In Irkutsk in Siberia a building complex with residential, office and commercial uses was to be erected with the aim of advancing the development of a district. The three high-rise buildings that grow out of a shared plinth mediate between the city and the river area and create two new public squares, each with its own identity.
The Siberian university city of Irkutsk is close to the Baikal Sea, on the River Angara which flows out of it. The foothills of the Baikal Mountains extend to the east of the city. The interaction of river landscape and city, as well as the geographical location on the Trans-Siberian Railway offer enormous potential for urban and economic change in the future.
The project site is located directly on the banks of the Angara, in the grounds of a former tea factory that is to be replaced. The character of the built environment is shaped by old warehouses as well as several residential and functional buildings. The urban district in at a development phase and the planned complex made up of residential, office and commercial functions is intended to contribute to this growth.
The two proposed residential tower blocks and an office high-rise – the “Baikal Tower” – grow out of a shared plinth. The commercial functions and a shopping centre are accommodated in this plinth. Row of shops connect two public open spaces, which serve the circulation of the complex and at the same time establish connections to urban space and to the river area.
These public squares offer different spatial qualities, each has its own specific materialisation, street furniture and different neighbourhoods. The transition from outside to inside is defined by arcades that form an intermediate space connecting the building with the urban context. In functional terms the arcades expand the floor area of the mall and provide customers with a sheltered path around the building.
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