The retail centre is located in the Russian resort city of Sochi, situated on the Black Sea west coast of The Krasnodar Krai region. Sochi boasts a population of 411 000 people and will be hosting the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014. The Sochi River, originating at Bolshaya Shura Mountain, runs adjacent to the site and is contained by concrete embankments before it enters the Black Sea.
The site is easily accessible by both road and rail routes, and is located in the heart of the city centre, right next to the busiest road junction of the city connecting the four residential districts of Sochi spread out on over 145km of coastal length, making the Sochi the longest city of Europe.
On the opposite side of the river a busy public highway will provide the perfect view to experience the whole visual impact of the long Eastern façade of the shopping mall, creating a perfect advertising possibility for the major anchors, and establishing a clear brand for a unique shopping mall design. The general design of the interiors is based on spacious public spaces, state-of-the-art glass roof structure letting extra amount of natural sunlight into the heart of the retail centre.
Sochi’s new shopping centre provides a dynamic mix of fashion, home, lifestyle, food and leisure experiences that serve the needs of the local areas. The retail design team has worked closely with retailers to enhance shoppers’ experiences and maximize each retailer’s trading potential. While the interior design is mainly based on the increased ceiling height of the second level and the unique roof structure, the exterior envelope of the building is more humble, focusing mainly on the entrances, and on the NE corner of the building by providing a custom made media façade. The retail experience is based on the creation of a sea theme atmosphere. The interior of the building provides an environment to enhance the joy of shopping, and create a “world” based on the elegant but still contemporary sea life and water.
The interiors of the mall all focus on the roof structure, which allows us to create a rather neutral design for the floor finish, and bulkhead details. The undulating glass roof made up of thousands of solid and clear panels, which will be carefully positioned to maximize natural light as the sun moves throughout the day, creating a spacious, airy environment. Inspired by the overlapping wave movements of water in nature, we planned a curved, undulating glass roof for the general mall area. The free-form roof’s intricate design and the slight movement of the waves bring it to life.
The project’s major technical challenge is that neither SHEV vents nor drainage pipes could be used since they would have interrupted the roof’s harmonious flow. The atrium roofing was optimized in the design process so that it can accommodate main movement joints. Two main beams were introduced to the central atrium roof structure.
Each point on the roof will have to be drained via downward slopes to the outside and, in the event of fire, fumes collect on the underside of the slope and are extracted to outside through a double-shell smoke apron. The architectural concept and technical requirements will be combined seamlessly, enabling a clean roof structure to be created with no technical distractions.
Geometrically, the shell structure of the glass dome is based on a grid of equilateral triangles. The nodes of the roof shell will sit at different heights on the standard structure of this grid network, and virtually no triangle or node will be the same as the others. Grids like this are typically welded together on-site. However, the complete roof structure will be designed by specialist structural engineers and the structure will be delivered ready to assemble and bolted into place.