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Competition: Yekaterinburg-City, Russia

An international design competition has been launched for a mixed-use development featuring a concert hall in central Yekaterinburg (Deadline: 15 July)

Open to students and professionals, the contest seeks conceptual proposals for a 2,500-seat philharmonic venue and a multi-purpose indoor public space.

Phased plans for three skyscrapers ranging up to 270 metres high, several apartment blocks under 75 metres tall and two underground car parks are also required.



Yekatarinburg-City contest site

The contest is backed by metallurgical firm UMMC Holdings which is regenerating the site as part of its ongoing 400,000m² ‘Yekaterinburg-City’ project.

According to the brief: ‘The mission of the contest is to develop the creative potential of architects, enhance the prestige of the architect profession and to accumulate experience in the development of large-scale projects important both for the city and for the region as a whole.’

Participants must complete a new masterplan for the historic plot – setting out land uses and massing – alongside an architectural concept for the podium structures.

Concepts which consider alternative energy sources, respond to the local climate and aim for LEED Gold accreditation are encouraged.

Financial projections and a range of options for vehicular and pedestrian circulation are also sought.




The nearby Hyatt Hotel and the Werner Sobek-designed Islet Tower – currently under construction within the site’s boundary – should be integrated into proposals.

Various historic structures including the houses of plant breeder DI Kazantsev and Uralian specialist AA Afinogenov must furthermore be conserved in the north-east corner of the plot.

Located on the continental border of Europe and Asia, Yekaterinburg is the fourth largest city in Russia with 1.3 million inhabitants.

Large numbers of Russian factories and technical facilities were relocated to the city during the Second World War and many remained in the heavily industrialised region after the conflict.

It is also home to around 140 Constructivist-style buildings constructed during the early 20th century.

Formerly known as Sverdlovsk, the city was earmarked as a reserve capital for Russia during the collapse of the USSR by Boris Yeltsin, who was born locally.

The contest is organised by Forum 100+ which hosts an annual conference in the city focusing on the design, construction and financing of high-rise buildings.

The winning team – set to be announced during the conference in October – will take home around RUR 500,000 with a second-place prize of RUR 300,000 and third-place prize worth RUR 200,000 also available.

How to apply


The deadline for applications is 15 July and proposals must be submitted by 1 September

Contact details

Forum 100+
Ekaterinburg City
Boris Yeltsin str., 1a, of. 10.5.

Tel: (343) 35-111-78 (extension 17)

View the competition website for more information

Stormen case study: Q&A with Daniel Rosbottom

The co-founder of DRDH discusses lessons learned designing a concert hall and cultural quarter in Bodø, Norway

How did your concert hall project respond to Bodo’s historical and cultural context?

Stormen is the new cultural quarter of the Norwegian city of Bodø, a city of 60,000 inhabitants situated 100km inside the Arctic Circle. It was the outcome of success in two separate competitions: an open international competition for a cultural masterplan and a subsequent, invited competition for the buildings. Counterpointing the objectification of many contemporary projects, the primary urban intention of its two buildings, a library and a concert hall and theatre, is to consolidate the rather contingent urbanity of Bodø’s post-war reconstruction.

We chose to build on the last two vacant blocks of the existing centre and, mindful of the opportunities and restrictions presented by constrained sites, to create nuanced forms that carefully adjust in scale, form and expression in response to one another and the heterogeneous architecture of their surroundings. The resulting ensemble establishes a coherent cityscape of streets and urban spaces and redefines the city’s relationship with its extraordinary landscape context.



Source: Image by David Grandorge

Stormen concert hall and library, Bodø by DRDH

The architecture oscillates between figuration and abstraction. Its shallow pitched roofs acknowledge the lines of surrounding hills and islands, while polished and washed facades of white, precast concrete reflect the ever-changing light of the Arctic sky. The buildings appear to conjoin as a single piece, announcing the city to the sea. Beyond their programmes, we thought of the interiors as living rooms for the city, offering new social and cultural possibilities for its citizens and becoming its de facto public spaces during the inhospitable winter months.



Source: Image by David Grandorge

Stormen concert hall and library, Bodø by DRDH

What material, structural, spatial and other techniques are available to contestants seeking to achieve a similarly contextual response?

At a moment when architecture has the possibility to do almost anything, and evocative imagery is increasingly the medium for judgement, it is tempting to propose gestural, objectified forms. However architecture’s real potential is in its ability to define or consolidate places – to feel appropriate and to encourage appropriation. We were fortunate that in Bodø, the jury recognised the value of a proposal that took its responsibilities to the city seriously.

How would you set about masterplanning and designing a new public space and cultural venue which reflects the history of Yekaterinburg?

In setting out to design for a public building for Yekaterinburg, we would follow the same process – having an attitude to what makes it particular and considering how to situate a compelling building within its existing urban structure, which offers new possibilities for its citizens.