Competitions for the development of concepts for a tourism cluster in Oymyakon and for the main square in Yakutsk started in Moscow

15 May, 2019

On May 15 in Moscow, as part of the 24th International Exhibition of Architecture and Design ARCH MOSCOW, two professional competitions were launched. The competitions are taking place with the support of the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia): one for a concept for the main square of Yakutsk, and another for the discovery of the tourism potential of the Northern Pole of Cold, Oymyakon.

The initiators of the competitions are the LETO Competence Center for Issues of the Urban Environment of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the non-profit Special Purpose Fund of Future Generations, with the Agency for Strategic Development CENTER serving as strategic partner and consultant.
The format for these design competitions was not chosen accidentally. The format allows not only the uniting of the competences of Yakutsk companies with the experience of world-famous Russian teams, but will also result in concepts which best incorporate the peculiarities of the territory and the cultural context of the region. The competition jury will be led by Aysen Nikolaev, head of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), and will include both local and national experts.
Irina Alekseeva, Chief Architect of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia): “We are convinced that it is impossible to design for such difficult conditions without relying on local expertise, nor without employing actual experience in the design of real facilities, so in this instance both competitions involve collaboration. In the case of the competition for Lenin Square, it is a joining of national firms with local architects, while in the case of Oymyakon, collaboration between international companies and Russian experts.”
In the development of the concepts, competitors will have to take into account the extreme climate of Yakutia, where temperatures can reach as low as -70°C and it is winter for 9 months of the year. 
Sergei Georgievskii, CEO, Agency for Strategic Development CENTER: “One provision of the technical requirements for competition participants is to take into account the climatic conditions and the year-round character of the new public spaces. We are not creating them for summer, but for year-round use. These competitions are not creative in nature, but wholly practical, and it is planned to put their results into practice immediately after their completion.” 
Climatic conditions will be among the most important criteria in the design of one of the principal public spaces of the Republic, Lenin Square, whereas in the concept of the tourism and recreational cluster in Oymyakon, the climate is the foundation for the attraction of lovers of extreme tourism.

Maria Skryabina, head of LETO Competence Center for Issues of the Urban Environment of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia): “We all understand that design in extreme climatic conditions differs from what is usual in, for example, the central part of Russia, and here, undoubtedly, the principal role of the Competence Center for Issues of the Urban Environment of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) lies in supporting competitors with the special knowledge of the particularities of the region which is available only to local experts who have realized projects in the territory of the Republic.”

In recent years, competitive structures in the implementation of large-scale projects in the development of territory and public spaces have been increasingly used in the creation of notable projects in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). This tool enables the receipt of diverse solutions from the best architectural teams.
Mikhail Keremyasov, Deputy CEO of the Special Purpose Fund of Future Generations of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia): “Last year, the Fund for Future Generations started a new project, the Park for Future Generations, which fully achieved the goals set, thanks to the competitive process. The Competence Center for Issues of the Urban Environment is continuing its activities in the development of public spaces. The Fund is certain that, in partnership with the CENTER Agency, the competitions we have started today will come to sound and successful conclusions.” 
Open Competition with International Participation for a Concept of a tourism cluster in the Village of Oymyakon, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)

Official Competition Website:
Oymyakon is famous as one of the Poles of Cold and is on the list of inhabited places with the most extreme conditions for human life. The notorious cold of Yakutia attracts tourists from all over the planet, including world celebrities. Oymyakon has already seen visits from Hollywood actors Tom Hardy and Ewan McGregor.
The Competition will bring together Russian and international experts in the fields of architecture, design, and development of tourism clusters, in order to uncover the potential of Oymyakon as a world center for extreme tourism. The results of the competition will be presented at the Fifth Eastern Economic Forum, which will be held on September 4–6, 2019. 
Natalia Tyukavkina, CEO, Yakutia Tourism Information Center: “The Northern Pole of Cold, Oymyakon, together with diamonds and mammoths, constitutes the world-famous brand of Yakutia. In addition to conditions for extreme tourism, Oymyakon also offers the opportunity to touch the authentic culture. That is probably the leading trend in global tourism. Nowadays, preserved tourist sites are most highly valued, and not artificial, simulated historical environments. Oymyakon does not offer reconstructed and pretend sites tourist display, but objects, which have persisted in their form and contents down to the present day. That attracts people from all over the world – Oymyakon has already hosted tourists from 70 countries.”
Open All-Russian Competition for a Concept of Lenin Square, Yakutsk, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)

Official Competition Website:
The result of the competition will be a design for the central public space of Yakutia. Architects and designers of public spaces from throughout Russia will take part in the competition. The winning concept will be presented as part of international festival Zodchestvo, which will take place in Moscow on October 17–19, 2019.