Kharkiv City Council, Foster Foundation are holding intl architectural competition for modernization of standard panel housing

As part of the development of a new concept for the master plan of Kharkiv, the Norman Foster Foundation, together with Kharkiv City Council, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Arup and Kharkivproject Institute, are holding an international architectural competition for the modernization of residential areas of the city.

As Interfax-Ukraine was informed by the press service of Kharkiv Regional State Administration, as a result of Russian aggression, more than 9,000 buildings were damaged, half of which were housing, some 130 schools and 110 kindergartens were destroyed, more than 160,000 people lost a roof over their heads.

The announced competition is part of a large-scale project of the conceptual master plan for Kharkiv, which is being developed by the British architect Norman Foster Foundation, commissioned by UNECE.

The competition focuses on the most populous and most damaged district of Kharkiv, Saltivka, or more precisely Pivnichna Saltivka.

"This competition seeks solutions that bridge the gap between innovative design and practical application. The task is to develop a modular system capable of retrofitting existing concrete panel housing blocks and enhancing public spaces, focusing on creating safe, energy-efficient, and vibrant neighbourhoods," the Foster Foundation said in a release.

Modular façade and roof components, bomb shelters, and the integration of additional functions on the ground floors should be considered as part of the renovation. The system should also provide solutions for restoring severely damaged buildings with a renewed yet local architectural identity.

The Foster Foundation notes that, given the typical development of residential areas of Kharkiv, in the future, the solutions found for the winning projects can be extrapolated to other residential areas of the city.

After the winners are announced, the selected proposals will be finalized into a detailed construction design.

The deadline for participation in the competition is September 12, 2024.

As reported, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has created working groups #UN4Kharkiv and #UN4Mykolaiv and invited international architects to help these cities develop forward-looking master plans. The Foundation of the British architect Norman Foster is helping Kharkiv; in Mykolaiv, the work is being coordinated by the global design and architectural company One Works (Italy).