Lakhta Center – a large scale project of the construction of a modern business area in the north-west of Saint Petersburg. Opening in 2018.
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Lakhta Center architectural concept will be created based on the project which was previously designed to be constructed on Okhta promontory in Krasnogvardeysky district. The project will be significantly revised and adjusted to the new location and site layout. As assessed on a preliminary basis the costs for the adjustment of the project of the business center which was approved earlier in Lakhta will be not more than 30-50% of the cost of the design and approval of the new project. Furthermore the existing project of the business complex has passed through all state authorities which acknowledged its compliance with the relevant standards and requirements which will accelerate the construction of the new center by 2 years and significantly reduce the costs of the design and approval of the new project.
The project of a business center with a high-rise landmark and base buildings was selected as a result of an international architectural contest conducted by the investor in 2006. The winner of the contest was RMJM company (Tony Kettle Design Director) which proposed a project complying with the requested functions of the future headquarters of a large energy company and concordant with the architectural traditions of Petersburg.
Petersburg was created as a city of horizontals. A flat lowland dictated buildings relatively even in height, and in some spots accentuated with high-rise ensembles. The spire of the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Admiralty, the doom of the St. Isaac’s Cathedral are city forming landmarks with architectural ensembles around them.
The role of the high-rise building envisaged in the concept of a business center is played in the creation of an architectural accent of a business center which will be constructed on the former industrial and un-built areas. Without competing with the traditional city’s landmarks due to the remoteness from the historic buildings, the high-rise ensemble on the coast of the Gulf of Finland will be a city forming element and a draw of attraction for a new development project and business in a new developing district of the city.
The main architectural motives of Petersburg are reflected in the concept of a business center. It is a theme of a lonely spire in the horizontal landscape, and leaning base buildings symbolizing the ship hull, and maritime theme of wave-like bearing structures. An organic form of the building symbolizes the power of water, the flow of space, openness and lightness. The effect of free fall and maximum blending of the future complex with the environment will be emphasized by the glass of a special type, owning to this glass the tower will change its colors creating a feeling of a living being.
At present the architectural concept is being revised which will enable to insert the buildings of the future business complex into new surroundings on the coast of the Gulf of Finland. Young Russian architects will be involved in the work related to some parts of the project including the embankment and berths.
The architect’s task was to implement the project of a new ultramodern skyscraper in the city with a rich cultural and historical context, the historical centre of which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Tony Kettle, the author of the architectural concept of the Lakhta Center: “The flowing forms of water, the glinting spires of the Peter and Paul cathedral, the size of the sky canvas above the horizontal grain. My sense was very much to create something that was as light and elegant as the historical forms, capturing the changes in daylight in a similar way to that of the golden domes and spires.”
“The tower was designed as a simple organic spire with asymmetrical movement in its skin, to be seen as a singular landmark at city scale. Underlying the simple elegance of its exterior there are actually five individual twisting towers, each with its own glazed skin. These come together and taper around a diminishing circular core, enveloped by a further insulating skin.”