Under threat: Saint Petersburg Sports and Concert Complex (1980)

© Florstein

Under threat: Saint Petersburg Sports and Concert Complex
By I.M. Chaiko, N.V. Baranov, F.N. Yakovlev, L.V. Yakhontov, Russia, 1980

Docomomo International would like to draw your attention
to the alarming situation of the Saint Petersburg Sports and Concert
Complex, Russia, better known as SKK, and express its full support to
all the initiatives conducted in order to preserve this building.

It is one of the biggest sport complex structures in the country,
built in 1980 and designed by the architects I.M. Chaiko, N.V. Baranov,
F.N. Yakovlev and the engineer L.V. Yakhontov.

“The master plan of this sports complex is an important urban
development element of the Moscovsky District. The arena is located
opposite the hotel “Russia” on the main axis of the Moscow Victory Park.
The SKK building is located in a huge size square, continuing this
Park. Landscaped square with trees and sculptures placed on it covers an
area which size is 33 hectares. The entire complex, including Moscow
Avenue, Victory Park and the stadium building, is a single complex,
designed in the Soviet style. This ensemble looks concise and
undoubtedly represents an architectural value.

The building of the universal sports hall is a permanent attraction
for residents of the district and the city as a whole. The spacious area
around organizes a comfortable space for crowds of people who have
arrived at an event in the SKK. Transport accessibility also plays a
high role. The metro is relatively close to the stadium, the roads
around are full of buses making routes, and there are parking lots
around the complex. The walking route to the complex takes place through
the avenue of heroes in Victory Park.

The St. Petersburg Architects Union and the Monument Protection
Society had applied for recognition of the SKK building as Cultural
Heritage Site. Yet, the St. Petersburg government refused, meanwhile breaking the law. Currently the SKK defenders are contesting the refusal in court.

On October 3rd, the official St. Petersburg government announced an
open architectural competition for the building’s reconstruction and the
surrounding quarter. According to the tender’s terms, all decisions
(demolition/ reconstruction/ expansion of the building, besides
development of the quarter) were to be left to the future investor.
Documents are being accepted from October 8th 2019 to November 20th
2019, and the results should be summed up by mid-May 2020.

Nonetheless, the local St. Petersburg government gave permission to
set the fence around the SKK quarter (supposedly for surveys, yet the
fence is equal to capital construction fence):

Permission for these “works” was issued to some fake company that
consists of one person, without a single license, affiliated with the
owners of the SKA Hockey Club, who had been the initiators of this entire bacchanalia.

And, surrounded by the fence, the invaders, who do not have any
rights to conduct any works and actions with the building, are hastily
destroying it, not coming across with any resistance from anyone but
helpless citizens. We can do nothing about it, but information
propagation.”

For more details about this case, please visit: website