Novaya Zemlya team win Derbent Urban District Masterplan International Design competition

Recently the winners were announced for the Derbent Urban District Masterplan International Design competition. Experts reviewed the concepts of the three finalists and chose the best design. The winner was a team led by Novaya Zemlya including Groupe Huit (France), Mae Architects (United Kingdom), West 8 (Netherlands), and NRU HSE (Russia).

The master plan developed by the competitors is an important document that should determine the medium-term vectors of the socio-economic and spatial development of Derbent. Thanks to this, the oldest city in Russia will be transformed from the inside and integrated into global processes

For the first time in Dagestan, a winning design was selected as a result of an open jury meeting under the eyes of the media and observers. The meeting was continuously broadcast for 4 hours until the official announcement of the competition results. The finalists, being representatives of three consortia (led by the IND Architects architectural bureau, the Genplan Institute of Moscow, and Novaya Zemlya), presented the results of their three-month work and answered the jury’s questions live.

At the end of the meeting, a vote count showed that the jury chose the consortium led by Novaya Zemlya as the winner. The Franco-British-Dutch-Russian team proposed a concept that considers Derbent as a “crossroads of cultures and eras”. It is based on the principle of a “compact city” and human scale, which involves the development of territories with existing infrastructure, excludes the creation of isolated “bedroom communities”, and also contributes to the creation of a tourist center. The competitors are confident that balanced development of regional centers of social and commercial infrastructure will provide residents with everything they need within walking distance and reduce the load on the transport network. As planned by the members of the consortium, Derbent should become a green city again. Eco-friendly, comfortable streets will connect all urban areas. The “green belt” on the outskirts, created with the help of the citizens, will limit uncontrolled development and improve the ecological situation.

Second place was taken by the consortium led by IND Architects, which included ADEPT (Denmark), SWA (USA), Knight Frank (Russia), and RussiaDiscovery (Russia). Third place was taken by the consortium led by the Genplan Institute of Moscow (Russia), which included Ginzburg and Architects (Russia) and the Dagestani bureau SKTS (Russia).


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Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at