ITMO Highpark: A University Complex for St. Petersburg National Research University of Infromation Technology, Mechanics, and Optics

ITMO Highpark: A University Complex for St. Petersburg National Research University of Infromation Technology, Mechanics, and Optics

Location: Lesnoye Territory, Pushikinsky District, St. Petersburg, Russia

Client: ITMO University

Design: started in 2019

Authors of the project: N. I. Yavein,

GAP - Anton Yar-Skryabin

Architects: Burdin A.V., Korovina E.V., Krishtopchik E.A., Ragozina E.S., Sokolova K.P., Soloviev A.V., Fomina M.V.

GUIs: L.V. Gershtein, L.O. Tsikoliya

Ch. project designer: Krivonosov A.S.

Group leader: M.V. Novoselov

Leading engineer: Valyaev E.Yu.

Leading engineer: A.M. Zemerov KM

specialist: Pyatkin P.A.

CM specialist: A.V. Agashkov

St. Petersburg National Research University of Information Technology, Mechanics and Optics was founded more than a hundred years ago. Today, according to QS World University Rankings, it is Russia’s best university in Engineering—Electrical and Electronic.

ITMO Highpark is a project of a world-class research, education, and innovation center with a suburban campus, dormitories, and research centers. In the future, the Tech Valley and Business Park will be constructed alongside the innovation center. The new ITMO campus is to become a dominant development driver for a new residential structure—the satellite town of Yuzhny. The masterplan is governed by the notion of the university open to the town’s community, a campus with a ‘permeable contour’. Some public spaces are semi-gated, for example, the Central Park and the Student Square in front of the Student Club, while others are open to the public and will attract students, local residents, and tourists alike. These are a large square in front of the Educational Centre and an intricately shaped square in front of the Business Incubator and the National Centre of Urban Studies.

The Educational Center is the center of the campus communications and follows the principles of organic / parametric architecture: the building responds to the outside impulses and limitations as well as the requirements of functional and technological programs. Where necessary, it opens up to the environment and sprawls out the protuberant functional blocks, creating passages between the blocks and occupying the site in the most rational way possible.

From the outside, the building appears to be an agglomeration of functional blocks varying in shape and function. However, from the inside, the impression is quite the opposite: the interior is governed by a single flowing educational space principle as comprehensively and consistently as it has never been done in Russia to this day. It is a barrier-free educational environment – in every possible meaning of the word.

The logic behind its structure brings to mind the residential environment of a traditional city. In this ‘town of learning’, the conference hall (The Staircase) plays the role of the central square. It is a plane with a slope of 4.5 meters, with an integrated system of seat rows, aisles, steps, stair flights, and mixed-use horizontal podium decks. The Staircase serves as a vertical communication line, the largest lecture room, the library reading room, and a belvedere lounge opening up onto an impressive view of the park through a glass wall.

The residential area of the ITMO Highpark campus consists of 4-5-storied buildings. The dormitories are located on the artificial relief of the public Central Park that gradually slopes down towards the Main Educational Centre. The dormitories vary in layout shapes (squares, circles) and provide comfortable homes with open or roofed atriums, a tribute to cloisters.

The research center cluster faces the dormitories on the opposite side of the Central Park. Unlike the irregular layout of the residential area, the research centers form a straight line and a strict regular composition. The 4-storied buildings house IT, photonics, and quantum physics, health and life sciences labs.

ITMO Highpark: app. 90 ha

Educational campus: 25.9 ha

Educational Centre, GFA: 26 442 m2

Dormitories, GFA: 76 429 m2

Research centers, GFA: 42 300 m2

Sports center, GFA: 27 000 m2