Zaha Hadid Architects’ competition proposal to build the technopark for Russian Bank Sberbank, which beat out submissions by firms such as Foster+Partners and Fuksas, has now received planning permission. The vast facility will be located at the Skolkovo Innovation Center — Russia’s equivalent to Silicon Valley – in Moscow, and will be home to the laboratories and campuses of Russia’s growing IT, biomedical, energy, nuclear and space innovations. The proposal has received the ‘state expertise’ certification from the city’s planning authority for its innovative design, which includes large communal spaces, atria and cantilevered facades. Works have now begun on the Sberbank Technopark site, with shortlisted contractors soon to be invited to oversee the project’s construction.
The total area at 262,000 square meters will become the Russian Bank’s headquarters for developing IT and accommodate around 10,000-12,000 people working in the departments of information technology and marketing. ‘The necessity to innovate and collaborate is fundamental to Sberbank’s operations. Our research into interconnected, multi-function environments has driven the Sberbank Technopark design. It responds to the bank’s requirements for enhanced communication, interaction and diversification. The design reconfigures working relationships and adopts a holistic approach to creating an engaging environment that offers a diversified range of facilities both internally and externally,’ comments Christos Passas, project director at ZHA.
The large-scale development has been given the go-ahead with construction to begin in 18 months time and estimated to take two years to complete. ‘The incredible belief in the power of invention attracted Zaha Hadid to the Russian avant-garde. She realised how architecture can enrich creativity; how space itself can enhance dynamism, complexity, coherence and continuity. These principles are embedded within the Sberbank Technopark design,’ continues Passas.