Located 40 km (25 miles) from Saint Petersburg, Russia, Novaja Izhora represents the emerging Russian economy’s investment in its domestic infrastructure and its increased international appeal. Likewise, the growing Russian upper and middle classes are aspiring to strengthen their ancestral connection to the countryside. Bolshaya’s New Urbanist master plan offers an alternative to the recent scattering of commercial centers and gated cottage clusters being built around St. Petersburg’s growing periphery.
The 50 hectare (124 acre) planned resort village sits on a unique parcel of land with approximately 4km (2.5 miles) of frontage along the southern banks of the Gulf of Finland, and is located to the west of St. Petersburg in an area known for its summer royal palaces, more modest weekend retreats (dachas) and country farmsteads. The village will feature a 200-room five-star hotel with a spa and wellness center and conference facility meant to attract both local visitors and those from abroad. The hotel campus will also feature an entertainment and sport complex, and a series of detached cottages that will blend with the surrounding mixed-use neighborhood’s architecture.
Positioned in the Lomonosovskii region on the principal 2-lane highway west from the City, just off of the rail line, and nearly adjacent to a newly constructed beltway road, Novaja Izhora will be well connected to Saint Petersburg. There exists a series of historic villages along the gulf front built around several palaces, including Peterhof and Oranienbaum, that offers a regional framework into which this project can logically fit, with a hotel serving as the community’s focal point as the palaces once did.
The land features a low lying flat area near the water that was once a sand mining operation and an upland towards the highway consisting of tall pine trees and moderately sloping terrain. The site is known locally as a prime location from which to observe the annual coastal swan migration.
The master plan consequently incorporates a more geometric grid of smaller house lots on the flat land with many streets and pedestrian paths leading to a public promenade along the Gulf, while the upland accommodates the larger homesites and a more organic network of topographically responsive streets. Bisecting the two neighborhoods and perpendicular to the Gulf is a Main Street that acts as a spine, connecting an arrival square off the highway to a town square at the center of the village, and ultimately to a hotel forecourt plaza. Secondary east-west streets weave through the village and link the potential marinas at either end.
Planned in collaboration with DPZ Europe and an international team of architects and planners, Bolshaya is DPZ’s first project in Russia.