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SPARTACUS ALIVE: a Plaza for the Arts & a Cultural Hub

SPARTACUS ALIVE: a Plaza for the Arts & a Cultural Hub / AIA, International Agency for Architecture : Marco Suarez, Lucas Alperi / UK, London

SPARTACUS ALIVE: a Plaza for the Arts & a Cultural Hub / AIA, International Agency for Architecture : Marco Suarez, Lucas Alperi

We believe that Yaroslavl has the potential to become a cultural hub, a city where traditional and modern art meet and take advantage of the city ́s beauty to flourish and enlighten. What if the new complex became a capital for culture and the arts? Can you imagine the possibilities of a place where citizens of Yaroslavl and visitors from all over the world come together to enjoy the arts and learn from each other and from the rich traditions of Yaroslavl while enjoying its precious landscape?

Our proposal capitalizes on Yaroslavl’s context. It provides a new heart for the town, a meeting spot, a playground, a place for outdoor performances and exhibitions. It builds on the city ́s traditional urbanism using the existing churches as focal points. We take that strategy and take it a step forward by shaping our architecture into a building that blends with its context and becomes part of the landscape. Our design connects, frames, blends and empowers Yaroslavl ́s public space.

The historical center of city, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005, represents a perfect integration of architecture and landscape at the confluence of two rivers. The public and residential architecture of the city flows along broad streets dotted with large squares. The breath taking churches and monastic ensembles of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries shape Yaroslavl’s skyline and become temples to its local art in form of paintings and sculptures.

SPARTACUS ALIVE: a Plaza for the Arts & a Cultural Hub / AIA, International Agency for Architecture : Marco Suarez, Lucas Alperi / 2

Using the city ́s old churches as a reference point has been the strategy for urban growth and it has shaped Yaroslavl since the late eighteenth century and the great reform undertaken by the Empress Catherine the Great. This urban model has provided historical continuity and visual richness to the streets and public space of the city. In our mind, it makes sense to build in this tradition.

SPARTACUS ALIVE: a Plaza for the Arts & a Cultural Hub / AIA, International Agency for Architecture : Marco Suarez, Lucas Alperi / 3


Our design is the natural outcome of a series of decisions that are related to how the project negotiates with its surroundings.  Читать далее

Spartacus Alive

Spartacus Alive / Richard Mitzman Architects LLP / UK, London

Spartucus Alive / Richard Mitzman Architects LLP


The city of Yaroslavl, Russia is located 250km north east of Moscow on the M8 motorway, the link between Moscow and the Northern sea harbour of Arkhangelsk.

Yaroslavl has a population of 600’000 and is a large transport node, at the crossroads of a number of national and regional roads, railways, and waterways.

Yaroslavl is one of the “Golden Ring” cities, a group of historic cities that plays an important role in Russian History.

The city lies on the bank of the Volga River that forms the eastern boundary of the old city. The city is organised on a north south axis that is also constrained to the west by the motorway.

To the south of the historic city centre is the Kotorosl River, a tributary of the Volga. The intersection of these two waterways creates a peninsula that forms the southern edge of the city and is the location of the Spartacus Alive competition site.

Spartucus Alive / Richard Mitzman Architects LLP / 2


The site is currently used as an open-air athletics track that has been excavated into the natural sloping contour of the area. The remaining perimeter earth banks create a sense of enclosure for the sunken sports arena and are used as grassed terraces to view the track and field events.

Adjacent to the site are the three historic churches of: St. Nicholas, Our Saviour and the Cathedral of theAssumption. These important landmarks are accessed along the pedestrian park walkway that links the peninsula with the Soviet square and the city centre. The park walkway runs parallel to the river and the alternative pedestrian access route along the riverside path. Public vehicular, servicing access and parking remain from the south and the existing western road network and train station.

Spartucus Alive / Richard Mitzman Architects LLP / 3


Prior to the development of the arena around the turn of the century, it is easily imagined, based on the levels of the surrounding building, that the site sloped gently from the parkland walkway down to the south west corner of the site. The site, prior to the arena excavation, would have resembled a city square, with perhaps with a central garden.  Читать далее

Yaroslavl, The Bridge

Yaroslavl, The Bridge / Yijun Huang, Mengchan Tang, Dimitri Chava / UK, London

Yaroslavl, The Bridge / Yijun Huang, Mengchan Tang, Dimitri Chava

Site Strategy:

Our intention is to connect the important sites around the existing Spartakovets Stadium: the park to the northeast, the church of St Nicholas-at-Rubleny Gorod to the southeast, and the Church of the Saviour-at-Gorod to the west. We have created entrances directly facing those sites and have connected them together with a bridge structure with indoor space to separate with the outside climate in extreme times. This is the Bridge idea in relation to the urban and the architectural history of Yaroslavl. Thus the Bridge can integrate with the permanent exhibitions of the museum, which should be accessible without tickets, to provide a passageway of knowledge and history.

Visitors can also walk under the bridge between the wings to the other side of the site. This way we are not obstructing the urban flow by locking up an entire urban block. As explained below, only the central point of the lower space will be controlled as it is used as a lobby space.

Yaroslavl, The Bridge / Yijun Huang, Mengchan Tang, Dimitri Chava / 2

Program Organization:

Acknowledging that this project should also serve the Biennale, we have introduced other kinds of spaces that are distinctive in characters. There are five of them. Each is constructed with different material and tectonics in relation to the existing architectural construction techniques. Therefore those spaces provide different types of environment to interact with various exhibitions. Curators and designers are then allowed more diverse ways to occupy the venue. The Bridge that connects the urban, becomes a Bridge for the internal programs of the building itself.

The building has multiple entries: from the three street level entrances into the bridge, through the lower level outdoor space into the central lobby. However, there is no direct entry to the features spaces other than the Bridge itself, or to the lobby directly under the centre of the Bridge. The exhibitions within the Bridge are permanent and therefore free. The five featured spaces, which are perpendicularly distributed along different spans of the bridge, form 10 wings. The wings, if not arranged as part of the permanent exhibition, can only be accessed with tickets, which can be mailed to the visitors’ homes, or can be purchased at the lobby reception.  Читать далее