Europe Embankment

Design of the facades of a residential and commercial building in St Petersburg

TYPES: Office and Commercial
LOCATION: St. Petersburg
YEAR: 2010
CLIENT: nps tchoban voss GmbH & Co.KG
ACTIVITIES: Preliminary and final design
AREA: 12.100 sqm

This project is the result of a competition by invitation for the design of the facades and lobbies of a building for residential and commercial use in the Russian city of St. Petersburg. The project is part of a largest urban intervention, called European Embankment, a work of Eugeny Gerasimov Studio and Sergey Tchoban Studio, situated on the Neva river banks in front of the Hermitage Museum.
The design of the 4° Building facade of the European Embankment is strongly inspired by Italian Rationalism. The first choice focuses on linearity and purity of the forms in order to recover the essential elements of the facade and create a direct relationship between form and function avoiding any redundant decorative element.
The second design approach bases on a clear composition for the identification of typical elements of the project.
The competition required the design of a new facade for an already designed building and it has been considered as a starting point. According the competition brief, the new façade had to be a sort of skin covering all the original building expect for its rear part.
After having ideally covered the building with a continuous surface, the main facade has been deformed through its vertical section: four axes were drawn. The first one starts at the ground floor and defines the plot perimeter, the second one is at 8,40 m height and break in 50 centimeters the building eroding the original volume, the third  axis is imagined at the building frame height (22,80 meters height) and moves 75 cm beyond the limit of the plot size. The fourth one is defined by the upper limit of the attic roof  (27,85 meters height), and it breaks 50 cm inwards along the three exterior facades while being aligned to the inner surface.
The facade is also divided into two different parts: one developing under the second axis, composed by a sequence of columns, and the other above the axis through a sequence of recessed or bow windows, thus appearing as new architectural elements.