The Golden City project is developed based on the winning entry of KCAP Architects&Planners and ORANGE Architects for the urban and architectural competition for the western most tip of the Vasilievsky Island in St.Petersburg. With its important role in the historical outreach of St. Petersburg towards the West, Vasiliesvky Island will become the most prominent manifestation of the city of St. Petersburg on the Gulf of Finland. With the urban plan, the 15ha site will become a new part of the city with a diverse mix of urban functions facilitating and interconnecting the surrounding areas. It will become a new face of St. Petersburg as the entrance to the city from the water.
St. Petersburg’s new city entrance is taking shape. The first buildings of the ‘Golden City’ are under construction, providing a glimpse of the future of Vasilievsky Island when visitors arrive by boat. Three of the six blocks of the development are on their way: block 6’s towers have reached half of their height, block 7 started construction in June of this year and design work for block 8 is being elaborated at this moment. The current development of the architectural projects is fully in line with the original urban concept. Thanks to the vision and consistency of the developer, all defining urban design principles are consequently translated into the architectural scale of the buildings.
Block 6 is the starting point for the construction of a large mixed-use development, called Golden City, on the western tip of Vasilievsky Island in St. Petersburg. The project consists of 2 closed perimeter blocks and 4 towers emphasizing the corners of the buildings. The setup of the ground plan refers to the structure of St. Petersburg’s centre with solid urban blocks and diversity of the enclosed urban gardens and courtyards. This classic urban structure offers shelter and protection to the lower levels of the plan and generates a variety of public spaces bordered mainly by 6-storey high facades, with large arches to the courtyards.
The ground floor is programed with mainly commercial functions, which are attractive for residents as well as for visitors of the area. These programs activate the street level and the different public spaces around the block. From the first floor up, the buildings provide space for residential units, which vary in size, ranging from studios of 25 sqm. to generous family apartments of more than 90 sqm. All apartments are equipped with loggia, giving residents the possibility to enjoy the summer sun and – from the higher floors – the spectacular view over the sea and the city. Inherited from the competition design guidelines are essential for all the buildings of the district: white body of the volumes are outlined by golden plinth connected with public space and golden tops of the towers with special accents – spires.
Both facades solutions of Block 6 are based on the grid, but differ in appearance. The western block facades are defined by an informal framework in white composite, filled in with deep-positioned,champagne coloured aluminium window frames. The facades of the eastern block are defined by a vertical framework of pronounced ribs in white aluminium, filled in with bronze coloured aluminium window frames. The spires are the jewels of the plan. They spring up from the facades below through the refined transition from square to triangular framework. The spires are finished in a golden colour. They grow like enchanting Fabergé-like patterns to give the blocks their expressive, recognizable, and iconic character.
‘... THE GOLD-COLORED SPIRES FORM A SPECIAL ROOFSCAPE WHICH REFERS TO ST.PETERSBURG’S MONUMENTAL CENTER...’
Block 7 is bordering Block 6 of the Golden City project, that is part of the new multifunctional development along the Finnish Bay, located on the most western part of Vasilievsky Island. The block sustains the same morphology principals, as designed in the winning masterplan for the Golden City district, refering to the structure of St. Petersburg’s historical centre with solid urban blocks and a diversity of the enclosed urban gardens and courtyards. This classic urban structure offers shelter and protection to the lower levels of the plan and generates a variety of public spaces bordered mainly by 6 floors high facades, with large arches to the courtyards.
St. Petersburg’s traditional courtyards and green streetscapes were chosen as a theme for green open spaces of block 7. The “luxury” and slight formality of the spaces are inspired by the palace gardens. The volume of the building is formed by a 6-storey G-shaped perimeter block with 3 towers on top and is enfolded around two inner gardens. This spatial organization creates two different courtyards: one enclosed and one open one. Monumental arches connect the inner spaces with the lively streets around. One of the highlights of Block 7 is an open courtyard with the formal fence, facing South. The underground parking ensures a car-free green public space while the ground floor hosts a diversity of commercial programs. Allocated in the corners of the perimeter volume three 17-storey towers rise over the area and allow unique panoramas towards the sea or the city, and will be part of the new skyline of St. Petersburg.
‘...THIS CLASSIC URBAN SETUP OFFERS SHELTER AND PROTECTION TO THE LOWER LEVELS AND GENERATES A VARIETY OF PUBLIC SPACES... ’
Continuing the structural grid set up of Block 6, Block 7 varies in apartment typologies as well as in facade design solutions. Special apartment typologies were introduced in the north side of the building: connected to the open courtyard the volume hosts small studio apartments, while the volume connected to the enclosed courtyard contains duplex apartments, with double-height living spaces offering a superb view over the cruise ship harbour.
“...THE GOLDEN COLOR FROM THE TOP PART OF THE BUILDING GRADUALLY MERGES WITH THE WHITE COLOR OF THE LOWER PART, CREATING A DYNAMIC WAVE …”
The concept of the facade is based on a gradient presented by 3 facade components: colour, inclination of window reveals and window size. Keeping golden tops and golden plinth as a common idea for the whole Golden City complex the confluence of golden, champaign and white colours within the body of the building becomes a unique feature of the Block 7 facade. Yet, by opening the golden reveals on the top of the tower and making minimum inclination of white reveals in the lower floors, the golden colour gradually merges with the white colour, creating a dynamic wave around the facades. This wave is amplified by introducing wider windows in the upper part of the facade, and more narrow windows in the lower part. The narrow windows refer to the scale of the streetscape while the wider windows offer panoramic views on the city level.