St. Petersburg: The Latest Architecture and News
The Lakhta Center, a 400,000-square-meter complex which includes Europe's tallest skyscraper, is approaching completion in St Petersburg. Designed by RMJM (authoring team led by Tony Kettle), the complex provides a new landmark in the northwest of the city—an area on the coastline of the Gulf of Finland which has seen significant development in recent years with the completion of the St Petersburg Stadium, a passenger seaport, and a number of park spaces including the Park of the 300th Anniversary of Saint Petersburg.
The centerpiece of the development, the 462-meter-tall Lakhta Center Tower, is not only the tallest building in Europe, but also the first supertall skyscraper in St Petersburg, the world's second-tallest twisting skyscraper after the Shanghai Tower, and the world's northernmost skyscraper.
From the creators of Museum Of The History Of Polish Jews in Warsaw, comes a competition finalist proposal for the new Museum for the Defense and Siege of Leningrad in St. Petersburg. Lahdelma & Mahalmäki Architects, in collaboration with Ralph Appelbaum Associates, designed three main parts: the Thread of Life (museum and exhibitions), the Memorial of Heroes of Leningrad and the Square of Testimony. Thought to have the popular vote, this entry sought to redevelop and reconnect the city of to the park and museum with its Neo-Classical grid.
While Yekaterinburg’s avant-garde architecture is the city’s hallmark, and Moscow’s avant-garde is the subject of arguments, in Saint Petersburg the prominence of the style and its influence are somewhat harder to identify. Some researchers even suggest that the avant-garde is an “outcast” or a “non-existent style” here, and its presence in has remained largely unrecognized. Alexander Strugach sheds light on this phenomenon:
In Saint Petersburg, the avant-garde style is simply overshadowed by an abundance of Baroque, Modernist and Classical architecture, and is not yet considered an accomplished cultural heritage category. Meanwhile, gradual deterioration makes proving the cultural value of avant-garde buildings even more difficult.
In this article, which originally appeared in the Calvert Journal, Ksenia Litvinenko narrates the story of the K-2 Dacha – a governmental residence in St. Petersburg which sought to shrug off Russian Classicism and Soviet Modernism in favor of the principles of Finnish Modernism. Illustrated by photographs by Egor Rogalev and researched alongside Vladimir Frolov, this article examines a Modernist gem that you probably won't have heard of, or seen, before.
If you ever find yourself in St. Petersburg, take a taxi along the Pesochnaya embankment, far away from the polished attractions of the city centre. Sit back and watch the landscape changing on the other bank of the Malaya Nevka. Among the trees you will see the former dachas of Russian nobles, private residences of local officials and the buildings of the new elite, overlooking the river. This is the best and perhaps the only perspective from which to see the K-2 dacha.
A team composed of KCAP Architects&Planners and ORANGE Architects has been awarded first place in a competition to design the western-most tip of Vasilievsky Island in St. Petersburg, Russia. The 15 hectare site will become a new part of the city of St. Petersburg, extending it into the Gulf of Finland through a new variety of urban functions. Thus, the project symbolizes the “new face of St. Petersburg as an entrance of the city from the water.”
The St. Petersburg City Council has approved Rogers Partners, Ken Smith and ASD's "Pier Park" redesign, allocating funds towards demolition of the current pier and pre-construction work. The design, selected through a city-sponsored competition, will replace "an aging icon" - a 1970s inverted pyramid structure that occupies the pier's head - and focus on integrating flexible, community-oriented program throughout the site and surrounding area.
“Each of the pier’s past incarnations had its own set of programs and uses, some more ambitious than others,” commented John Curran, studio leader at ASD and lead project manager for the new pier. “The ones that succeeded appealed to both visitors and residents, and were active day and night, throughout the year. This flexibility was essential to our approach to the new design.”
A consortium of Tampa-based ASD, Rogers Partners Architects+Urban Designers, and Ken Smith Landscape Architect has been announced as winners of the second St. Petersburg Pier redesign competition. Chosen after the city failed to implement Michael Maltzen Architecture’s competition-winning proposal due to strong public opposition, the new winning scheme, "Pier Park" takes a more scaled down (and affordable) approach to redesigning the site's landmark 1970s pier by focusing on public experience rather than architectural intervention.
Read on after the break for more on the $46 million Pier Park proposal.
After deliberating over eight shortlisted proposals to reimagine the St. Petersburg Pier, the Pier Selection Committee has narrowed the competition down to three designs. Though the proposals vary widely in aesthetics, the finalists all approached the project as an opportunity to express the past while embracing modern forms and incorporating strong public programs.
Next on the agenda, the Pier Selection Committee will conduct an initial public meeting on April 23 in which finalists will present clarifications on their designs, followed later that day with a second meeting to announce the teams' rankings. Based on these proceedings, one design will be chosen for further development, in collaboration with the city. Check out the three finalists, after the break.
