MARCH 22, 2018
'Bechu & Associés' architectural bureau (France) has won the competition for best architecture and urban planning concept for the EXPO Park in Ekaterinburg. The competition was held because the Ural capital is running for the international EXPO exhibition venue in 2025.
An area of 555 hectares has been reserved for the park on Verkh-Isetsktyi pond waterfront.

According to the governor's department of information policy, Bechu & Associés designed EXPO parks in Milan and Shanghai. Among the ideas put forward by the French specialists is the creation of a museum reflecting the Ural identity and an art gallery for worldwide human achievements. Competition entries for designing the concept of EXPO park came from Russia, Belarus, France, Italy, Japan, Poland, Great Britain and the USA.

The second prize in the competition was given to 'In.Form' architectural group from Yekaterinburg. The concept was created by a group of designers directed by Timur Abdullaev, former Chief Architect of Yekaterinburg.
Apart from the competition for the best architecture and planning concept, there was a competition for the best social and philosophical concept. In this category, the winning project was presented by Vladimir Sbeglov, an undergraduate student from the Ural University of Architecture and Arts. The young man bases his concept on the fact that a modern city has its limits in development, and he suggests looking for a way out. The main limitation, in his opinion, deals with the issue of land use. That is why the author suggests using hexagonal structures as a basis for EXPO park, as a second floor elevating over the ground level. 'The idea has been recognized as interesting, bold, albeit utopian,' it says in the official statement from the department.

The winners were chosen by the jury secret ballot, with the governor Yevgenyi Kuivashev as the head of the jury. The prize fund is 5 million rubles.

Apart from that, the competition committee decided to award incentive prizes to twenty more participants with valuable suggestions – ten in each category. Among them are Ural designers from 'Dominanta' company; Ural State University of Architecture and Arts artistic group; Liliya Likhacheva, Dr. hab. in Sociology, USTU Cultural Science Department professor; Tatyana Fleganova, 'Osobye Lyudi' association president.

Apart from Yekaterinburg, Osaka (Japan) and Baku (Azerbaijan) are competing for the right to host the international exhibition from May 2 to November 2 in 2025. Paris has withdrawn its bid, claiming that the preparation and organization of the exhibition are too expensive. The results of the competition will be announced in autumn 2018.