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—23.03.2021
New interview

Founding partner of Blank Architects Magda Cichon for Pro Rus magazine.

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Blank Architects project was shortlisted in the Moscow Architecture Award 2021

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—09.03.2021
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—17.02.2021
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Name
Location
Program
Status
Scale
Akadem Park – Shopping Center
St Petersburg , Russia
Program: Retail, Interiors
Status: Completed
Scale: 50 000-100 000 sqm

—23.11.2012
Akadem Park – Shopping Center

The rebuilding, modernization, and rebranding of the shopping mall previously called "Greyt" (now Akadem Park) in Saint Petersburg required a total redesign of the interior of the building. The task was to create a project involving entrance zones, a whole gallery including front end shops, a food court area, horizontal and vertical communication and the toilet area.

Modernization –
Relaxing Green Areas

6500 sqm

treelike forms
greenery
wooden elements
refreshing colors

The design encompassed the calm, green areas of the city into the interior of the mall, which makes it an inviting and memorable place for consumers who are looking to shop in a relaxing environment.
Akadem Park gallery is now filled with treelike forms, greenery, wooden elements, and refreshing colors - all designed exclusively for this shopping mall, starting from the design of the floors and ceilings and ending with all the details such as planters, furniture, or visual navigation.

The ground and first floors are connected via empty areas beside the escalators and over the seating area. Large plastic lighting features hang through the voids, and are lined in green. This helps the customers to navigate the space and adds life.

Conversation —
A wonderful achievement

Magda Cichon
Partner

First of all I'd like to congratulate you on winning First Prize in the Commercial Real Estate St. Petersburg & Federal Awards 2012, it was a wonderful achievement. What did the project involve?

Alexandra Razina
Architect

Akadem Park, which was previously called "Greyt," required a total redesign of the interior of the building to modernize and rebrand it. For this new interior, we created entrance zones, a whole gallery including front end shops, a food court area, horizontal and vertical communication, and a toilet area.

MC

What is it about the new interior that makes Akadem Park different from other shopping malls? Or perhaps I should ask, what do you think it is about the project that led to you being awarded for it?

AR

I can’t name a single aspect of the project that led to the award, but we created a unique, original design for it. This design encompassed the relaxing green areas of the city into the interior of the mall, which makes it an inviting and memorable place for consumers who are looking to shop in a relaxing environment.

MC

So you incorporated nature into a commercial space, how did you go about doing this?

AR

We filled Akadem Park with treelike forms, greenery, wooden elements, and refreshing colors, which were all designed exclusively for this shopping mall. We started from the infrastructure; the design of the floors and ceilings and continued this through to all the details such as planters, furniture, and the visual navigation.

MC

What does the visual navigation involve?

AR

Well, there are empty areas which connect the ground and first floors, located by the escalators and over the seating area. Large plastic lighting features lined with green hang in these empty areas. These features not only help the customers navigate through the mall, but add life and visual interest to the circulation areas.

MC

What about the other floors, how are they connected?

AR

The natural green theme extends to all three floors; the circulation area linking them is enlivened by a group of "trees." These are brightly colored and provide an interesting feature in the tall space. Some have been incorporated as part of the structure and some are free-standing.

MC

The trees sound like a successful way to bring nature into the mall, achieving your design goal of a relaxing green area. How did you light the space, this would surely have been key to the ambience?

AR

Of course, and we stuck to our natural, relaxing theme by making use of natural light. The food court is on the third floor and is predominantly lit with natural light from above and from the sides. When no natural light is available, for example when it’s cloudy or at night time, a series of colorful lighting was designed. This colorful lighting is also able to provide shade for the area when it’s sunny.

MC

It sounds like you truly achieved your goal of creating a unique, inviting, green space, congratulations again on being awarded for it.

Team
 

Magda Cichon
Partner

Szymon Matkowski
partner

Magda Wadlewska
architect

Michal Pajakiewicz
architect

Awards

2012

  • Awards:1st prize in Commercial Real Estate St Petersburg and Federal Awards 2012 -