The first posthumous competition win for Zaha Hadid, who died last month at age 65, is the Sberbank Technopark at the Skolkovo Innovation Center, in Russia. She edged out Foster+Partners, Eric Owen Moss, Fuksas, and Speech, proving that demand is high as ever for the late architect's work.
Billed as "Russia's Silicon Valley" by the Kremlin, the area is located 10 miles west of Moscow and was planned by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (who was president in 2009 when the project was announced) to house the country's IT, biomedical, energy, nuclear, and aerospace businesses. However, the development—which is directed by businessman Viktor Vekselberg, one of the wealthiest men in the country—has suffered setbacks, following accusations of corruption, construction delays, and more.
Banking and financial services company (and Russia's state-owned lender) Sberbank hired Hadid Architects to design a sprawling 32-acre business park—about the size of 26 football fields—to become the "bank's cradle of IT innovations." About 10,000 to 12,000 people in Sberbank's technology and marketing departments are expected to work in the buildings.
In a press release, Christos Passas, project director at Zaha Hadid Architects, said:
The incredible belief in the power of invention attracted Zaha Hadid to the Russian avant-garde. She realized how architecture can enrich creativity; how space itself can enhance dynamism, complexity, coherence, and continuity. These principles are embedded within the Sberbank Technopark design.
Construction is expected to start in 18 months and be completed two years after that.