44 Nevskiy Prospect - 15 Italianskaya Str., St. Petersburg, Russia
Design: 2001-2002
Realization: 2001-2003
Client: OOO ‘Grand Palace’

Authors of the project:

Architects: Nikita Yaveyn, Evgeny Elovkov, Vladimir Zenkevich, Vasily Romantsev with the participation of Irina Krylova, E. Mironova

Structural engineers: Oleg Kurbatov, Boris Mironkov

Facades restoration: Mikhailov Architectural Studio

Conversion of the former rental apartments of the Siberian Commercial Bank into a boutique shopping arcade was carried out as one element in a program for the reconstruction of buildings in the blocks between Sadovaya and Mihailovskaya streets – creating a system of commercial passages which will connect Italian street with Nevskiy prospect.

In addition to the tasks of restoration, this project had another goal, maybe more down to earth, but very exciting and heartfelt for the client. It was decided that all five floors should be used for commercial purposes, although it was well known that all areas higher than the third floor would be hard to find tenants for. Thinking about how to attract buyers and tenants for the upper floors, we remembered that consumer society is also the society of spectacle: And thus the vertical communication of glass-covered atriums was chosen as the main theatrical device.

One of them has a "palace staircase", with escalators in place of flights of stairs. Riding the escalator in ceremonial style you can take in the advertisements; watch people and be seen. In another of the courtyards an even more direct metaphor was used: we included in mock auditorium with two panoramic lifts at the corners of the "proscenium". The trick worked and it is fascinating. At times there are a lot of visitors to the upper circles, they stand in groups or alone, leaning on the railings, and they watch the movements below for a long time. Without opera glasses, of course.

Parcel area – 3 434 sq. m
Footprint area – 3 434 sq. m
Gross floor area – 18 080 sq. m, out of there:

retail – 10 040 sq. m
bank – 3 970 sq. m
restaurant – 1 610 sq. m
engineering premises (including underground car park for 44 vehicles) – 2 460 sq. m
Structural volume – 85 540 cub. m
Number of storeys – 6 + underground storey