The proposal titled “Bridging Time, Bridging Communities” by UNStudio was selected as the winner of the international competition organized by Iulius company. The international competition “Un Iași Pentru Viitor” invited four offices to participate, Foster + Partners, MVRDV, UNStudio, and Zaha Hadid Architects. The main challenge of the competition was to design a building that would blend into a complex urban environment filled with historical monuments, new archaeological discoveries, and open public spaces. The winning proposal responded coherently to the site’s particularities.

Competition to Design a New Residential District in Iași, Romania won by UNStudio - Sheet1
Bridging Time, Bridging Communities_©Romania Insider

UNStudio’s proposal is for a complex with both residential and public facilities. The volume considers the city’s skyline and hopes to be a subtle representation. Lower levels of the development are designed to promote pedestrian circulation from the St.Andrei neighborhood to Palace Square, one of the city’s most prominent public spaces. The site’s topography helped to develop a green oasis in the center of the complex.

Competition to Design a New Residential District in Iași, Romania won by UNStudio - Sheet2
Pedestrian Circulation at lower levels_©Romania Insider

The new building design adapts to frame valuable views of the surrounding historical monuments. As a result of these perspectives, the building’s body is divided into six volumes, further enhancing its permeability. In addition to this, the landscaped terraces contribute to creating a vibrant public space for future residents and locals.

Competition to Design a New Residential District in Iași, Romania won by UNStudio - Sheet3
Green Oasis in the center of the complex_©Romania Insider

“This is my fourth visit to Iași, and I learn something new every time I come here. For our project to be respectful of the city’s historical monuments, we studied the urban context intensively. As part of the project, we designed a sustainable solution for future generations and are honored to play a role in this. – Arjan Dingsté, director and senior architect at UNStudio “.

Competition to Design a New Residential District in Iași, Romania won by UNStudio - Sheet4
City of Iași_©Romania Insider

According to the jury, the project by UNStudio was “the most comprehensive and balanced response to the full set of competition criteria.” The project focused on developing the design around the theme of “City Horizon.”

Volume with City Horizon at the center of planning_©Romania Insider

Further, they added, “In comparison with the other proposals, the volume of the building is flat and the lowest. The city’s horizon extends along the plateau of the Palace of Culture Square, enabling 360-degree panoramic views of the city, its buildings, and its surroundings. Between higher and lower levels of the site, the planted parcourse serves as a link to create an oasis.” 

The jury was composed of architects Șerban Țigănaș, Augustin Ioan, Dragoș Ciolacu, Mihai Corneliu Drișcu, Matei Bogoescu and historian Cătălin Turliuc, specialized in patrimonial conservation.


  1. Archdaily.UNStudio Wins Competition to Design a New Residential District in Iași, Romania.[online].Available At:,-Save%20this%20article&text=Save%20this%20picture!&text=UNStudio%20has%20been%20announced%20as,historical%20center%20of%20Ia%C8%99i%2C%20Romania.
  2. Romania Insider.UNStudio wins international architecture competition for development in downtown Iași.[online].Available At:

Mrinal is a curious, open-minded person who is keen to explore the world around her. She is a nature lover who enjoys traveling, reading, sketching, and photography. She believes that words are portable magic. She yearns to share the tales of Cities, Architecture, Nature, Cultures, and People through her writing.