Imeretinsky Valley
Sochi, Russian Federation

A part of Imeretinskaya Valley is the area designated to host the ice-skating stadiums as well as the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Erick van Egeraat has developed an alternative masterplan for the entire valley in co-operation with Moscow based Russian planner Karatayev and Dutch hydro-technical engineers Witteveen+Bos. The project’s defining element is its use of a very simple soil improvement system that has been in operation in The Netherlands for hundreds of years. This allows for the extraction of excess water, preserving both the characteristic landscape and the majority of the existing habitation. This so-called “polder system” consists of a network of small canals used to extract all excess water in the area. Erick van Egeraat states: “Especially in an area with such poor soil conditions, we have an obligation to find sustainable solutions. This is why our proposal incorporates as much as possible the existing characteristics of the site instead of going against them. It does not cover the swampland with millions of cubic meters of sand and saves most of the amalgam of houses that are there. Of course a lot will change in this valley, but it can be done at a substantially lower cost and with more sensitivity towards the people living in the region.” The plan accommodates the future Olympic stadiums and provides a much-needed vision for a post Olympic sustainable development of Imeretinskaya Valley after the Winter Olympics.

Russian Federation
2,000,000 m2
Assigned by
Design in 2009