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Moscow Circus School, Moscow, Russia

Thursday 21 Apr 2016

HLM wins in Moscow

Moscow Circus School by HLM Architects in Moscow, Russia
Moscow Circus School by HLM Architects in Moscow, Russia Moscow Circus School by HLM Architects in Moscow, Russia
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An HLM design comes out on top in Moscow Circus School design competition 

HLM has won an international 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 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.”

WAN Business Information team published this competition 19/11/2015 and the project details can be found here. Our team can help to target latest global architectural developments. Start your 7 day free trial here or contact our team at

Nick Myall

News Editor

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