Coop Himmelb(l)au and Kengo Kuma also among finalists

Existing KAMAL THEATRE, Kazan

Existing Kamal Theatre, Kazan

Asif Khan and Zaha Hadid Architects are among eight teams that have been shortlisted to design a new theatre in a historic Russian city.

The open international competition for the development of an architectural concept for a new theatre in Kazan, Tatarstan, attracted applications from 26 consortia and 13 individual competitors from 14 countries.

The finalists also include Coop Himmelb(l)au and Kengo Kuma.

The winner will receive 2.5m rubles (£25,000), with £15,000 and £10,000 for the two runners-up.

The brief is to replace the 1980s Galiasgar Kamal Theatre on the Lake Kaban waterfront with a new venue on the 2ha site.

Mayor of Kazan and jury chair Ilsur Metshin said: “The key architectural concept should take into account sustainable development of the historic centre of Kazan. The new theatre shall blend harmoniously into the context of the embankment and the entire old Tatar settlement, and become a unique landmark, in the same way the current building did in its time.”

The contest was launched in July by Rustam Minnikhanov, the president of Tatarstan which is part of Russia, and the Galiasgar Kamal Tatar State Academic Theatre, whose history as a Tatar-language theatre dates back a century.

The first stage required submission of an essay and a portfolio of relevant work.

The finalists will receive an online briefing and then travel to Kazan in November to learn more about the city and Tatar culture, before drafting their proposals for an in-person presentation in January. The winner is due to be announced in February.

The shortlist

Consortium headed by: Novikov Architectural Practice (Kazan)

Consortium members: Borgos Pieper (Barcelona, Spain), Theatre Projects (London, Great Britain)

Their notable projects: Nizhny Kaban lake embankment in Kazan (Russia), Central Park in Valencia (Spain), Norwegian National Opera and Ballet Theatre in Oslo (Norway)


Consortium headed by: Metropolis (Moscow)

Consortium member: Coop Himmelb(l)au (Vienna, Austria)

Their notable projects: Opera and Ballet Theatre in Sevastopol (Russia), Busan Film Center (South Korea), Museum and Theatre Complex in Kemerovo (Russia)


Theatre Lab Consortium under the leadership of: Rozhdestvenka Architect Bureau (Moscow)

Consortium member: Buro Smart (St Petersburg/Moscow)

Their notable projects: 1000th anniversary of Almaty Square (Kazakhstan)


Consortium headed by: Megabudka Architectural Bureau (Moscow)

Consortium members: Architect Bureau: FORM (Moscow), ZARF architects (Kazan)

Their notable projects: Kudykina Gora Natural Park Hospitality Center (Russia), Garage Museum of Contemporary Art building (jointly with OMA, Russia)


East Wind Consortium under the leadership of: Kazan State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering (Kazan)

Consortium members: DA! Architects (Shanghai, China), Dialog urban planning (Kazan)

Their notable projects: 2nd stage of improvement of Kaban lake embankment (Russia)


Consortium headed by: Wowhaus Bureau (Moscow)

Consortium members: Kengo Kuma & Associates (Tokyo, Japan), Werner Sobek (Stuttgart, Germany)

Their notable projects: Stanislavsky Electric Theatre (Russia), Darius Milhaud Conservatory (France). Besançon Arts and Culture Center (France)


Consortium headed by: Pride Creative Production Association (Moscow)

Consortium members: Zaha Hadid Architects (London, Great Britain), Atelier Ten (London, Great Britain), Theatre Projects (London, Great Britain)

Their notable projects: Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku (Azerbaijan), Guangzhou Opera House (China), Changsha Meixihu International Cultural Center (China)


Consortium headed by: Bespoke Architects (Kazan)

Consortium member: Asif Khan Studio (London, Great Britain)

Their notable projects: Carbon fiber portals for the public space entrance at Dubai Expo 2020 (UAE), Urban Business Center (Russia)


Source: The competition organisers