Herzog & de Meuron has completed the first building in a massive new tech campus being developed outside Moscow. The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) University East Wing Building is the hub of District 3 of the five-district Skolkovo community. Skolkovo is a new ground-up development meant to be a home for research and technology just outside the Russian capital. District 3 houses the area’s university, Skoltech, which will live in the new East Wing Building and two forthcoming structures also designed by the star Swiss firm.
The new 1,442,000-square-foot building takes the form of a massive partially-filled ring with a 919-foot diameter. The outer ring and two smaller inner rings house academic facilities, shared spaces, and an auditorium, while staggered bars stretch across the building to house workshops and laboratories. A large basement floor runs across the structure’s footprint to accommodate support and technical facilities. A jigsaw roofline cuts across the bars and rings to unite the structure.
One result of the building’s distinctive parti is a collection of courtyards of various shapes and sizes. These outdoor areas are framed by the building’s striated facade, which materially codes the ring and bar spaces. The rings are clad in vertical larch wood fins, while white aluminum fins skin the bars.
The building is not the first ring-shaped structure for Skolkovo. In 2010 David Adjaye completed a building for the Moscow School of Management Skolkovo with a large circular podium topped by cantilevering bars.
Foster + Partners more recently completed Apple’s headquarters with another circular design for a tech campus.