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