It is the only biennale worldwide dedicated to the support of young architects: The «Russian Architecture Biennale for Young Architects“ was founded by the Ministry of Housing and Communal Services of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan in 2017. The biennale takes place in Innopolis, a young and dynamic city in Tatarstan. Its participants are Russian architects under 35 years of age which were selected from a large number of applicants. The curator and jury chairman is Sergei Tchoban, head of SPEECH (Russia) and Tchoban Voss Architekten (Germany), as well as the winner of the European Prize for Architecture 2018. The biennale’s director is Nataliya Fishman-Bekmambetova, aide to the President of Tatarstan. Winners of the biennale receive real commissions for projects in Tatarstan and are then members of the jury for the following competition, alongside leading international experts.
The Second Russian Architecture Biennale for Young Architects was held from 24-26 October, 2019 on the theme of the revitalisation of industrial sites. The 30 competitors were selected from more than 730 young Russian applicants. They developed proposals for a systematic redevelopment of two sites in Tatarstan’s capital, Kazan; on the area of a grain elevator in the port and the former Santekhpribor Factory. Both territories have an area of approximately five hectares and are currently inaccessible to the public. They contain remnants of industrial facilities alongside ruins of disused buildings. The brief required the competitors to propose scenarios for a new use of one of the two industrial sites (lots were drawn in order to determine which finalists would work with which site). The participants were asked to preserve and emphasise the site’s status as historical landscape and to devise and justify new functions capable of guaranteeing an economically profitable and socially responsible transformation of the site in the long term.