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UNStudio's Masterplan Reshapes Sochi Waterfront into an Inclusive Neighbourhood and a Year-Round Destination

UNStudio's Masterplan Reshapes Sochi Waterfront into an Inclusive Neighbourhood and a Year-Round Destination

UNStudio has won the competition to redesign Sochi Waterfront with a masterplan that creates the framework for a vibrant urban environment for the local community while shaping a new identity for the notorious leisure resort on the Black Sea coast. Dubbed SoCo, the proposal seeks to create a year-round destination that would provide visitors with new attractions within Russia’s most important holiday destination, building on existing natural and cultural resources. At the same time, the design strategy focuses on shaping a close connection to the landscape and natural environment, building the foundation for inclusive neighbourhoods that would bring together various social groups.

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UNStudio's Masterplan Reshapes Sochi Waterfront into an Inclusive Neighbourhood and a Year-Round Destination - Image 5 of 16
© ZOA Studio

A historical seaport and an anchor among the Black Sea Resorts, Sochi is home to various cultural venues, such as the most famous concert hall in the south of Russia, an art museum, the Winter and Summer Theatre. In addition, being a former host of the Winter Olympic Games, the city benefits from a coherent and well-developed infrastructure. The masterplan aims to build on this existing fabric and integrate the cultural venues within the new development, shaping a robust identity. The proposal weaves together a series of green areas while a cultural spine links all the major cultural facilities, creating a solid foundation for events like the Sochi Architectural Biennale, Sochi Design week, Sochi Film Festival and Sochi Fashion week.

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© ZOA Studio

To shape this enriched experience for the local community and visitors alike, the design operates with several key interventions. The proposal extends the beach area and creates a new marina, envisioned as a business and innovation centre featuring hotels, conference facilities, a yacht club and a Design and Innovation Museum. At the opposite end of the beach, the masterplan creates a new anchor point, this time dedicated to the local community. The Festival Village is designed to accommodate local activities, casual gatherings. Between these two extreme ends of SoCo, UNStudio proposes three themed districts, in a crescendo of visual intensity, activity and scale: SoCo Playgrounds, SoCo Arts & Culture, and SoCo Healthy Lifestyle, each with its distinct character, programme and urban fabric.


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Running along the development are three routes, each providing different speeds, atmospheres and experiences along the waterfront. The Lanes feature shops and restaurants, while Boardwalk is lined with palm trees and bathing spots. Weaving these two is a nature-focused walk that connects all layers of activity, dubbed the Green Wave. The routes are dotted with various attractions and destinations like concert halls, pop-up galleries, and botanical gardens. As stated by the design team, technology and sustainability will play an important role within the new development, with various targets for carbon neutrality, biodiversity and climate resilience.

UNStudio's Masterplan Reshapes Sochi Waterfront into an Inclusive Neighbourhood and a Year-Round Destination - Image 7 of 16
© UNStudio

  • UNStudio Team: Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos, Frans van Vuure with Dana Behrman, Alexander Kalachev and Melinda Matuz, Roman Kristesiashvili, Saba Nabavi Tafreshi, Vlad Cuc, Nataliya Kuznetsova, Olga Kotta, Yimin Yang
  • Placemaking & Branding: JTP Studio
  • Engineering & Cost: Spectrum Group
  • Local Architecture: Amirov Architects
  • Video Production: Boma Video Production
  • Visualization: ZOA Studio
  • Education and Culture: European Cultural Academy
  • Academic and Culture: Kuban State University

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Cite: Andreea Cutieru. "UNStudio's Masterplan Reshapes Sochi Waterfront into an Inclusive Neighbourhood and a Year-Round Destination" 22 Jul 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/965494/unstudios-masterplan-reshapes-sochi-waterfront-into-an-inclusive-neighbourhood-and-a-year-round-destination> ISSN 0719-8884
© ZOA Studio

UNStudio 俄罗斯索契海滨规划方案,三条路线全天活跃

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