Project Year : 2014
Architects: Grimshaw Architects, Ramboll, Pascall+Watson
Structural Engineer: Arup
In September 2007, Grimshaw won the international competition for the design of a new 450 million Euro terminal building at Pulkovo Airport.
The building was designed to protect passengers from the climate while introducing them to the city.
The master plan of the airport represents and responds to the climate and heritage of St Petersburg. The striking new terminal roof and envelope are designed to accommodate the extremes of climate experienced by the city, including the characteristically heavy snowfalls of winter.
Externally, the main consideration was to design a roof that would stop snow from drifting, which can result in uneven loading of the structure.
The roof is therefore predominantly flat, ensuring that snow accumulates as evenly as possible across its 50,000 sqm surface.
Internally, the faceted forms of the soffit are evocative of the pitched roof forms of the city, and their surface textures are reminiscent of the crystal patterns of ice and snowflakes.
The roof is also designed to deal with melt water. Subtle falls in the flat roof are arranged as inverted prisms, with their lowest points above the centerline of each column. This allows the deepest build-up of snow to be above the point of greatest structural support and melt water to be collected at the appropriate point for drainage.
We are known for our expressive structures and attention to detail. We wanted to keep all of those elements – the practicality and the buildability, and our interest in sustainability – but also try to make this building more about form and space.
Mark Middleton, Managing Partner, Grimshaw Architects
To welcome natural daylight deep into the building, roof lights are arranged between the roof ribbons.
In order for them to remain effective throughout the year, even during winter when sunlight is at a premium and snow lies thick on the roof, the prism-like roof lights project above the flat roof to a height of over 4m at the centre, then taper away sharply along their length.
The soffit is coloured gold to gild the light entering the building. This effect is characteristic of the reflections from St Petersburg’s gilded domes and spires
Pulkovo international airport responses to its surroundings and enhances the use of all the elements to create a lively and welcoming environment for the passengers. It showcases the vision of the architect on how will the users adopt the transition of the space. Simple but effective techniques are used to cater to the problem, This subtle elements form a mesmerizing and a seamless design.