Rethinking Norilsk

Will Norilsk, a Russian city in the Arctic, become the new Detroit? Both the Russian and American cities are similar in the industrial pattern, which is extensively represented both in Norilsk and Detroit. Now many researchers, experts and architects are comparing the two cities and wondering whether the experience of Russian Norilsk will be more successful than the American one.

Earlier in summer, the city authorities of Norilsk opened an international competition to create a new concept for the city.

The city of Detroit, an iconic example of urban development associated with modern industrialization, is in disarray.

The concept of rethinking Detroit has been proposed by many scholars and architectural firms. Some of these proposals have begun to be implemented. Norilsk is only at the beginning of its journey.

The Norilsk City Administration sets before the participants the task of taking into account the uniqueness of the geographical location of Norilsk, the climatic characteristics of the Russian Arctic, historical development features, as well as a new vision of the territory. The city authorities want to see the city’s development as a world-class non-ferrous metallurgy center, and as a center of competence, knowledge and research in the Arctic.

“Several years ago, when I visited Norilsk, I was amazed by the large number of people who interested in creating something new in the city. The construction of new facilities is a big challenge for Norilsk due to its geographical and climatic features. The city needs to find creative and modern ideas. I am confident that this competition will bring together the international experience and knowledge of talented architects and urbanists,” said Kees Donkers, an architect and designer of urban planning from the Netherlands.

The creation of an architectural and planning concept is an important stage of the socio-economic development of Norilsk.

Norilsk Nickel, one of the world’s largest producers of palladium, nickel, platinum and copper, also provided funding for the project.

“Today we have every opportunity to build the city of the future. To do this, it is necessary to attract the best Russian and foreign experts, use the most modern architectural and technological solutions, both in the design of residential buildings, public spaces and engineering infrastructure, ” – comments Senior Vice-President of Norilsk Nickel Larisa Zelkova.

The jury, after evaluating the bids, will select the top three from among the participants – the finalists who will develop the concept of the Norilsk renovation.

The results of the competition will be announced in March 2022.

Norilsk is a city built in the Russian Arctic almost on the 69th parallel. One of the coldest cities of the world and the northernmost city with a population of over 150 thousand people. Emergence Norilsk is associated with the discovery of rich deposits of nickel and copper. Geological exploration of the territory has begun in 1919, and in 1935 it was decided to build the Norilsk combine and a worker was founded the village of Norilsk. The formation of the existing town-planning structure of Norilsk began with involvement in 1939. The first buildings in the city were made in the neoclassical style, in the 60s in the architecture of the city was introduced to the tendencies of typical construction, and the urban areas over time clearly divided by building time.


Tags: architecture, city, Will Norilsk

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