Southern Circle

  • contemporary architecture

In Adler district of Sochi, Yuri Vissarionov’s Architectural Workshop is building a 4-star recreation center. Bearing the traditional for the local southern resorts name of “Yuzhny” (“Southern”), this center has in it all the necessary infrastructure meant to provide its inhabitants comfortable recreation and retreat.


The new center will be built on the Black Sea shore next to the already-operating hotel resort. The land sites of the existing and the future resorts are separated by Lenin Street - which is in fact a federal highway and Sochi’s longest street at the same time – while the sea and the beach will be separated from the new center by a railroad. A resort located between two highways is rather a rule than an exception for Sochi, and this is exactly why the architects did everything in their power to make up for this providing the new center with convenient connections with the city as well as with the sea shore. The master layout of the new resort building is based on a number of circles: this is the shape that the roofed and open-air swimming pools have here; the buildings of the resort skirt them like picturesque semicircles that command the sea view. Such layout of the volumes was considered by the authors not only to be optimal from the point of view of making sure that each of the rooms commands the sea view, but also maximally fitting the very character of the southern tradition. It is not by chance that the architectural solutions of the resort explore this theme over and over again: into the main multi-functional building, the architects “carve in” numerous glass cylinders of the public halls and round dome lights; also round are the supporting elements of the ropeway that is meant to connect the resort to the Lenin Street and the beach. The numerous gazebos, pavilions, and playgrounds also look round on the layout. The composition center of the main building is the translucent atrium/foyer that opens access to all the other objects of the resort – the hotel part itself, the health center, the conference halls, the recreation center for children, the beach bar, and the amphitheater with a dance floor. The main building of the resort has a varying number of floors that gradually rises from one to eight floors at its highest. At the same time, in order to improve the “view-commanding” properties of the rooms, the highest part of the building was shifted off-axis and into the South-East end: the resulting dynamic silhouette is enhanced by the very plastics of the building - it looks as if it was stacked up of separate “plates” of floors that, in spite of their being stacked, form empty spaces here and there. Thanks to this, the rather large building does not look like a bulky hoof, as would otherwise have been the case. Instead, in spite of its impressive size, this is a very penetrable and “soft” structure that fits perfectly into its seaside resort surroundings – the beach, the swimming pools, and the sub-tropical scenery. This harmony is especially enhanced by the snow-white tone that was chosen as the main color of the central building.
Text by: Yuri Vissarionov, Anna Martovitskaya
Translated by Anton Mizonov

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