The Milan based Piuarch studio designs of the new Ekaterinensky Congress Center in Krasnodar, Russia, located on the banks of the Kuban River. The core concept is to activate the relationship between the city and the river by designing a connection among the natural water environment, the coastal parks, and the urban area, reconfiguring the city’s interaction with the river.
The design proposes a three level cultural center (2,840 sqm) that includes a conference hall with a capacity of 720 seats – which can be set up in different configurations – a foyer, a restaurant, a bar, a parking, service areas and a new pedestrian plaza. The building will also feature terraces on the roof and outdoor spaces on the ground floor, which allow for the expansion of the internal functions.
Piuarch’s objective is to redefine the relationship between waterways, greenery and the urban grid. The result is a complex featuring a soft, sinuous, organic façade that establishes a relationship with the river, letting itself be permeated by light. The building’s entrance – set on the side of the city – is characterized instead by a linear, geometric façade that creates a dialogue with the artificial weave of the urban fabric. At night the building becomes a “lantern,” a landmark visible all along the river.
The central body of the building contains all the services and vertical links and divides the entrance area from the plenary hall (with all its related functions) and from the restaurant on the second and highest floor.
The building’s curved lines, the open multipurpose interior spaces and the vantage points overlooking the river are the defining elements of the congress area, with the conference hall surrounded by areas for private meetings, offices and catering.
The hall occupies 700 sqm, and has movable soundproof walls that can be used to divide the space into several different configurations: the 720-seat plenary hall; 3 parallel 200-seat halls; 6 small 60-seat halls; or set up as a completely open room for gala dinners or dancing.
The interior height of approximately 9 meters allows for good sightlines for the audience and a wide range of possible setups. The interpreters’ booths and the control room are on the first floor.
The two-story hall is overlooked by the first floor, which only partially occupies the building and is used as multipurpose areas for private meetings and/or catering, with a bar on the side of the hall.
The design of the building and the technological systems is aimed at saving energy and reducing management and operational costs.