Open international competition

for the architectural design of the Governmental historic and cultural complex on the grounds of the former order castle Königsberg in Kaliningrad ("Post-castle")

Competition Brief

1. Background

In 2014, by order of the Kaliningrad Region Government, the NP Urban Planning Bureau ”Heart of the City” conducted an open international architectural and urban planning competition for a concept of the development of 56 ha area of Kaliningrad’s historic centre «Korolevskaya Gora and Its Surroundings”. The results of this competition have been used in the preparation of the “Consolidated planning concept” for the historic core of Kaliningrad, which is now under discussion. The documents will become a foundation for the future Masterplan, including the phasing of development and regeneration of historic areas in the contemporary context as well as a detailed model in the scale 1:400. The Masterplan shall reflect height parameters of the development, arrangement of public spaces and a new Main square, development regulations, parameters taking into account the archaeology of the place as well as regulations for the use of ground and underground levels of the planned development in the historic core of Kaliningrad.

Provisions of this Concept and the Masterplan will become a basis for the Terms of reference for the Site planning of competition areas, including a parcel plan to be developed. The next step will be investment cases for the areas of the first phase, to provide the integrated development of the currently abandoned historic centre, a historic place where Königsberg once emerged.

The key site in the future Masterplan and a new centre of Kaliningrad will be a Governmental historic and cultural complex, (hereafter “Complex”) to be located on the area of the former castle Königsberg, in the immediate vicinity from the House of the Soviets, a soviet office building, which has not been put into operation since 1989 and today dominates the Korolevskaya Gora.

The Competition brief consists of the assignment to guide entrants in their work and some background papers intended to clarify environment of the area and the centre of Kaliningrad, which should be used as a reference for design concepts to be proposed. 

2. About competition

Purpose of the facility: multifunctional - administration and cultural complex - a Governmental historic and cultural complex; its design should allow for a flexible change of the used spaces to meet strategic needs;

Organizer: NP "Urban Planning Bureau "Heart of the City", by order of the Kaliningrad Region Government and with assistance of the Kaliningrad City Administration.

The competition is open. Conditions for contracting to enter the competition as well as the terms and conditions for the competition entry submission are defined in the Competition Regulations and Competition Schedule (please see Annex No 1 to Competition Regulations). The working languages of the Competition are Russian and English.

The prize fund of the competition amounts to 4,1 million roubles, including the first prize of 2 million roubles, the second prize of 1 million roubles, two third prizes of 500 thousand roubles and a special prize following the results of open internet voting of 100 thousand roubles.

The delivery period is 3 months, starting from May 2015. The entrants admitted to the competition will be invited by the Organizer to the introductory workshop to clarify the Terms of Reference and to provide an  overview of the competition area and if necessary, an intermediate working session will be organized. 

The political part of the jury consists of the Client’s representatives (4 persons: Governor of the Kaliningrad Region, Chairman of the Regional Duma of Kaliningrad Region, Kaliningrad City Mayor and the Chairman of the City Council of Deputies of Kaliningrad). The professional part of the jury (5 persons) consists of specialists who have experience in synthesizing contemporary architecture with forms of the historic architectural heritage, including jury members of the previously held open international competition “Korolevskaya Gora and Its Surroundings”.

For the List of jury members please see Competition Organizer’s website.

Competition proposals should contain financial parameters of implementation (construction) phases (at least two phases). The first phase is up to 2018 (the Football World Cup) and the second phase is 2024 (Immanuel Kant’s anniversary).  

3. Competition site and contexts

The competition area is situated in the location that is of key importance for history of the former Königsberg, the former East Prussia and contemporary Kaliningrad and Kaliningrad Region. It has a strategic role for the development of new image for the central part as well as for the city and the region as a whole.

Boundaries of the main competition site: the central part of the urban area within the boundaries of the following streets: Leninsky Prospect, Moskovsky Prospect, Shevtchenko street (including the historic outline of the castle).

Boundaries of context areas: the site of the area of the House of Soviets building  

Land owners:

2,6 ha of the main competition site– the Kaliningrad Region Government + the Kaliningrad City Administration,

The land plot of the House of Soviets of 3,3 ha (within competition boundaries, a part of this area of 1,9 ha is under the House of Soviets construction site) – equity ownership by private sector capital, the Kaliningrad City Administration. 

4. Key functions of a Governmental historic and cultural complex

All-purpose (multifunctional) hall


• Concerts and adapted theatre performances for 1500 persons, including associated premises for audience and a behind-stage space; the hall space to be used should be possible to be easily reduced in size to host 1000 persons.

• Meetings of the Region’s Governor, the Region Government, official regional and city events in connection with national holidays and mass socio-political events for 1000-1500 persons. The hall capacity should allow conducting activities with amphitheatre seating as well as in the format of standing receptions.

Museum of archaeology

Necessary to envisage the conservation and use of the castle Königsberg basement structures in the body of the projected building in the variety of ways: as fragments of interiors/exteriors or as restored spaces or as open parts of exposition and others.

