following the tradition of russian constructivism


following the unique tradition of russian constructivism, coop himmelb(l)au designs its SCA arena in st. petersburg. the team of architects took inspiration from the works of tatlin and el lissitzky to elevate its architecture to a new level of artistic aspiration. here, the sports and concert complex shows an expressive structure — the filigree framework is developed to suggest the dynamic motions of a skating figure.


the coop himmelb(l)au-designed arena is now under construction and is expected to complete by 2023. see designboom’s previous coverage here.

coop himmelb(l)au st. petersburgimages © coop himmelb(l)au | @coophimmelblau_wolfprix



the intricate arcade and the dynamic dome


coop himmelb(l)au (see more here) designs the expressive structure of its st. petersburg arena as a secondary layer which serves to support the dynamic, cantilevering roof.  the intricate construction is interrupted by arches to frame stairs leading toward a ring-shaped plinth. this condition results in an enclosed arcade which protects visitors, shops, and lounging spaces from the sun and rain. the dynamic roof will take shape as a flattened dome, and integrates LED lights that will give the dome a luminous appearance from afar. the team notes, ‘this transforms the building into a vibrant heart, at the center of the newly created park complex for the people of st. petersburg, usable around the clock.’

coop himmelb(l)au st. petersburg



the structure of the st. petersburg arena


the team at coop himmelb(l)au organizes its st. petersburg arena with a four-part structure. these include the pre-existing stadium design, the plinth base, the structural ring, and the roof structure.


the existing stadium is built primarily of reinforced concrete. the plinth base takes shape as a raft foundation with a minimum thickness of one meter, and local thickening in areas below the columns. in areas of large concentration of loads (such as the structural ring segments), the thickness of the raft foundation increases. bored piles transfer the loads from the foundation plate to the load-bearing ground.

coop himmelb(l)au st. petersburg



a structural ring serves as additional support for the roof structure. its geometry is differentiated into four segments that work within the global structural system, and four segments that support only themselves and allow for large entrance openings. the steel structures of the ring also provide horizontal bracing in its surface direction. furthermore, they rest on the plinth base, which is mainly designed as a reinforced concrete structure.


the roof structure is developed hand-in-hand with the preexisting stadium design. the beam layout respects and adapts to the preexisting structural axis around the stadium bowl. truss directions are aligned with the main cantilevering directions, which creates a more efficient force flow towards the most cantilevering parts of the roof. the spatial truss structure is further subdivided into mega-trusses and secondary beams, which allow for a shortened span distance of the roof-skin construction. the top and bottom girders are designed as simply shaped cross-sections, allowing pure standard details for all joints.

coop himmelb(l)au begins construction on its constructivist arena in st. petersburg coop himmelb(l)au begins construction on its constructivist arena in st. petersburg coop himmelb(l)au begins construction on its constructivist arena in st. petersburg




project info:


project title: SCA arena sports and concert complex

architecture: coop himmelb(l)au wolf d. prix & partner ZT gmbh

location: st. petersburg, russia

client: LLC GORKA

site area: 300,096 square meters

gross floor area: 14,699 square meters

width: 265 meters
height: 59 meters
seats: 23,206 

design principal: wolf d. prix

managing partner: markus prossnigg

design partner: alexander ott

project partner: benjamin schmidt

project team: poltak pandjaitan, tyler bornstein, balbina scheitnagl, shir katz, eren adanl


structural engineering: B+G ingenieure bollinger und grohmann gmbh

façade engineering: B+G ingenieure, bollinger and grohmann s.a.r.l.

lighting design: a·g licht gbr planungsbüro 

landscape planning: rajek barosch landschaftsarchitektur

traffic planning: rosinak & partner ZT gmbh