big ligovsky, St. Petersburg
Orange Architects along with KCAP Architects & Planners and the Russian office A.Len designed the urban plan and architectural vision for Big Ligovsky on a site that was previously a railway yard close to the centre of St.Petersburg. The design for the large scale mixed-use development consisting of commercial, residential and school programs preserves the memory of the place, integrates and highlights its industrial character and at the same time creates a modern, dynamic, and comfortable residential area.
The history of the railway yard on Ligovsky Prospekt dates back to 1900 and throughout the 20th century, it has been a part of the important moments in the history of St. Petersburg. The site has a lot to offer: besides traces of its use as a transportation and logistics hub, the railway station building is also preserved on the site. The station was designed by the prominent architect Stanislav Brzhozovsky who also designed the Vitebsky Station. The history of the railway yard is the starting point for the development of the residential area close to the heart of the city.
It is as if building elements arrive on the train and after unloading, become buildings on the platforms
Currently, the railway yard on Ligovsky Prospekt is an island in the city that has a peculiar composition of railway tracks. Rails and loading platforms create an interesting pattern and demonstrate the beauty of a clear functional organization. In our proposal, we keep this existing structure as a base for the concept of Big Ligovskiy. It gives one an impression as if the building elements were brought by train, unloaded and placed on the platforms.
The paths between the rail tracks are overgrown with shrubs, wildflowers and grass, as well as trees and are turned into linear parks and landscaped boulevards. These form the basis of the urban framework and for developing a quality living environment. The wider central route forms the main promenade and is the beating heart of this new city. A number of sequentially connected courtyards linked to the main boulevard become secondary, more intimate walking routes through the area.
The structure of the urban solution, allows preserving the memory of the place, emphasizing its uniqueness, and at the same time creating a modern, dynamic, and comfortable residential area
Spaces for sports, playgrounds, meetings, and events are organized as small pocket squares adjacent to the green boulevards. These squares bring spatial and functional variety to the long urban spaces and activate the area. The centrally positioned school and kindergarten are seamlessly connected to the landscaped urban framework with their outside playing fields which offer large green open spaces within the development. Intensive vegetation along the periphery of the site form a natural border with the surrounding industrial areas.
Apartment buildings are located along the green linear spaces. When you look out the window, you see a green boulevard or square; when you come out of the house, you find yourself in a park. The well-organized green network offers many opportunities for spending time outdoors – diverse playgrounds for parents with young children; scenic routes for romantic strolls; quiet corners for the bookworm; and diverse paths filled with the scent of wildflowers for a leisurely walk to meet a friend. For people intending to lead a healthy lifestyle, there are tracks for running, cycling, roller-skating or skateboarding, as well as sports and yoga fields.
The image of Ligovsky’s development consists of long linear buildings, differentiation of volumes with industrial aesthetics and the aesthetics of the loft – a loft in the meaning of “open, spacious and generous.” The typical Big Ligovsky building is a stacking of bigger and smaller volumes with contrasting industrial facades on top of each other and placed on a linear footprint forming a loose ensemble. This technique helps to “break” the buildings vertically, emphasize its linearity, and reduce the scale and massiveness of volumes. At the same time, the spaces between the buildings become more human in scale. A neutral structure was chosen for facades, for example, in the form of a square grid or a grid with a horizontal or a vertical organization.
A dynamic silhouette of the Big Ligovsky appears when moving along the Ligovsky Prospekt from the center. At the entrance in the north, the main boulevard is marked by the building ensemble, which we call “The Crown”. It creates a strong and recognizable entrance for the new development on Ligovsky Avenue and the Ligovsky metro station. The Crown has an urban character – high-rise volumes connected with a dynamic urban square with various commercial functions like restaurants, cafes and places for service and leisure. Long green corridors continue through the building fabric running along the North-South direction of the site. In the very south, the site becomes narrow. Here, the lines of the buildings come to the end and rise up, creating a vertical ensemble of three towers radially connected to the southern square.
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