Sochi 2023, 21-23 sept.    

International Architecture Festival

+7 (495) 697-77-84
+7 (929) 538-84-60   
The Union of Moscow Architects. Moscow, Granatny per., 7 Registration

Q&A with Nikolay Shumakov

Q&A with Nikolay Shumakov

Q&A with Nikolay Shumakov

The president of the Union of Architects of Russia and the Union of Moscow Architects discusses his ambitions for the contest

Nikolay Shumakov

Nikolay Shumakov

Why are your holding an international contest to regenerate The Spit in Nizhny Novgorod?

The contest is one of key elements of the annual International Festival Eco-Shore that is devoted to bringing together innovation ideas of architecture development of the coastal areas. The festival was first launched in 2010, and is held annually by The Union of Moscow Architects, which invites professionals to take part in the dialog about ‘aArchitecture and water’ in different formats, namely: themed exhibitions, scientific conferences and architecture contests. The main aim of the contests is to suggest the best solutions to the complex development of the riverside territories.

Russian cities essentially are left behind in comparison to European cities in terms of redevelopment of industrial areas. However, we believe that transformation of industrial areas is an important part of the general strategy for Russian cities that want to compete for business, talents, and jobs. We are very interested in international participants and engaging them to share their valuable and unique experience.

What is your vision for the future of The Spit?

The Spit in Nizhny Novgorod city is set to become a new city recreation centre. The competition projects should incorporate sports, cultural and entertainment facilities and infrastructure for public and private transport. They should also account for museums, hotels, parks, office buildings (maximum five-storey).The main issue for the participants is to take into account that on the construction territory there is an iconic structure: the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (cultural heritage site). It is absolutely paramount to save the dominant position of the monument in the Spit territory. Since one of the objectives of the contest is an ecological development the jury will pay great attention to the principals of sustainable architecture.

What sort of architects and designers are you hoping will apply?

Over the last seven years, we have discovered many new names in architecture. In the first three years our contests were mainly aimed at young architects but then we decided to eliminate any age restrictions altogether, and ultimately it proved to be the right decision. Today in conceptual competitions the young architects can compete equally with more experienced peers. The main advantage of our competitions is that the participation is anonymous which means that the jury are less likely to have any bias towards well-known architecture practices. For the contest participants, we offer significant media support. The winning projects are published in the leading Russian professional and national media as well as foreign media partners.

Which other design opportunities are on the horizon and how will the architects/designers be procured?

All the competitions organised in the context of the Festival Eco-Shore had one key aim, namely to demonstrate to the governmental and public institutions how using the architecture is able to change the quality of the environment. Each competition was a catalyst of dialogue between public and professionals. The purpose of the contest in Nizhny Novgorod is to demonstrate to local authorities and citizens how The Spit can be transformed. The authors of the best solutions might be involved in the implementation of the particular projects in the future. Read more 

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