Furthermore, 1000 sq meters large premises are needed to accommodate the Museum of archaeology itself.

Museum of the King’s castle’s history

1000 sq. m. large premises are needed to accommodate expositions on the history of the castle, including the history of relations between Russia and East Prussia (ambassadors of the grand duke Vasily III; Grand Embassy of Peter the Great; Alexander Suvorov’s residence etc.)

Museum of rare objects (Reliquarium, «Kunstkammer”) combined with a Hall of ceremonies

A 600 sq. m. large hall is needed to accommodate temporary exhibitions of collections from the Diamond Fund of Russia, Armory and other special relics from museums and private collections.

The hall can be used for solemn ceremonies of the regional Government, Kaliningrad Administration, Civil Registry Office, for national prizes distribution and others.

Additional function

A space in the northern part of the competition area can be temporarily used for exhibitions, festivals, fairs and other events, in the combination with the neighboring spaces of the Main square (please see the Consolidated planning concept, Volume II).

5. Purposes and objectives

Purpose: to create a contemporary governmental complex on the “post-castle” area in a best possible balance with the history of the place and contemporary requirements to functions and image of the largest public building of the region, with restoration or other application of the castle Königsberg fragments (in particular, the western wing of the castle, related to the history of Russia).

The main objective for entrants should be to create an architectural and urban planning ensemble, integrating the projected Complex, the House of Soviets and a projected multi-functional public space in the north of the competition area. The ensemble should form a new Main square and be blended in the Consolidated planning concept based on the results of the international competition 2014 “Korolevskaya Gora and Its Surroundings” (please see Volume II).

The projected complex should be an integral fragment of the “main frontage” of the Upper City to form the general skyline of a new city centre and Korolevskaya Gora. The spatial architectural design of the Complex may use the castle’s fragments and images.

Additional objectives are:

  • To accomplish a harmonious balance of the projected complex with the House of Soviets, providing substantiation for the character and image of this combination. In this connection, entrants are supposed to proceed from the general composition problem “Post-castle + House of Soviets and propose modification or restoration of the House of Soviets façade design. Within this problem, they should also propose potential use of the House of Soviets and its ground floors.
  • To organize a Southern terrace in the south part of the competition area that would integrate a projected Complex with the House of Soviets to be reconstructed;
  • To provide a rationale for economic parameters of the first and second phases of the Governmental complex project implementation;
  • To develop the variability (flexibility) of architectural and planning concept, to combine the presentation part of the governmental complex with functions related to cultural, museum and educational events; to ensure flexibility of design proposals.  

6. Special conditions and restrictions

The eastern part of the project Governmental complex should form one of the perimeters (the western one) of the new Main square of Kaliningrad. In this connection, the eastern part of the complex should have some autonomous or half-autonomous functions with their two lower floors facing only the square or having a double vector of use “square/complex” (cafés, restaurants, services etc.).

The southern part of the Governmental complex should be a part of the developing Southern terrace, which would integrate it with the House of Soviets (please see the results of the international competition “Korolevskaya Gora and its Surroundings” 2014 and the Consolidated planning concept (please see Volume II). In this connection, the lower floors of the Governmental complex should be provided with public services, oriented on servicing visitors of the Southern terrace.

A panorama/scenic viewpoint or other architectural elements used for an “observation” function should be provided for in the Governmental complex to be designed.

The northern part of the Governmental complex may either function on a temporary basis for public events or frame a pedestrian space between the northern façade of the Governmental complex and facilities along Shevtchenko Street.

Underground spaces. The intensive use of underground spaces should be provided for parking and vehicular and/pedestrian traffic. The use of the existing pedestrian subway should be provided.

Green landscaping. It is essential to keep a number of trees planted along Shevtchenko Street in the 1960s in the northern part of the competition area and to provide for a green space on the projected Southern Terrace.

Optional An entrant can propose a supplementary option for the architectural design of the Complex with minimum as well as maximum use of historic elements and forms of the castle. 

1. Site plan with the consolidated concept, combined with the Transportation and guest traffic scheme, S 1:1000 (based on the layout diagram of panels (please Section 9 “Baselines”) and applying plans for the use of the Korolevskaya Gora’s underground space that are available in the previous competition entries (please see Section 10 “References and recommendations”)

2. Floor plans (3-4 levels S 1:500), including zoning for the use of the complex

3. A number of sections (not less than 2) needed to develop design concepts, S 1:500

4. “Exploded view drawing”, S 1:500

5. Silhouette panorama over the Upper city and the Korolevskaya Gora, view from the Kant Island.

6. 3D-views of the complex from the viewpoints, specified in Section 9 "Baselines".

7. Layout for the phased development of the complex, S 1:1000

8. Explanatory note with financial feasibility conclusions for the first and second phases as well as indicative technical and economic performance, including the commercial part of the complex, a square forming the ground floors, a street space and terrace (maximum 5 pages in one language).

A slide-show (not more than 40 slides) or 1-2 minute long video for one of design options, including a governmental complex flyover, should become a support material for the design concept.

