Winner Announced for New Holland Island Competition

The architectural practice WORKac is the winner of the competition to select a master planning consultant for the future development of New Holland Island in St Petersburg.

The competition, organised by The Architecture Foundation, invited entries from all over the world and an exhibition of proposals recently went on show at the Central Naval Museum in St Petersburg overlooking the New Holland site attracted 6,617 visitors within a two week period'. Opinions left on comment cards filled out by the public at the exhibition overwhelmingly coincided with the views of the competition organisers in supporting WORKac’s vision.

Based in New York City, WORK Architecture Company (WORKac) is involved with numerous cultural institutions and urban planning projects. The practice was the master planner of the new BAM cultural district in Brooklyn and the award-winning architects of Diane von Furstenburg’s Headquarters in New York’s Meatpacking District. It is currently working on three major museum projects for the Blaffer Museum in Houston, the Clark Art Institute at Mass MoCA and the new Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York City. WORKac is also the winner of the Hua Qiang Bei redevelopment competition at the heart of Shenzhen, China. Identified by Icon magazine as one of the 25 most influential design firms in the world, the practice has won numerous honours and, in 2009, was among the finalists for the US National Design Awards.

New Holland is an 8-hectare island bordered by two canals and a river in the heart of St Petersburg, within 20-minutes walk of the Hermitage and the city’s other major cultural sites. The island was conceived by Peter the Great in 1719, and became Russia’s first military port in 1721. It belonged to the military since its foundation and had thus been closed to the general public for 300 years.

WORKac’s winning entry creates a public park, whose topography transforms New Holland Island into an outdoor amphitheatre and performance space. An elevated promenade brings the park to the interior of the existing structures, connecting a series of programmatic ‘voids’ – art, design, education and commercial – that builds on St Petersburg’s rich cultural history to create a new vibrant cultural hub for the city.

WORKac principals Amale Andraos and Dan Wood said: “We are very excited at the opportunity to work with the Iris Foundation and NHD on this critically important project for one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Our master plan balances preservation with innovation, respecting St Petersburg’s past while paving the way for its continued artistic development and future.”

As the project moves from the concept phase to the planning phase, New Holland Development and the Iris Foundation plan to hold a series of closed and public discussions with interested parties to ensure that the public’s input continues to be a central part of New Holland’s development. 

For more information on the New Holland Island competition