(KZN.RU, September 20, Ksenia Shvetsova). Kazan has everything for implementation of a project to create an ecological district at the highest level. Ilsur Metshin, the Mayor of Kazan, expressed such an opinion at the meeting with the finalists of the contest for the development of the concept of the eco-district that took place today in the City Hall.
The site for the creation of the eco-district is the territory of the former 32nd military town. The plot of 759 hectares is located near the Temple of All Religions in the Staroe Arakchino. An open international two-stage tender for the development of the concept and master plan of the eco-area is conducted for the most effective development of the territory. 47 teams attended it, of which 22 are individual bureaus, and 25 are international consortia. The participants presented a portfolio of 5 relevant projects of complex residential small and medium-storey buildings, an essay describing the main ideas and graphical visualization of architectural and city-planning solutions. Three consortiums entered the finals: a Russian-French consortium led by Knight Frank, a Russian-Dutch consortium led by Buromoscow, and a Russian-British consortium led by the architectural bureau of ASADOV and partners.
At the meeting, the consortium members presented their teams to the Mayor and shared their impressions of the first stages of the work. Olga Shirokova, the head of the department of consulting and analytics in the company “Knight Frank”, noted that participation in the project is doubly exciting and pleasant for her, since Kazan is her hometown. “We are honored to participate in this contest, to be in the finals. We tried to assemble a team that is really capable of making a very high-quality product, solves all issues of a project of this level. The company “Knight Frank” is an international consultant, we are leaders of the consortium and are responsible for the financial component of the model of this project and making a market concept”, she said. There are employees of architects' bureaus in each consortium. For example, “Knight Frank” has a team of urban designers fr om London JTP as architects, which operates for about 40 years, as well as a French company that specializes in environmental technology.
Andrey Asadov, the general director of the bureau, presented the Russian-British consortium led by the architectural bureau ASADOV and partners. “We also tried to create a full vision of the task, because we understand the level of the project we’re developing”, said Asadov. “We tried to assemble a team with a comprehensive vision of the task: architecture, economics, and ecology. We have 6 members of the consortium, including specialists in the field of urban planning and landscape design”.
Olga Alexandrova, the chief architect of the company Buromoscow, presented the team of the Russian-Dutch consortium. “Our partners are Dutch architects who make stunning housing projects, they are always coming up with something new. We are also working with landscape architects who take complex tasks enthusiastically”.
The Mayor noted the great experience and professionalism of the finalists of the contest. “Each of you has his own serious experience, implemented projects. We are glad that we lived to see these days, these teams, when such respected architectural bureaus are working on the future of Kazan”.
All the finalists will have a hard and very responsible job, said Airat Nurutdinov, an assistant to the President of the RT and the chairman of the council of the Republican Support Fund. “This is a unique situation, when a very important territory, located almost in the heart of the city, stands out for the implementation of such a significant project. It has been protected for 200 years. It is sort of a “conserved” ecological site with a unique natural environment. Therefore, one of the main tasks is to try to preserve it”, said A. Nurutdinov. “I am happy that the contestants clearly understand three main aspects: economics, ecology, and architecture. The success of the project will depend on the balance of these three directions”.
After brief presentations by the finalists, the consortium members were given the opportunity to ask the head of the city questions and identify the main directions for future work. Olga Alexandrova, the chief architect of the company Buromoscow, asked how the city treats reservoirs and their protection. “The water, the rivers Volga and Kazanka are our greatest riches. We are trying to return it to the inhabitants, to repair the embankments”, said the Mayor.
Yulia Pankratieva, the founder of the Terra Scape Bureau of the Russian-French consortium, asked how Kazan plans to develop the theme of environmental safety throughout the city. “The point of growth is a complex history. If we just do it locally without communication and support outside, the growth point will remain very isolated. Is there a vision, according to which ways the development of the ecology will be picked up by other areas?” asked Yulia Pankratieva. Answering the question, I. Metshin noted that today much is being done in the city to develop the ecological component. He marked that one of the main tasks of the contestants is to propose their own solutions to certain problems. “You just set a task for us and say: study this experience and do it better. We are able to learn, to hear, and fix the problems. So you just tell us wh ere we can learn this so that the project will be more successful”, replied the Mayor.
At the end of the meeting, he urged the finalists of the contest to reflect all the fantasies in the General Plan and create a truly interesting project that will become a new stage in the city's development. “This must be something completely new, this is the future. We must approach it with all possible awareness, make every effort to realize all the best. Today Kazan has everything for this. This project is important, interesting and very promising for us. Welcome to Kazan, and I wish you every success in your work”.
After the meeting, in which Tatiana Prokofieva the chief architect of the city, also took part, the finalists of the contest went to inspect the territory of their future work. It is planned that they will submit their final proposals in October. After that, the best option will be chosen. The winner of the contest will be determined not earlier than November.