New Roots
Viktor Nilsen Open International Architecture Ideas Competition
Municipal Commercial Enterprise of Mariupol City Council
Mariupol, Donetsk Region, Ukraine, August 2020

with Team
Alessandro Colavecchio, Selina Chau, and June Geyer

Vadim Boichenko, Vitalii Viazovskyi, Mikael Colville-Andersen, Monika Konrad, Peter Veenstra, Stavros Gargaretas, Theo Hauben

This ideas competition asked how can the historic market square of Mariupol be updated, improved and converted into a pedestrian public space? Project proposals were asked to guarantee a year-round functioning of the competition site as a venue for regular fairs and recreation and to ensure free mobility for all groups and persons with disabilities.

The vision for Vyzvolennia District is to establish a landscape-driven urban destination that will be the epicentre of the City’s Strategy 2021 sustainable development initiative. As the new civic heart of Mariupol, the district is converted into a barrier-free, verdant pedestrian space that links the future growth of civic life with a newfound appreciation of nature. Scale and location are important, allowing the district to relate to the City’s existing artistic and industrial foundations. With its symbolic position on the axis between Teatralnyi square and the City’s deep sea port, the project can represent a new landscape-forward future for Mariupol. Vyzvolennia District’s design marries appreciation of nature with the hub of civic life, establishing an identity that will guide art and industry into a richer future for the City.

The proposed Glass House, visible from both the coastline and the City’s high points, will anchor the view down Mira Avenue from Teatralnyi Square. The Glass House provides passive climate control to both the building and the surrounding landscape, protecting important public programs from inclement weather. It provides an interior climate that supports a wider range of plant species than the rest of the city, further enhancing the district’s potential to guide a new appreciation of nature and radically transform the culture of the city.

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