TAB 2022 launches Vision Competition “Circular Block — Reinventing the Mikrorayon

TAB 2022’s Vision Competition “Circular Block — Reinventing the Mikrorayon” explores architecture’s expressive capacity to convert waste to energy or matter via circular operations from the micro to the macro scale.

Lasnamäe, Tõnu Tunnel

Lasnamäe, Tõnu Tunnel

This year’s competition focuses on reimagining Tallinn’s Lasnamäe area, the largest housing district of the city, and its semi-sufficient urban unit, the so-called Mikrorayon. This area was built during the Soviet occupation with the aim of housing workers commuting to nearby factories and the city center. Characterized by large, prefabricated panel housing blocks, it remained unfinished. Today its capacity for growth is limited by its aging housing stock and lack of amenities associated with the economic shortage during its construction, as well as persisting socioeconomic segregation.

In the competition, the main task is to develop visions for new productive and social cohesive urban models that question the traditional linear and discrete consumption and production systems in cities, in Lasnamäe and beyond.

The curatorial team challenges applicants to consider the neighborhood as a territory, and to investigate design strategies that allow urban blocks to produce food for its inhabitants, generate required energy partially off the grid, use waste for generating energy or products, increase urban density using demolition waste, or implement blockchain technology for locally managing energy or material resources, among other possibilities.

 “The fragility of our production processes and the mobility networks that transport commodities and resources, such as food, urge new forms of localization and production. We invite architects, planners and urban thinkers to design and envision new connected systems and communities that question the traditional linear and discrete consumption and production systems in cities. Initially conceived for the Soviet micro-districts —mikrorayons— of Lasnamäe in Tallinn, the competition’s novel and scalable proposals should stand at the core of reinventing urban centers as productive and socially cohesive metabolic systems” – say Lydia Kallipoliti and Areti Markopoulou, Head Curators of TAB 2022.

The deadline for submissions is February 28th, 2022 and winners will be selected by May 2022 by an international jury comprising of Winy Maas (MVRDV, The Netherlands), Kaidi Põldoja (Spatial Planning Competence Centre of the Strategic Management Office of the City of Tallinn, Estonia), Benedetta Tagliabue (Miralles Tagliabue EMBT, Spain), Toomas Tammis (ArhitektuuriAgentuur and Allianss Arhitektid OÜ, Estonia), and Veronika Valk-Siska (Ministry of Culture of Estonia, Estonia).

Download a full brief here.