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5 Ozer – Shopping Center
St Petersburg, Russia
Program: Retail, Interiors
Status: Completed
Scale: 50 000-100 000 sqm

5 Ozer – Shopping Center


"The shopping center is located very close to a residential area, so we wanted to fit in there and not disturb the surrounding apartments."

Magda Kmita

Conversation —
CRE Awards 2015 finalist

Szymon Matkowski

The shopping mall, "5 Ozer St Petersburg" was a finalist in the CRE Awards 2015. Please tell us how Blank Architects approached the project and what the main aim was.

Elena Dzuba
Lead Architect

For this project our main concern was to preserve the pre-existing construction, while also creating a modern commercial building; a midscale, local shopping center to serve everyday clients. The building itself had been standing unfinished for a few years. Our client’s goal was to have it finished, while creating the best shopping center in this part of St Petersburg.


How did you go about harmonizing these aims?


We utilized the facades that flank the Plaza in front of the main entrance. It was a big adventure designing these facades; the shopping center is located very close to a residential area, so we wanted it to fit in there and not disturb the surrounding apartments. These facades preserve the original building while creating a strong, modern impression. They are composed of an interplay of large plastic elements which are clearly visible from the intersection of Commandant prospect and Dolgoozarnaya St.


So it is these facades that draw attention to the building. How is traffic directed into the mall?


The group entrance to the mall is situated in the center of the diagonal axis of the Plaza. The pedestrian traffic is directed into the building by way of panoramic windows which form a single compositional structure with the skylight on the roof.


And when pedestrians enter the mall, what is it that they first see?


At the entrance level of the facades at the main entrance and also in the food court and cafes are the showcases. These are made of large-scale translucent constructions, so when the pedestrians first enter, they encounter a visual link between the interior and the exterior of the complex.


A very nice idea. How is the interior decorated and what was the idea behind the decoration?


A chain of associations inspired the idea behind the interior decoration; these are "Saint Petersburg - Lake – Ballet." To turn this chain of associations into a concrete, visual representation, we created a bright, modern and elegant interior with motifs of Scandinavian design. The gallery space is filled with light penetrating through a large glazed lantern on the roof and a line of holes in the arcade. To invoke the lake association, we used textures of natural stone and wood in the decoration, along with lines of grass along the showcases, which resemble the shores of a natural lake. We also used other material like mirrors, metal and glass to create interesting effects of refraction and light reflection, and these allowed us to fulfil our brief of modernization, while also incorporating our natural and elegant theme.


Now we have an idea of the interior design, please explain to us the layout of the mall.


We kept the layout clear and simple- there is a direct line from the arcade in three floors with tri-color atriums along the central axis. There are boutiques and anchor tenants on the first, second, and third levels. There is a cinema on the fourth level that is situated separately from the arcade. Each floor is subordinated to the general conception of the interior, differing in tint of illumination and details: the first floor a shore theme, the second floor a water theme, and the third floor has a mist theme (inspired by Swan Lake).


The general impression I’m getting is of a very natural, beautifully lit space. What effect on the users of this mall does Blank Architects hope to have achieved?


It was our goal to introduce a fun and lively atmosphere to an otherwise purely commercial and utilitarian space. By introducing a well-known and beloved theme from Swan Lake, we hope that customers will feel the magic of the space.


It sounds like you've succeeded.