Apraksin Dvor masterplan in St Petersburg by Wilkinson Eyre Architects

Wilkinson Eyre Architects have won the competition to masterplan the Apraksin Dvor district in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The devolopment of the market district will include restoration of historical buildings and construction of a glass roof over central retail and entertainment areas.

The following information about the winning proposal is from Wilkinson Eyre Architects:


Wilkinson Eyre Architects, with developers Glavstroy, have been announced as winners of the competition to masterplan Apraksin Dvor, a 14 hectare market district in central St. Petersburg. The practice was given the go-ahead by the Governor of St Petersburg on Friday 25 January after an international design competition. It is the first project for Wilkinson Eyre in Russia.

Apraksin Dvor is currently an area of under-used and decaying 19th Century buildings. Wilkinson Eyre’s masterplan retains the qualities of this historic part of the city whilst regenerating it with new life and activities. Carefully restored historic buildings will be enlivened with respectful new interventions which will be kept strictly within the building heights. The existing market buildings will become fashionable retail, office and residential spaces as well as hotels and cultural facilities.

The heart of the city quarter will be a new civic space under a unique glazed roof. This unique crystalline glass tensegrity structure will imbue the space with a delicate lightness and changing light, reflecting the weather, time of day and the passing seasons. This will be a major destination in the city where people can meet, shop, eat and be entertained whilst being protected from St Petersburg’s hostile winter climate.

A major new building on the River Fontanka will replace the severe 1960’s Publishing House and create a new gateway into the renewed Apraksin quarter. This magical intervention will form a dramatic contrast between new and old, and will be marked by a spectacular new footbridge over the River Fotanka. This too will be supported by a lightweight tensegrity structure which reiterates the roof of the central space and creates a elicate ‘cloud’ hovering over the water.

Chris Wilkinson, Director Wilkinson Eyre Architects, commented:

“We are delighted to have won this opportunity to work in such a unique and historic city, and look forward to collaborating with Glavstroy and local conservation architects to create an exciting new destination for St Petersburg.”