ARCHITECTURE: Herzog & De Meuron in Russia

 The architecture duo, will design the Skolkovo University masterplan, a new urban community based 16 km west of Moscow that will forever change the concept of civic life.

Text: Mary Giatra


The project which is to be developed in two phases, consists of proposals for a complete residential district housing students, teachers, professors and other new residents. The aim is to create a whole new district imbued with civic life: living, working, shopping, journeying, relaxing.

A nucleus, distinctive center piece that can be extended and enhanced is a common feature of all the models proposed. These circles, will create an urban “organism” that will root the university in its environment and make it unique. A cylindrical shape that rises up from the middle circle will house the new university’s agora where everybody will be welcome to communicate and exchange ideas.

In the agora space specifically, key public functions will be accommodated such as: the Dean’s Office, a faculty club, as well as libraries and other amenities open to community at large, such as cafes, bars etc. The external perimeter and internal segments of the circles read as city boulevards: as places of movement, of arranged meetings and chance encounters.

The new university will become a distinctive and sculptural form that will set it apart from the other residential buildings in the master plan and will become the heart of every-day life in the community.

photos and video via Herzog & de Meuron