Winter Palace Square
Square Design Urban Planning
Darkness and light, metaphorically and literally. Playing with light and dark volumes, to emit the contrasting nature of winter and the reflecting character of snow to the darkness of the Volga river.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
It is a preliminary design concept to redesign the Palace square, taking into account the historical background of the city and project topography. The concept envisions an interactive spot that promotes engagement of visitors and locals with the history of the urban fabric. Elements taken for granted when communicating the unique city personality, impose a Synthesis of curvvilinear and geometric volumes, scarce plants chosen purposefully in respect with the garden morphology while incorporating a fresh, interactive a technological and conceptual discourse.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The busy character of the square is taken into account as a blending spot of multiple activities and experiences, without changing the historical background of the surrounding buildings. The concept is flirting with rebirth and the seasonal change from winter to summer as an indication of new life. Water is the main element, which depicts the Neva river, its dark waters and melting ice moving inside the flowing benches manufactured from white concrete. The concept of flow along the river banks, is enriched by round concrete flower pots acting as the stepping stones in the middle of the design, right across the great arch. The same water flow is depicted in the white cement ribbons that promote active youth sports and live events running along the line from Hermitage to the Great Arch opposite. The chess board with its contrasting nature of black, as absence of light, and white as indication of white nights, presence of light. Large cement pavement stones, with round holes are filled with epoxy resin and activated during night or winter, to give the essence of light under the snow blanket, while the advanced technological version would activate light and information transmitters using smart technology. The Clusters of music, is an interactive stage using hexagonal stone boulders that welcomes celebration of young musicians and live performances. The information era is one interesting section of cylindrical antique bronze volumes that bring engraving with important dates or local stories and myths, While linear led lighting on the floor add the concept of time movement over the years.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
August 2015 till on going
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The grand scale of the project requires robotics for molding and manufacturing cement, stone and resin surfaces, while advanced technology can be incorporated in order to transmit information to visitiors, acting is an interactive educational and information platform.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Approximately 15.000 square meters
Palace Square, Saint Petersburg, Urban Planning, Chess, Interactive, Black And White, Music, Information, History
Research was conducted in the history of the city, especially with reference to Winter Palace and its transformation over the years and the imperial successions. Following grounded research theory, regular visits to the city on photographic tours during different seasons allowed the team to grasp the atmosphere, weather and particular character of the city. What dominated is the grand scale of its master planning, with big building volumes occupying spacious and wide alleys and avenues, which is reflected on the big volumes curvilinear and solid cement forms that were chosen for our design. Also the city dominating material and textural variety, of natural stones and antique metallic finishes informed the textures and material choice for the various segments of the grand scale design.
For a unique place with an imposing historical and cultural background, the concept had to create an interactive spot promoting the idea of engagement. The experience of visiting the place (visitor), immersing in the culture (staying), expressing the culture (living as a resident). Evoking the historical and morphological background of the square, the archetypes of the surrounding buildings enveloping the old and blending with the new. Technology had to be implemented while not making its presence imposing or overestimated. Moreover the strong cultural color palette of the city, urged the necessity to design the square as a neutralizing canvas adequate to facilitate incoming colors while preparing the visitor to hermitage museum for the strong color and textural palette to be experienced inside.
TEAM MEMBERS (2) :
BllendDesign & Research Office Team and Helen Brasinika, Principal Architect Designer & Director
BllendDesign & Research Office
"Copyrights belong to Helen Brasinika, 2015"