A celebration of the embankment landscape context, its rich and storied history, the carbon-neutral building stands 28 meters high, and is supported by a forest of 119 wood columns. This “forest floor” is free and open to the public with a park and plaza that highlight the history of the site, while the office space lies above in the columns’ “tree” canopy. A roof-scape with native vegetation crowns this commercial complex, helping to rehabilitate the cape’s biodiversity, as in the landscaping of the park below. This way, building is landscape and landscape is building; a clear embodiment of the ‘green shift’ MVRDV strives for in all designs.
Designing an iconic architectural landmark headquarters for one of the top three global emissions producers dramatically contradicts with MVRDV’s radical and uncompromised dedication to sustainable design. So as not to surrender to contradiction, MVRDV committed to creating the most sustainable building design possible: a building that sequesters carbon, and does not consume fossil fuel energy. To do this, MVRDV looked to the history and landscape of the site, selecting a sustainable approach to make a truly high-performing building. The design also reflects Saint Petersburg’s heritage, drawing the Okhta Cape into connection with the natural ecosystem of the river embankment. A delicate approach to the landscape, in combination with the complex configuration of volumes, reinforces the profile and sophistication of Saint Petersburg, while adhering to the principles of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
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