Sevkabel Port

Saint Petersburg, Russia

A place where the city meets the sea: an old industrial complex turned into a multipurpose space.

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Photos: © Grigoriy Sokolinsky

On Vasilyevsky Island – in St. Petersburg, and bordered on the west by the Gulf of Finland – stand several 1970s buildings of an industrial nature and the 19th-century site of the cable manufacturer Sevkabel (Siemens & Halske). How each of these is positioned – facing different directions – and their material makeup (brick and concrete) give rise to trapezoidal open spaces. The renovation scheme of AB CHVOYA centers on preserving the industrial genius loci. Wood and raw steel are the main materials. The meeting with the street is presented as a relatively traditional space, featuring benches and lamps of neutral design on granite paving, while the inside is conceived as a free space with a post-industrial aesthetic. The entrance is marked by four rotating wooden pylons: artifacts inspired by cable reels (which were widely used in this particular factory), positioned in different ways (depending on the situation), and forming a tower, a bench, and a lamp.

The embankment is divided into two zones: a lawn next to the water and a wooden slab forming a porch for the main building. Wooden benches 9 meters long have been added, as have vertical double-berths for sunbathing. All design solutions pursue simplicity and use industrial materials. The interior of the buildings is highly diverse. The brick ones contain workshops, bureaus, and offices besides restaurants and bars at ground level. The atrium of the former cable hall is now a welcoming event venue. The complex will also feature sports and educational facilities, shops, a covered plaza facing the sea, a gallery, a museum, and theater spaces. The Sevkabel Port project represents the development process of the Vasilyevsky coastal industrial zone.

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