«The centre of attraction»: a competition for the Development of the Concept of Petrovskaya Embankment has started in Voronezh

10 September, 2019

On September 10, 2019, the Regional House of Journalists in the city of Voronezh hosted a press conference dedicated to the launch of the Open All-Russian Architectural and Urban Planning Competition to elaborate a concept for the development of Petrovskaya Embankment. The Competition participants will be tasked with designing a plan for the 117 hectare territory of the river embankment in Voronezh.

The event is co-curated by the local governor, the Voronezh Region Government, and the Administration of the City District of the city of Voronezh. It has been commissioned by the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning of the Voronezh Region and will the organized by the Agency for Strategic Development CENTER.

Alexander Gusev, Governor of the Voronezh Region, initiated the renovation of Petrovskaya Embankment in 2018. Considering the immense urban planning potential of this public space, the development efforts were preceded by a comprehensive research project, which has resulted in useful insights into the most promising scenarios. The Open Architectural and Urban Planning Competition to elaborate a concept for the development of Petrovskaya Embankment is going to become the second phase of the project.

The Competition will run until the December 10 and will consist of two stages. Application submission is open until a month from now; it will conclude on October 7, at which point a judging panel chaired by Voronezh Region Governor Alexander Gusev will choose and announce the finalists, who will then begin work on their concepts for developing Petrovskaya Embankment. The winners will be announced after the final meeting of the judges on December 10.

The Competition participants will need to base their entries on the results of the comprehensive urban planning research project that was executed by the GIPROGOR Russian Institute of Urban Planning and Investment Development in 2019 and was dedicated to analyzing the Petrovskaya Embankment territory in the city of Voronezh.

Vadim KsteninHead of the Voronezh City District

Petrovskaya Embankment is a vital part of our urban territory: it is the city’s heart of hearts, but its current state is not at all fitting for a community of over a million people. This, without a doubt, is the most essential space we have at our disposal today, and poor decisions and architectural and design incompetence may well ruin it. To keep this from happening is the very reason why we are starting this competition today. I do hope that this will result in a robust development concept for this community space.

The territory in question is one of the city’s growth points, and a major business and recreation hub, so it would be advisable to surround it both with office centers and with community infrastructure and leisure facilities. The embankment’s favorable location and scope of proposed functionality makes it a desirable place to live, work, and recreate, with a lot of business prospects and a great impact on the city of Voronezh overall.

Konstantin KuznetsovAide to the Governor of the Voronezh Region, Chairman of the Central Association of the Russian Architects’ Union

We find developing Petrovskaya Embankment to be highly important not just from the urban planning point of view. If we base the design of this public space on modern requirements, this will make Voronezh and the Voronezh Region more appealing to tourists, investors, and most importantly, the locals. I am confident that on this day, we will be laying the foundation for what will remain one of the city’s most beautiful and memorable landmarks for many years ahead.

Architectural bureaus and consortiums will be asked to design a project for developing a 4.5 kilometer long strip along the right bank of the Voronezh reservoir, bordered by Chernavsky Bridge in the north, Vogresovsky Bridge in the south, the shoreline in the east and low-rise residential buildings on Petrovskaya Embankment and Sofya Perovskaya Street in the west. The territory is part of two urban districts: its northern half belongs to the Central District, while its southern half belongs to the Leninsky District. Most of the bank section (a roughly 54 hectare triangle lying to the east of Petrovskaya Embankment and Admiralteyskaya Square and reaching Vogresovsky Bridge) is the result of soil being deposited by a stream of water.

The choice of segment for the competition project was not random. The participants will have to think how to develop the right bank above the slope, while ensuring that their project fits harmoniously with the city’s historical district and adjusting the design of the multifunctional zone. It must be noted that the territory chosen for the competition is subject to a large number of restrictions, since there are a number of cultural and natural landmarks located here.

Andrey YerenkovHead of the Voronezh Region Architecture and Urban Planning Department

The Competition is not just a means of obtaining high-quality architecture and urban planning solutions that will help us develop Petrovskaya Embankment. It is also a change in the Voronezh architects’ approach to project design. Rather than merely achieve a specific, unique result, they will need to build a new urban value system capable of satisfying the community’s needs.

The open format is not an accidental choice for a project of this scale and importance to the city and the Region. The Competition will allow the city to gain several well-developed, conceptually sound, and time-efficient solutions that will be the most mindful of the special features of this territory, which lies at the core of the city and has vast potential for developing several functional aspects. Another, no less important feature is the involvement of Russian architectural bureaus and cross-industry consortiums, which have a wealth of experience in working on similar projects and achieving high-quality results. The judging panel is led by Alexander Gusev, the governor of the Voronezh Region, and includes both local and national top experts.

The final result of the competition will be a concept proposal that will potentially turn the embankment section between Chernavsky and Vogresovsky Bridge into a symbolic space for the local community, reflecting the mission of Voronezh as a city with a high quality of life, remaining recognizable even to non-locals, and forming part of the city’s image.

Sergei GeorgievskiiHead of the Organizing Committee of the Competition, CEO of the Agency for Strategic Development CENTER

Having an open competition, like the one we are launching today together with the Voronezh Region Architecture and Urban Planning Department, is a completely new approach to designing the best solutions for public spaces, which are so important to the community. Petrovskaya Embankment, as one of the key community attractors, deserves solutions of an unprecedented quality. The Competition is based on a unique study by the GIPROGOR Institute, which, among other aspects, included fundamental sociological groundwork, accounting for the needs of all target groups that use the embankment. I am certain that, as a dynamically developing city, Voronezh has a vital need for innovative public spaces that will cater both to the locals and the city guests.

The Competition is open to Russian professional organizations in the field of urban planning, architecture, landscape architecture, project design, and the design of concepts for the development of public spaces operating in Russia.

The Competition will have 2 stages. During the first stage, the judges will analyze the competition submissions, which will have to include a project portfolio and a cover essay, and select 3 finalists, who will then continue their work on their concepts. The fleshed-out concepts will be presented at the final meeting of judging panel on December 10, 2019. The winner will be announced on the same day.

The total Prize Fund will be 2,700,000 rubles, including all taxes and fees. All finalists will receive a 300,000 ruble reward. After the final judging panel meeting, they will also receive additional funds depending on their rank: the first-place winner will receive 1,000,000 rubles; the 2 place winner will receive 500,000 rubles; and the 3 place winner will receive 300,000 rubles.