As part of the forthcoming 300th anniversary celebrations of the Siberian city of Omsk, the city decided to refurbish and renovate Valikhanov Street in the city centre, which cuts through historic parts of the town. The project involved the design and construction of steel and glass “crystals” to be scattered along the street as if by an imaginary “wizard”. In total there were 11 crystals: three canopies (providing a much needed crossing under the busy road), five information kiosks, two fountains (including a larger design intended as a local ‘Arc de Triomphe’) and a stacked glass sculpture.
The judges were very impressed by this collection of small projects for Omsk that combine to make an outstanding collection of work. This clearly required a great deal of concerted effort by a relatively small practice. The structural engineering design is imaginative and the results are very elegant. This is a great example of the impact that a small practice can have in town or city – it is not the scale of project that counts but the scale of ambition and imagination.