The Second Russian Architecture Biennale for Young Architects

Founded by the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Ministry of Housing and Communal Services of the Russian Federation
Organized by the Institute for Urban Development of the Republic of Tatarstan
Curator of, and chairman of the jury for, the Second Russian Architecture Biennale for
Young Architects: Sergei Tchoban, head of SPEECH architectural office (Russia) and Tchoban Voss Architekten (Germany)
Director: Nataliya Fishman-Bekmambetova, aide to the President of the Republic of Tatarstan

Redevelopment is a process which is widespread throughout Russia, and Kazan is no exception. Kazan is developing rapidly and is raising a new generation of young, creative, and highly promising architects for the country. This is why Innopolis, Russia’s youngest and most high-tech city and a satellite of Kazan, will be hosting the Second Russian Architecture Biennale for Young Architects from October 24th to 26 th , 2019. The aim of the biennale is to support young architects and draw them into the field of urban development. The concept devised by architect Sergei Tchoban, the biennale’s curator, involves giving young specialists a chance to carry out unique, contemporary projects all over Russia and to establish working relationships with local governments.

This year, 739 applicants from six countries and 53 cities have submitted projects; this is almost twice as many as for the first biennale. Architects and urban planners under the age of 35 sent in applications from Moscow, St Petersburg, Kazan, London, Miami, Delhi, Beijing, and Pisa. From these applications, 30 finalists have been chosen.

This year, we made the terms more difficult for applicants,” says Nataliya Fishman Bekmambetova, the biennale’s director. “We didn’t ask them to invent a project. We asked them to come up with ideas for the redevelopment of actual industrial sites in Kazan. I think there will be lots of interesting projects, since we have many good specialists — we just need to give them a chance to work.

This year’s theme is ‘giving a second life to industrial sites’. The young architects in the competition are developing projects to rehabilitate the territories of the Santekhpribor factory and the grain elevator in Kazan’s river port. Santekhpribor is situated in a former industrial zone.
The finalists drew lots to determine which site they would work on.

It’s almost impossible to overestimate the importance of the challenge of disused industrial sites: virtually every Russian city today is confronted with the question of how to repurpose such sites. To a great degree, a cityscape depends on the choice of strategy for developing former industrial zones, as do levels of comfort for local residents and tourists. The key challenge today is to find the value in every former industrial site or building. This is real ecological awareness — making an effort to preserve physical, energy, and occupational resources. It’s the younger generation of Russian architects who must formulate a strategy,” says Sergei Tchoban, the biennale’s curator.

This year, there will be four prizes. The high-profile international jury will choose the two best projects for each site, assigning first and second places. Sergei Tchoban, the jury’s chairman, will be joined on the jury by: Michiel Riedijk, founder and partner of Neutelings Riedij Architects and professor at Delft Technical University (Netherlands); Philip Yuan, co-chairman of the Built Environment Technology Center at Washington University and director of the Academic Committee at Shanghai Technology Center for Engineering Digital Design; an Kristin Feireiss, curator and co-founder of the independent architectural gallery Aedes Architectur Forum in Berlin and a member of the jury for the Pritzker Prize. These international experts will be joined by three of the winners of the First Russian Architecture Biennale for Young Architects: Mikhail Beylin and Daniil Nikishin, founders of CITZENSTUDIO (Moscow); Nadezhda Koreneva (Moscow); and Oleg Manov (FUTURA Architects, St. Petersburg).

The biennale will include a three-day professional program with lectures, presentations, and discussions of the challenges in regenerating industrial zones and of ways to bring young architects into the professional community. In addition to the main competition, this year there will for the first time be an architectural-artistic competition for 9 th – and 10 th -graders.

In 2020 proposals by the finalists at the Second Russian Architecture Biennale for Young Architects will be shown at the Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin. Aedes is the first independent architecture gallery in Europe; it exhibits work by specialists in contemporary architecture and urban design.

The biennale is open to visitors.