HLM, which has an office in Plymouth, has won an international ideas competition to design a new Circus School in Moscow. The competition, run by Concours d’Architecture, was to design a contemporary space for aspiring circus performers, taking into account the special requirements of a circus, as well as the urban context and impact of the building.
Belinda Ercan and Maryam Fazel, from HLM’s Sheffield office, designed the winning entry with an eye-catching, cutting-edge and unconventional design. The entry, entitled ‘Elytra’, was described as “a well-deserved gem towering over Moscow’s culturally diverse Tverskoy district”.
The design aims to provide a new environment to inspire creativity and to connect visitors and performers, while providing a new home for Moscow’s thriving art and culture scene.
The concept was based on the forewings of an insect that open up to create a protective shell. Central to the design is its transparency of activities, granting the public to catch a glimpse of the activities inside by providing roof access to the building. The open-air amphitheatre celebrates the fusion of both public and private and creates a dialogue and visual connectivity between visitors and circus performers. The design also offers a flexible space that can be used as exhibition or event space, theatre performances, and restaurants.
Jeremy Pickard, HLM’s Design Director, said: “Using the competition as a mechanism within the HLM Academy to further explore different design-processes and form-making, led to a series of extremely interesting and thought-provoking submissions, which challenged our regional teams to deliver ideas within an extremely short space of time. We are extremely pleased with the result, and thoroughly enjoy the platform AC-CA provides for designers of all ages and experience to test themselves on such a diverse range of briefs.”