The architect’s task was to implement a project for a new ultramodern skyscraper in a city with a rich cultural and historical past, the historic centre of which is a proclaimed UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tony Kettle, the author of the architectural concept for the Lakhta Centre said: “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.” He went on to say: “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.”
Amphitheatre overlooking the water
The design for the city’s only open-air amphitheatre was dictated by the nature of the landscape. The architects and designers resolved the natural difference in altitude between the 13m elevation and sea level by creating a modern-day “Colosseum” for water shows. The amphitheatre is geared to the water; the stage can be both the water and the area along the coastline. It has a maximum audience capacity of 2,000.
Atrium, Retail Areas, Exhibitions
The retail area is located on the ground floor of the public and business complex. The exhibition area is located in the south part of the building with a 1,500 m2 atrium, with facilities for permanent and temporary exhibitions and a multimedia hall. There is also a dedicated open space for displaying art objects, sculptures and installations in the northern square of the complex.
Children’s Science Centre
The Children’s Centre is modelled on leading examples around the world, in cooperation with the foremost St Petersburg universities, and will be integrated into the general educational system. Children of all ages will be able to study natural, physical, chemical and other phenomena here. The children’s centre is arranged over 7,000 m2.
Multifunctional Transformable Hall
The large hall has a maximum capacity of 494 seats. It is the first transformable hall in St Petersburg and can be divided into two smaller halls. Concerts, theatre performances, ice shows, fashion shows, conferences, etc. can be held here. The hall can be completely transformed according to use. The seating layout, stage sizes and configuration can all be changed. An ice arena can be rolled out for use as a free skating rink when there are no events scheduled.
The centre includes a multi-purpose 2,500 m2 treatment and diagnostic centre with treatment and imaging rooms, a dental clinic and X-ray, therapy and surgical facilities, etc., all boasting state-of-the-art equipment. This health centre will help offset the shortage of high quality health centres and children’s outpatient hospitals in the densely populated Primorsky district.
A 4,600m2 area is dedicated to a wellness and relaxation spa, a swimming pool, gyms and a fitness centre.
An interestingly designed co-working area, complete with furniture and office equipment, is currently under development.