The redevelopment of a former factory site is always a challenging task. In this case the complex architectural brief together with the significant site location in the neighbourhood’s life combined an even more challenging design exercise.
Various site specific circumstances created a difficult task to locate the right position of our mixed use scheme while the creation of links between the different transportation means would have required stretching the development across the whole site. It became clear very quickly that such development can only be feasible if this retail and entertainment centre would not only function as a transport interchange but would also be established in symbiosis with the external landscaping.
To resolve all the site issues the landscape design became as critical as an efficient building layout. While developing the scheme we had to take into consideration to keep the construction and structural methods fairly simply and cost efficient. To achieve this goal it required setting up a very simple column grid which allowed the traditional construction methods to dominate the whole project. This rational layout we optimised for a multi-level car park, while still allowing a very efficient retail scheme to be delivered on top.
Once we were convinced that this retail and transport diagram can deliver the desired solution for both our investors and the city we had to strip back the functional diagram to its core and integrate it into a complex site situation. Like in every new scheme, understanding the site requirements was critical, but our building not only had to provide a solution on a project level, but also to work as a catalyst for the future development of the whole region.
The unique shape of the site, the planned and existing roads, accesses and more importantly the constraints provided by the underground tunnel of the metro pushed the location of our main building all the way to Krestinskogo Road. However this didn’t create the most ideal layout since we had to give up the possibility to locate the main entrance at the most exposed and busiest corner of Belinskogo Road and Akademika Swartza Road. By accepting this disadvantage we had to work even harder to create such a design where the traditional barriers of walls and facades in their common sense would be broken. After careful analysis of the possible zoning options we made a series of key decisions which are described in more details below.