New Holland Island, located at the west side of the historic city centre of St. Petersburg, Russia, was originally built as a shipyard at the time of Peter the Great. Canals enclose the island and connect to a central water basin that creates an inner harbour surrounded by historic buildings. The oldest and most interesting historic structures are the brick buildings created for drying timber, the central water basin and a remarkable circular building, which formerly housed a prison. These elements are maintained and revitalized with a new, diversified program.
The proposed masterplan has a programmatic emphasis on culture and entertainment due to its strategic position within a cultural cluster. This cluster consists of The State Hermitage Museum, The Admiralty, St. Isaacs Cathedral and the Mariinksy Theatre. The island will become a new destination for international and contemporary culture and entertainment for the city of St. Petersburg, with its flexible capacity to present activities such as large-scale events, open-air concerts and festivities, screenings, fashion events and art installations. The diverse program creates a multilevel play between old and new, and provides a dynamic new identity enhancing the site’s visibility. The atmosphere of the island’s inner harbour is preserved and the water basin maintained as the centre of the island. The buildings in this design include a high-end hotel apartment complex, a 5-star hotel, a multifunctional retail, residential and entertainment complex, and a transformation of the circular building into a flexible space for cultural events.