Skolkovo Innovation Centre is a strategic initiative endorsed by the Russian government to create a research and innovation hub focused upon diversifying Russia's economy by promoting global innovation in five key areas of focus: IT, Biomedical, Energy Efficiency, Nuclear Science, and Space Technology, The overall master plan has been developed by France's AREP, and selected through international competition, whilst the specific districts have detailed master plans prepared by leading international design firms.
District D2 features the Technopark functional ensemble, with a supportive urban organization of housing dispersed amongst nature. Various housing types are positioned within circles inscribed in the landscape, creating “islands surrounded by forest”.
This proposal focuses on Quarter 6, containing apartment housing blocks and minimal social infrastructure. The design strategy respects the District master plan, and emphasizes direct connections with the landscape and the District’s adjacent functional Quarters. A central urban realm is framed by residential blocks and features pavilion buildings containing social infrastructure and public amenities. The residential blocks respect the master plan’s proposed north/south alignment, but provide an offset occurring at the site’s central serpentine roadway. Courtyard spaces are defined between building, and site circulation includes: pedestrian paths parallel with the ribbon buildings, but also feature a transverse route through them. This east/west path follows an arc echoing the site circular perimeter, and connects Quarter 6 with the adjacent Cultural Quarter, Quarter 1 and Technopark.
Comprising 45,900 sqm of building, the residential program envisions around 500 units accommodating nearly 1200 people. Dwelling units vary from innovative 1 and 2 room studios, to private multi bedroom units. Ranging from 30 sqm to 110 sqm, apartments are dispersed in various combinations to meet the desired program or unit category leasing strategy and to avoid social segregation. Dwellings feature extensive day-lighting along with accessible continuous balconies, which respond to climate and privacy demands. The terraces can be variously enclosed through sliding glass screen walls integrating a screen print image of forest – furthering an architectural dialogue with nature.
Seeking LEED Silver certification, the design solution features passive and active strategies to minimize resource consumption during construction, and deliver energy saving performance during the project’s lifetime. Unique to Skolkovo is the priority to minimize reliance on private automobiles by promoting public circulation, alternative transportation, and natural environment. An enhanced living environment is created, which is fundamental to attracting future visionaries to the Skolkovo Innovation Centre.