background project

Multi-purpose complex in Apraksin Dvor

Competition design

A territory limited by Fontanka River, Sadovaya Street, Lomonosova Street and Apraksin lane,
St. Petersburg, Russia


Multi-purpose complex in Apraksin Dvor

Competition design

A territory limited by Fontanka River, Sadovaya Street, Lomonosova Street and Apraksin lane, St. Petersburg, Russia

DESIGN: December 2007


Architects: Nikita Yavein, Oleg Yavein, Vladimir Zenkevich, Vladimir Lemekhov, Natalya Arkhipova, Sergey Aksenov, Georgiy Snezhkin
Project team: Yuriy Ashmetyev, Veronika Zhukova, Yakov Itzikson, Roman Kondratyev, Yana Reut, Anastasia Skorik, Yuriy Strelnikov, Kseniya Schastlivtzeva, Margarita Yavein

Project Summary

Apraksin Dvor is a unique complex of retail and warehouse buildings in the very heart of St. Petersburg. The history of the site dates back to the 18th - 19th century when it acquired its present-day function and outlines.

Our project aims at preserving not only all of the survived historic buildings, but also the distinctive linear layout of the complex. It is this ‘barcode’ formation of Apraksin Dvor that we consider to be the genetic code of the whole city. Parallel lines stretch from Sadovaya Street to Fontanka receiving various spatial treatments in the form of streets, alleys, galleries, arcades, elongated atriums; and various functional purposes (streets with haute couture boutiques, restaurants, artists studios etc.).

The project motto is ‘Apraksin Dvor x 3’. This is not so mush about the increase in usable area (it multiplies by 2, 3 reaching an area of 407, 482 sq. m), as to the growth in city fabric.

Appealing to historical models, Leonardo’s tripled-tiered city among them, we intend to create three ‘Apraksin Dvors’ on the territory of just one: Lower, Middle and Upper.

The Lower town is a kind of an ‘archaeological dig’ with its streets and squares based under the level of the ground (minus 4, 5 m), but open to the sky. The Lower town contains all the functions that are not suitable with the historic buildings, or simply don’t need daylight: large ‘anchor’ objects (shopping malls, movie theatres), car park spaces etc. The Middle town is 100 % pedestrian. A walk through its passages and bridges thrown over the Lower town’s alleys is a typical St. Petersburg experience. The functional designation of the Upper town storeys (second to sixth storeys) is diverse (hotels, museums, theatre, jazz philharmonic, artists studios, lofts, office: over 20 types of function).

Our concept is aimed at breathing new life into Apraksin Dvor and considerably enhancing its buisness activities, yet

  • preserving all of the historic buildings
  • securing an adequate scale of new development
  • preserving the historic layout

Our mission is to rehabilitate the entire spectrum of Apraksin Dvor historic functions in their contemporary versions appropriate of a 21st century post-industrial city with all necessary infrastructures:

  • Retail
  • Cafes and restaurants
  • Hotels and apartment hotels
  • Business
  • Art and artistic studios
  • Worship – (the restored church of the Resurrection of Christ and the chapel of Mary Magdalene)
  • Theatre and cinema
  • Education (libraries, media centres etc.)
  • Fitness
  • Leisure and entertainment

7 functions - over 20 types of spaces

179 038 sq. m - 407 482 sq. m (k = 2,3)

What is the way to introduce all these without any dramatic distortions of historical appearance?

We rejected the STEREOTYPES of the 20th century:

  • historic buildings demolition, new construction
  • high-rise structures in historic context
  • ‘covered town’
  • suspended ‘town over a town’
  • underground town

–†LOW-RISE TRIPLE-TIRED TOWN is the solution

Historic Prototypes

Leonardo’s Ideal Town
Lower Town – transport
Middle Town – pedestrians, socializing, retail
Upper Town – residential

Peter the Great Conception of St. Petersburg
Lower level – water transport
Middle level – horse transport, pedestrians, retail
Upper level – residential

Lower Town + Middle Town + Upper Town = APRAKSIN DVOR x 3

21st century triple-tiered town – APRAKSIN DVOR

Key Data

Complex total area 407 482 sq. m

  • retail 65 880 sq. m
  • restaurant 8 772 sq. m
  • hotel 45 509 sq. m
  • conference zone 11 136 sq. m
  • fitness-centre 4 910 sq. m
  • business centre 86 624 sq. m
  • Theatre 16 350 sq. m
  • Jazz philharmonic 7 347 sq. m
  • information centre, library 5 145 sq. m
  • Contemporary art museum 6 615 sq. m
  • Cinema museum 3 850 sq. m
  • entertainment 10 950 sq. m
  • office/apartments for rent 15 583 sq. m
  • skating ring 13 830 sq. m
  • passages, arcades, winter gardens 9 089 sq. m
  • engineering facilities 8 372 sq. m
  • short stay car parks, goods loading 27 350 sq. m
  • underground car park 60 000 sq. m

Comparative Data
Parcel area - 119 884 sq. m (Existing)
119 884 sq. m (After reconstruction)
Buildings footprint - 68 252 sq. m (Existing)
82 809 sq. m (After reconstruction)
Buildings total area - 179 038 sq. m (Existing)
407 482 sq. m * (After reconstruction)
* including underground car park – 60 000 sq. m

Site development: Studio RED