The southern Russian city of Krasnodar, near the Black Sea, is about to get a new cultural centre, courtesy of Italian architecture firm Piuarch. Called the Ekaterinensky Congress Centre, the new build project is about to begin construction, strategically placed on the banks of the city’s Kuban River.

The complex will span three levels and a total floor area of 2,840 sq m. The program includes a 720-seat conference hall, a foyer, restaurant, bar and service areas, which can extend onto a roof terrace and other outdoor spaces (there is a total of 1570 sq m of outside areas).

Its scenic location on the river shore ensures scenic views for the entertainment areas, while a brand new plaza forming part of the complex will enhance public outdoor space. The landscaping will also link the project with the natural river element, as well as highlight the centre’s main entrance.

Providing much needed open space – both landscaped and green – the project is set to reconfigure the city’s interaction with the river, explain the architects. 'Piuarch’s objective was to redefine the relationship between waterways, greenery and the urban grid,' they add.

As a result, a sinuous, curved glass façade leaves the interior open to the river views, as well as allowing plenty of light indoors. In contrast, the city-facing façade becomes more severe and geometric, featuring straight lines, glass walls and oxidised copper brise-soleil. 

At night, the glass lets the building glow from within, transforming it into an urban lantern, and a key landmark for the city.