Concorso per la nuova sede di Gazprom

San Pietroburgo / Russian Federation / 2006

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The Oldest Capital of the New Europe
How long has St. Petersburg been new?
For 200 years?
How long has it felt old?
For only 70 years?
16 years after UNESCO declared it a Heritage Site, can St. Petersburg still evolve?
Its centre is St Petersburg’s most valuable asset, but can it survive on its own?
Probably only if its (re) modernization is not conceived as a commercial project.
Can St. Petersburg avoid the esthetics of laisser-faire and the architecture of exaggerated difference?

Gazprom
GAZPROM is a company in a permanent state of flux.
It cannot be captured or represented in a ‘definitive’ image.
Its building is an apparatus that contains a community – almost a small city – of around 15 000 inhabitants. It needs spaces where management can think and decide, it needs spaces to work in isolation and in groups, it needs specialists departments and sections that generate overview. It needs flexibility and precision.
And it needs spaces that offer relief – physically and mentally – from the daily intensity of work: urban facilities like sports, recreation, commerce and culture.

Urbanism
How to maintain coherence in a project extending across 3 different zones, containing a vast amount of different programs – the majority of which undefined – to be built over a period of at least 25 years, initiated by a company undergoing radical change?

Our scheme is based on a minimum increment of definition, an urban pixel.
With such an increment we can create a universal concept that defines – just-in-time – only what is necessary.
Volumes of 24x24x24 meters – 6 floors, 3500 m2 – are the essential building blocks of each future structure.
The consistency of the modules, maintained throughout the entire process, will guarantee the emergence of a coherent urban aesthetic that manifests, in almost any configuration, a structural harmony that resonates with the coherence of the center: flexible, yet iconic.

Gazprom HQ
GAZPROM HQ building occupies 12 pixels, a demonstration of the urban strategy.
Twelve tubes are consolidated to form a single mass. Floors range from plates of 72 by 96 meters, or generate incomplete and irregular plans.
The middle 18 floors of the building – for the greatest mass of the workers – form a rectangular solid, excavated by two interlocking atriums.
The lower ‘legs’ of the building accommodate special services, plant rooms and security offices, while the smaller and more individual floors at the top accommodate management offices and meeting rooms.
A horizontal cut, halfway through the building: the sky lobby reveals the building’s anatomy and introduces two layers of collective facilities that energize the whole structure.
Through the urban strategy the volume of the building can be adapted to accommodate cultural, political and economic changes.
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    The Oldest Capital of the New Europe How long has St. Petersburg been new? For 200 years? How long has it felt old? For only 70 years? 16 years after UNESCO declared it a Heritage Site, can St. Petersburg still evolve? Its centre is St Petersburg’s most valuable asset, but can it survive on its own? Probably only if its (re) modernization is not conceived as a commercial project. Can St. Petersburg avoid the esthetics of laisser-faire and the architecture of exaggerated...

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