Underground builders will gather in Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg was presented as a next hosting city of the World Conference of Associated research Centers for Urban Underground Space, ACUUS 2016 during the 14th World Conference ACUUS 2014 that took place in Seoul, September 23-27, 2014.  

Russian specialist of high rank took part in it and presented their papers. Deputy Director General of JSC “Lenmetrogiprotrans” Vladimir Markov presented his work on recent technologies for metro design and construction in Saint Petersburg.  President of International Association of Horizontal Directional Drilling Specialists Aleksandr Breidburd presented the paper on trenchless technologies. Association of Underground Builders CEO Sergei Alpatov, also the member of the ACUUS Board, prepared the paper on necessity of comprehensive planning and use of underground space. Sergei Alpatov reported on the recent activities of Association of Underground Builders in the framework of preparations for ACUUS 2016.

Assocition of Underground Builders CEO Sergei Alpatov

ACUUS Board members acknowledged  the work implemented by Russian colleagues, confirming that hosting of the event would help Saint Petersburg to continue with the status of ideological center of underground construction in the country.  At the opening ceremony ACUUS president Dimitris Kaliampakos greeted the audience. Mr. Kaliampakos empathized the importance of interaction between underground builders and authorities and citizens, part of this work is in providing comfortable for living underground area, not only functional but also esthetic valuable. It is not enough anymore to construct functional underground structures, it is time for exquisite decisions leading to friendly livable areas underground.

ACUUS vice-president Yingxin Zhou  (left) and Association of Underground Builders CEO Sergei Alpatov  (center)
Prof. Jong Ruhl Hahn of Korean Institute of Architects urged the audience to design and plan underground space the way it allows people to feel there comfortable and safe.  With the underground space being pleasurable to spend time, it would be easier to achieve public acknowledgment and persuade authorities to make right decisions.

The concept of the city as a living body was presented by Italian independent artist Narcissus Quagliata, who created the cupola of interchange metro station, being the heart of the city now.  Unique element of underground structure made of glass quickly became the tourist attraction.  Mr. Quagliata noticed that a great attention should be paid to the decoration of underground space, then underground structures may be popular and serve as a cultural centers of the city. 

Famous French architect Dominique Perrault continued the key lectures with his conception of “groundscape”. In his opinion underground space can be adjusted to different utility purposes, joining together underground structures and aboveground landscape.  The single landscape can be created with different level structures being in symbioses.

Dominique Perrault personally gave a tour for ACUUS 2014 participants along underground structure he designed for Ewha Women University in Seoul.  One of the remarkable features of the project is a lighting system, consisting of numerous mirrors. Underground structure beautifully intertwined with natural landscape. At present Mr. Perrault participates in an ambitious renovation project in Versailles, projecting underground entrance to the world famous museum complex. 

Ewha Women University, Seoul

Russian specialists noted high academic level of the event, a well-established connection between authorities and specialists in Korea. Despite local specialist being very competent in their fields and being able to work with state-of-art technologies and technics, there is quite a problematic situation with city planning in regard of underground space and legislation.  In the same time Russian metropolises have a possibility of getting world experience and develop accordingly. It is expected that world best examples of underground space use for future development of the cities will be widely presented at ACUUS 2016 Conference in Saint Petersburg and help in convincing the local authorities in its advantages.  

Russian specialists in Seoul

«It is a question of great importance, ACUUS 2016 being supported at the government level”, - noted Sergei Alpatov. Many specialists supported the idea of Saint Petersburg being the next host. The preservation of historic center, while expanding its infrastructure is a necessary for sustainable development of modern cities, granted in the world with a help of underground urbanization.