After public outcry rejected Michael Maltzan Architecture’s winning entry “The Lens,” which sought to replace St. Petersburg Pier with an ambitious sail-like concrete canopy and aquatic habitat, the fate of the structurally inapt inverted pyramid remained in limbo. Now, two years after the culmination of the original competition, the City of St. Petersburg, Florida, alongside the preservations of the Concerned Citizens of St. Pete, has selected eight scaled back proposals in hopes that one will provide a sensible solution that will both maximize the pier’s potential and satisfy the locals.
Shortlisted competitors, including FR-EE / Fernando Romero EnterprisE, Alfonso Architects, and Rogers Partners, received a $30,000 stipend to submit these preliminary design concepts, complete with reports, renderings and cost estimates. Take a look at all eight proposals, after the break.
The first to use this type of free-form geodesic geometry in the United States, HOK’s Salvador Dali Museum is a Floridian landmark in St. Petersburg known for housing one of the most important collections of a single artist’s work in the world. Referring to it as “The Dali,” architect Yann Weymouth and museum director Dr. Hank Hine discuss their intentions behind the building’s design in this interview with TheCoolist.com.
When you visit the galleries of Guggenheim Helsinki, you may have to bring a life vest. This submission to the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition floats the idea of a museum over water, traveling between the ports of St. Petersburg, Tallinn, and Helsinki. Proposed as a hypothetical submission to the worldwide contest, the team at OfficeUS delve into the notion of transience in the new world of architourism. The brief reads: "As a global freeport, the museum develops a completely new infrastructure, offering the strategic tax benefits of freeport art storage while enabling exhibitions of some of the most important pieces of modern art and design." Upcoming exhibits include (hypothetically) Olafur Elliasson, Yves Klein and Thomas Demand.
The city of St. Petersburg, Florida is once more seeking candidates for the design of its new pier. The call comes two years after a pier design by Michael Maltzan Architecture was selected over rival schemes by BIG and West 8, but was eventually turned down after significant public criticism. To avoid a repeat of that incident, the current selection process for candidates and their subsequent proposals will incorporate more community input.
More on the competition after the break
Alfonso Architects have been awarded the building project for the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement (MAACM) in St. Petersburg, Florida. Hundreds of objects from the early 20th century movement - including furniture, pottery and paintings - have been offered by the museum's patron, art collector Rudy Ciccarello, in collaboration with the Two Red Roses Foundation.
Galleries and exhibit spaces, says lead architect Alberto Alfonso, are inspired by the "detailing and customization of materials and joinery" characteristic of the era. The four-story, 90,000 square-foot museum "is a tremendous gift by Mr. Ciccarello for the city of St. Petersburg and our state," adds Alfonso.
Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas will design a new project for the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. RIA Novosti and The Calvert Journal report that the new building will be “located in the museum's storage facility in Staraya Derevnya in the north of the city” and that it “will house the Hermitage Library, the Costume Museum, the gallery's publishing arm, and a public event space.” This projects marks Koolhaas’ continued presence in Russia; he has been collaborating and teaching at the Strelka Institute and is currently working on the Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture in Moscow's Gorky Park.
On May 2, Russia’s preeminent Mariinsky Theatre will celebrate the grand opening of a new, 851,575 square foot addition on a neighboring site, just west of the company’s original 1860 theatre and 2006 concert hall, in the heart St. Petersburg. Designed by Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects, Mariinsky II will be one of the largest theatre and concert venues in the world, providing a 2000-seat auditorium, state-of-the-art production facilities, and naturally lit rehearsal rooms, along with a rooftop amphitheatre and terrace.
The project, known as "The Lens," has hit speed-bumps due to local dissidents, who have been vocally wary of the new Pier's price-tag/design and have called for a voter referendum. However, the architects have been sensitive to the process; since first winning the competition in January (beating out both BIG and West 8), the firm has taken part in local workshops in order to get community input, making some significant changes to the original design.
After receiving local criticism that the Pier include more things "to do" and more shading, the firm has adjusted the design to include two restaurants, shaded balconies, and - in order to improve access - a road that can support service vehicles and a tram. Most noticeably, the plan for an underwater reef garden, the signature feature which gave the project its name, has had to be scratched: scientists have determined that a reef garden would be unrealistic with Tampa Bay's dark water.
Last night's 7-1 vote determined that the project will now receive funding in smaller, pre-approved increments in order to safeguard against potential legal complications. However, no mater the outcome, the closure and the demolition of the current St. Petersburg Pier will take place between May and August 2013; if all goes to plan for Michael Maltzan Architecture, "The Lens" will open in summer 2015.
See updated Renderings for "The Lens," and a really cool video, after the break...