Saint Petersburg, Russia — 2016
I, Romantic! is one of the first residential buildings completed on the alluvial territories of Vasilievsky Island. The chosen architectural solutions meet two main criteria: to create a view worthy of the Sea Facade of St. Petersburg, and to arrange a comfortable environment in conditions of limited resources, with consideration of strong winds from the bay and a previously approved site planning project.
Seven Suns Development is a customer known in the city for projects with a strong history of projects, famous not as much for its marketing as for its ideology: the developer creates memorable residential complexes with extensive infrastructure, all the while still managing to create economy-class apartment buildings. A total of eleven buildings with 6800 apartments will be built. The apartments will consist of studios, one-, two-, and three-room premises. The number of floors will range from 6 to 18. The area of the apartments will range from 23 to 77 square meters. The apartments will feature turn-key design, and some of the apartments will be furnished.
The entire territory of «I, Romantic…» Light World Residential Complex will be landscaped and developed. The construction company will also build two kindergartens and a school as well as a football field and sport grounds including volleyball and basketball courts. Bicycle paths will also be laid. Construction of a trade mall has also been planned. Additionally, there will be a star observatory built on the territory of the residential complex, allowing the residents to watch the stars on clear St. Petersburg nights. Car owners will make use of an underground and surface-level parking lots. Automobiles will be allowed to enter the territory of the residential complex only for loading and unloading large pieces of cargo.
The facilities will be arranged radially, in accordance with the master plan developed for all alluvial territories by Gensler as far back as in 2006, and adapted and adjusted later. Long L-shaped buildings with different numbers of floors will form semi-closed blocks, protecting the spacious yards from wind and noise, yet well-aired. In their first draft, the facades of I, Romantic, represented the experiments of the Bureau with color. Using suprematism and Gerrit Ritweld’s research as inspiration, the architects combined complex non-monochrome colors. The brightness and the innovative character of the pallette reflected the idea of the new city being built on the alluvial territories.
As the design process continued, the customer changed the concept and suggested developing the idea of a ship, which also corresponds to the spirit of the location. The architects then turned to a more moderate palette of colors but continued experimenting. The facades of the complex turned into a canvas: tiles of different colors now represented the broad strokes of the "wooden" frame of a brigantine and a white-and-blue sail. The darker decor of the lower floors and the light upper part correspond to the tectonics of the building; vertical rows of buildings look like masts, and the impression is further strengthened by the decor of balconies made to look like sails. At night they are lit up and attract glances of not only local residents but all those passing by via the Western High-Speed Diameter Road.
Thanks to Archi.ru Portal for assistance in preparing the materials.