herzog & de meuron-designed skolkovo institute opens in moscow

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‘skolkovo’ is a new urban community initiated by the russian government. located in moscow, 17 kilometers (10.5 miles) west of the kremlin, the community will offer residents a vibrant and diverse mix of uses across five individual districts.

as part of the development, herzog & de meuron was commissioned to design the conceptual masterplan of district 3 with a new university as its centerpiece. the building, which began construction in 2013, is now open to students as the project moves toward full completion.

 

herzog de meuron skolkovo institute
the university building is the first of three circular structures planned for the site
image © iwan baan | video © putevi užice / herzog & de meuron

known as the ‘east ring’, the building is the first of three circular structures that herzog & de meuron has planned for the site. conceived as a founding stone of skolkovo, the new educational institution comprises a series of interlocking circular rings and rectangular blocks. the outer ring — 280 meters in diameter — accommodates faculty offices, administration areas, and meeting spaces, while the inner rings house the teaching and learning facilities, with the main auditorium at the central crossing point.

herzog de meuron skolkovo institute
the community is located in moscow, 17 kilometers (10.5 miles) west of the kremlin
image © iwan baan

oriented east-west to optimize daylight, laboratories and workshops are contained within a rational grid laid out in a checkerboard pattern. meanwhile, additional research facilities, loading, logistics, and technical areas are located in a basement that extends beneath the entire building. ‘the overlay and interaction between the blocks and rings create an interesting architectural quality,’ explain the architects. ‘the three rings circumscribe and penetrate the blocks and connect the compound together into a distinctive sculptural form, which shapes the boulevard at the outside and creates a network of connected courtyards inside.’

herzog de meuron skolkovo institute
a continuous concrete bench unifies the building’s appearance
image © iwan baan

these courtyards are a diverse range of sizes and are connected by passageways that offer a variety of ways to navigate the site. the largest courtyard, known as the ‘central yard’, remains visible from all the rings and most of the blocks. despite its monolithic appearance, the building is porous at street level with all courtyards open and accessible to the public. ‘the uniform planting of the courtyards and around the east ring, will become an essential element of the experience of skoltech as it matures, and will integrate the university landscape with the natural forests around moscow,’ the design team continues.

herzog de meuron skolkovo institute
despite its monolithic appearance, the building is porous at street level
image © iwan baan

the university is clad with fins that both control daylight and unify the appearance of the façades. the rings are covered with siberian larch fins, while the blocks are clad with white aluminum fins. from the outside, a continuous concrete bench unifies the building at ground level, with the sloping roofs and façade uniting the site as a single entity, while allowing it to remain an integrated part of the new community. see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.

herzog de meuron skolkovo institute
courtyards in a diverse range of sizes are connected by passageways
image © iwan baan

herzog de meuron skolkovo institute
the university is clad with fins that both control daylight and unify the appearance of the façades
image © iwan baan

herzog de meuron skolkovo institute
the building is now open to students
image © iwan baan

herzog de meuron skolkovo institute
natural oak surfaces are found internally
image © iwan baan


a range of different spaces are provided for students and teaching staff
image © iwan baan


the connected sloping roofs help unite the site as a single entity
image © iwan baan


white aluminum fins have been used to clad the internal blocks
image © iwan baan


the outer ring measures 280 meters in diameter
image © iwan baan

project info:

name: skolkovo institute of science and technology, east ring
location: moscow, russia

phases —
master plan: 01/2011 – 12/2011
concept design: 01/2012 – 05/2012
schematic design: 10/2012 – 06/2013
design development: 07/2013 – 12/2013
consultancy for arch compliance: 05/ 2014 – 08/2018

milestones —
ground breaking/ enabling works permit: 08/2013
ground breaking/ piling: 02/2014
ground breaking/ first concrete: 06/2014
planning approval: 10/2014
construction permit: 10/2014
topping out: 12/2016
opening: 09/2018

client: LLC UDPC skolkovo, moscow, russia
client representative: mr. alexey savchenko

herzog & de meuron project team
partners: jacques herzog, pierre de meuron, stefan marbach (partner in charge)
project team: tomislav dushanov (associate, project director), tobias winkelmann (associate, project director), olga bolshanina (associate, project manager), ilia tsachev (project manager)

alexandria algard, florian becker, marcelo bernardi, mathieu bujnowskyj, ignacio cabezas, delphine camus, sergio cobos alvarez, blazej piotr czuba, inga federe, diogo figueiredo, argel padilla figueroa, stefan goeddertz (associate), beatriz pérez pérez de iriarte, volker jacob, artem kitaev, petr khraptovich, osma lindroos, frank loer, maria vega lopez, udayan mazumdar, david goncalves monteiro, martina palocci, svetlin peev, pedro polónia, martin raub, mònica ors romagosa, elias sanez, harald schmidt, leonid slonimskiy, jan skuratowski, alexander stern, ida sze, raha talebi, miruna tutoveanu, toru wada, liang wang, jean-paul willemse, zeng zhibin,farhad ahmad (visualisations), massimo corradi (digital technologies), vasilis kalisperakis (visualisations), christina liao (digital technologies), áron lőrincz (visualisations), raúl torres martín (visualisations), bruno de ameida martins (visualisations), felipe pecegueiro (digital technologies), kai strehlke (digital technologies)

planning —
design consultant: herzog & de meuron, basel, switzerland
executive architect: ove arup & partners international ltd., london, UK
general designer: ove arup & partners international ltd., london, UK
landscape design: vogt landschaftsarchitekten AG, zurich, switzerland
electrical engineering: ove arup & partners international ltd., london, UK
HVAC engineering: ove arup & partners international ltd., london, UK
plumbing engineering: ove arup & partners international ltd., london, UK
structural engineering: ove arup & partners international ltd., london, UK
façade consultant: emmer pfenninger, basel, switzerland
program consultant: payette, boston, USA

consulting —
acoustics: ove arup & partners international ltd., london, UK
catering consultant: LLC ‘EQ-VIP’, moscow, russia
façade engineering: emmer pfenninger partner AG, munchenstein, switzerland
laboratory techniques consultant: payette, boston, USA
lighting consultant: ove arup & partners international ltd., london, UK
sustainability consultant: ove arup & partners international ltd., london, UK
traffic consultant: ove arup & partners international ltd., london, UK
vertical transportation: ove arup & partners international ltd., london, UK
fire protection: LLC ‘MPB-group’, moscow, russia
logistics consultant: ove arup & partners international ltd., london, UK

contractors:
general contractor: AO putevi uzice, moscow, russia