Note: 1) entrants are allowed additionally to provide their visions in respect of the preserved ruins of the King’s castle in case their vision does not coincide with the condition to outline the Western wing of the former castle. To do this, entrants can produce not more than 2 extra panels of the format A0, which will be later exhibited separately from the main exposition.

2) All materials should be displayed on 4 panels of the format A0 (please see the Layout of panels in the Album of plans)  

The form of competition deliverables is mandatory and the same for all entrants of the Competition. The layout diagram of panels and the form of competition materials to be delivered to the Competition Organizer are described in the Competition Regulations and will be specified at the first introductory workshop or a videoconference. All text elements of the panels and an explanatory note should in two languages: Russian and English.

Materials should be submitted:

1. in electronic form: in pdf, with no less than 300 dpi resolution. Files should be produced on a panel-by-panel basis in accordance with the layout diagram included in the Competition Regulations (4 A0 format panels). Each panel should have an 8x16 cm large rectangular placed vertically in its upper right corner. The upper part of the square should be used for numbering a panel, while the lower part should be left empty, to be filled in by the Competition organizers. All competition materials shall be submitted by the Participant anonymously, excluding names, logos or any other labels referring to the authorship.

The deadline for electronic copy submission is defined in the Competition Schedule (please see Annex 1 to Competition Regulations) and to be specified in the Contract with competition entrants. The printing of competition materials for the jury’s work and final exhibition will be done by the Competition Organizer.

2. The following submissions shall be sent as a hard copy: 1) a sealed envelope, white color, A4 format, (without any inscriptions or identification marks) containing the A4 paper mentioning the name of the company, the name and surname of Team leader and the names of contributing co-authors (if any) written in Russian and in English; 2) the layout of all panel composition, the A2 format (490 x 594 mm) Control poster of a competition entry shall be submitted both in electronic form and as a hard copy. The poster should have a 5x6 cm large blank rectangular space placed horizontally in the upper corner.

The Control poster of the entry shall be also sent to the Competition Organizer's email address as a backup material for the entrant’s work results. The deadline for the control poster submission is stipulated in the Contract to be concluded with Competition entrants.

Entrants are allowed to propose additional options for the use and possible associated functions of the Governmental historic and cultural complex. They may also use additional materials to show their vision of how fragments of the competition area historic heritage could be reconstructed. 

1. Album of plans, including:

1) Basic land-use plan;

2) Layout of archaeological sites;

3) Boundaries of the design area (on the up-to-date topographic base and on the design concepts of the Consolidated planning concept of the “Heart of the City” Project areas, Phase 1);

4) Layout diagram of panels;

5) Existing archaeological excavation sites on the historic plans of the cellars of the castle;

6) Boundaries of the archaeological excavation sites superimposed over the plans of the castle’s underground floors and the up-to-date topographic base + a photo-record of the current state of excavations;

2. Historic and cultural study of the “Heart of the City” Project areas (2013), a fragment;

3. Consolidated Planning Concept of the “Heart of the City” Project Areas Development, Phase 1, based on the results of the International competition “Korolevskaya Gora and Its Surroundings” (2014). It includes a new Main square (parameters, functions, zoning) and proposals for planning design concepts, the transportation plan. Album.

4. A disc of baselines in the electronic form, including:

1) Topographic base, S 1:500 and S 1:2000;

2) Consolidated planning concept of the “Heart of the City” Project Areas Development, Phase 1”, based on the results of the International competition “Korolevskaya Gora and Its Surroundings” (2014), PDF.

3) Friedrich Lahrs’s historical documents on measurements of the castle;

4) Boundaries of the archaeological excavation sites superimposed over the plans of the castle’s underground floors and the up-to-date topographic base + a photo-record of the current state of excavations;

5) The photo panorama for entries embedding (3-4 types);

6) Boundaries of the land-use areas, adjacent to the competition area;

7) Spatial and functional programming of the Governmental historic and cultural complex (a diagram of interior spaces and their functional interrelation);

8) Proposals (Concept) for the organization of the main Fan-zone for the 2018 Football World Cup in Kaliningrad;

9) Documents related to the House of Soviets.

10) Main viewpoints for 3D-views of the complex building;

1. Materials of the International architectural and urban planning competition (Korolevskaya Gora and its surroundings, 2014).

2. Historical and analytical review. “Korolevskaya Gora (King's Mountain) in Kaliningrad: Projects and Concepts for its Development.” (O. Vasjutin, A. Popadin)

3. Graduation projects by students of the Department of Architecture at TU Braunschweig (Germany), 2004.

4. The House of Soviets (design, background, assessment)

5. Results of the survey of Kaliningrad citizens on the parameters of the reconstruction of the Order’s castle Königsberg. Kaliningrad. May, 2015

To get an access to the Album of plans, the Disc of baselines and other materials please contact Nadezhda Belesheva, Executive Secretary of the Competition,  e-mail: or by phone +7 967 351 30 70

Please note that the file with clarifications of the certain items of the Terms of Reference following the discussions during the Introductory Workshop held on 24 June, is available below for downloading.