UNStudio win contest for residential development in Iasi, Romania

8 July 2022
  • UNStudio
  • UNStudio
  • UNStudio
  • UNStudio



New district to transform heritage city centre

Tenderstream member UNStudio has won the design competition for a residential development in the centre of Iasi, Romania. Described by the jury members as "the most complete and balanced response to the entire set of criteria in the theme of the competition", UNStudio were praised by the jury for a creative and innovative response to the challenges generated by the characteristics of the site, as well as respecting its valuable historical and cultural heritage. President of the jury, Dr. Șerban Țigănaș, praised all the finalists - including Tenderstream member Foster + Partners - stating: “All the works were of high quality from the perspective of meeting the criteria that had to be respected and we found that each of the offices participating in this competition made a consistent conceptual effort.”

UNStudio developed a design called “Bridging Time, Bridging Communities” based on the principle of "building around the horizon", which establishes a relationship with the city’s skyline while providing views to the surrounding heritage buildings. A planted patch connections the upper and lower elevations, forming an oasis in the city centre. The jury stated: “The framing of the perspectives to the main monuments is a successful technique, which fragments the base of the ensemble into six distinct bodies, ensuring the permeability at the level of the pedestrians and allowing the routes to cover the spaces. Thus, a real urban room is achieved, which becomes an attractive destination, both for the public and for the residents. The proposed atmosphere is complex, different and generous, with a multitude of overlapping plans, in which nature and contemporary architecture create relaxation spaces for all categories of users. The project is very open through flexibility for adaptations over time, both of housing and public spaces."

On hearing news of the win, Stella Nikolakaki, UNStudio senior architect and project manager, said: "I'm speechless. We hoped to win, but we did not expect it, because all the offices submitted amazing projects. We are very pleased, but also curious, because it is a very difficult project. That brings us enthusiasm, but it also empowers us, because we're going to have to manage all the challenges. But, in the end, I think it will be a very satisfactory approach.”

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

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