe, architect, former General Manager for Technical Services of the city of Nice;
− Matthias Rudolph, expert in climate-friendly design, project manager at Transsolar;
− Michèle Laruë-Charlus, Managing Director, Bordeaux Métropole Mission 2050;
− Doriana Mandrelli Fuksas, architect, co-founder of Studio Fuksas.

The open international competition for the architectural and urban development concept for the embankment for the first federal territory in Russia ‘Sirius’ was organized by VEB.RF and the Center for Urban Studies of the Sirius University of Science and Technology. Russian and international architects and landscape designers were invited to participate. There was also a quota for young professionals. The aim of the competition is to develop concepts for the embankment which has 7.5 km of coastline between Mzymta and Psou rivers. Strelka KB and ProGorod are key partners of the competition.

The winner: LANDLAB

Our approach to the Imeretinskaya Embankment acknowledges the need to create places, identity and experiences that express the DNA of Sirius. A series of dynamic locations and ecosystems of maximum activity, exchange and hybridisation. We see a transition in the way of understanding the existing waterfront from a linear ‘promenade’ to seeing it as a wider maritime interface. An expanded and re-imagined ‘front’ where the city can express its traditions, expand its uses and discover new potentials.

We have imagined an identity for Sirius which draws upon its wider landscape context to inform a design concept which expresses the unique geology, bathymetry, hydrological processes and ecological systems of the region. The diagram depicts a landscape transect ‘From Mountains to Sea’ which illustrates the potential to harness the unique geographical location of Sirius to develop a distinctive language of urban design, architecture and landscape elements. This approach seeks to connect Sirius to its environment, improving quality of life and amenities for existing residents, driving tourism, and attracting new visitors and residents to this place.

Four key moves provide an organising strategy to inform a new high performance and multi layered waterfront that re-establishes connections between people, land and sea.

Promenade, Park, Water and Activation. A resilient park and ecological network, activated with a series of episodic promenade moments and architectural interventions traversing the coastal edge to connect with a range of new water based recreational activities. The fourth move is a rich programme of events and activation.

The existing promenade connects a range of different urban and waterfront precincts from the river edges, port, Olympic Park and city conditions. We propose to conceptually ‘thicken’ the promenade interface between land and sea to express and develop an identity for Sirius as a unique urban coastal environment. The promenade retains its function as a connecting element, but supports a greater range of coastal movement and activities.
The layering of promenade elements provides social occupation, sea level rise resilience & ecological performance. The promenade expands and contracts in selected areas connecting to new coastal protection infrastructure. The promenade will be disrupted, activated and enhanced through a careful reprogramming with new activities, features and experiences.

The design strategy for the Embankment outlines a landscape based approach, drawing upon the ecological, geological context of Sirius to inform a high performance, multi layered and flexible strategy that touches the site lightly, re-establishes a resilient coastal ecology and programs the promenade with a range of recreational and social experiences.

The promenade will be disrupted, activated, and enhanced through a careful reprogramming with new activities, features and experiences. The reconsidered water’s edge must expand and contract in response to existing and proposed uses, activities and interventions.

We propose an authentic port precinct organised around a generous, green, and connected public realm. The Port Precinct embraces the working waterfront character and programme. Development is organised by a new public promenade circuit around the marina connected by a new pedestrian lift-bridge at the port entrance. The precinct is anchored around an accessible & public marina with a variety of water edge experiences.

The main coastal promenade and cycleway are layered between the Square and the Marine Plaza, providing a generous space for movement along the coast. A series of Wharf Pavilions provide commercial activation of the Marine Plaza and allow for outdoor dining by the water’s edge. The repurposed Wharf edge serves as a secondary promenade by the water’s edge and allows outdoor dining in front of the Pavilions. Both the main Promenade, and Marina Promenade are defined by an array of distinctive ‘Sirius’ light poles & vertical markers which draw upon the industrial language of the Port.

The existing Southwest Jetty hosts an array of new access, lookout and event structures. These structures are clad in industrial materials referencing the existing Port functions. The structures serve as elevated viewing platforms, and as access between the two levels of the Port. The upper jetty promenade is a dedicated raised walkway, a unique coastal experience culminating in a reflective beacon at the end of the Jetty – a distinctive vantage point over the Black Sea providing spectacular views.

The interface with Olympic park is conceived as an authentic coastal edge landscape which draws upon the unique character of the Black Sea to form an ‘urban headland’. This precinct features a destination Sea Pool which attracts visitors to the water’s edge and supports activation of the promenade. The rugged nature of this coastal edge responds to the scale and presence of the adjacent Olympic precinct and marks the geographical centre of the embankment.

The proposed Lido arrangement proposes two tidal sea pools encompassed by constructed ‘rock shelves’. The existing rocky beach is extended create additional sunbathing space whilst retaining an authentic coastal edge experience. Required coastal protection elements are integrated into the edge of the new sea pools. Diving platforms and further sunbathing space is provided around the margins of the pools. New access is installed over the existing concrete levee, and Pavilion structures are distributed along the edge of the promenade, providing Lido facilities such as Changing Rooms, Cafe and Bar.

The eastern coastal promenade is re-organised to break down the existing, highly linear arrangement.
Expanded and vegetated, the promenade becomes a legible organising element of the embankment. An episodic sequence of coastal edge experiences and improved beach access is added. At the south-east end of Sirius’ coastline, a new pier and lookout platform form a bookend to the embankment, providing recognisable landmarks and completing the water’s edge walking route.

The Sirius Floating Pool is conceived as a ‘light’ wooden structure providing a contrasting experience to the solid ‘geology’ of the Lido rock shelf. Access is provided via an articulated timber gangway from the beach. The pool shelters behind the required coastal defence element, which is conceived as a living, ecological reef.

The new coastal defences and artificial reef structures are configured to include people and environmental overlays. Access is encouraged with the addition of concrete platforms and swimming pontoons to expanding swimming and water activities. The make-up of the reefs includes sea caves, tidal pools, and habitat modules to promote the re-establishment of aquatic life and habitat regenerating a living reef over time.

Our approach is landscape driven – adaptive, ecological and regenerative. It will embed the necessary resilience, sustainability and innovation for the project to deliver on the multiple issues associated with carbon reduction and climate change. We see the project as a transitioning into a contributor to the local economy combining technical interventions with environmental and social agenda to create a new identity and place that is undeniably Sirius.

You could learn more information about the competition at:

Sirius Seafront Promenade Competition, Russia images / information received 070222

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