Skolkovo Business Centre

Moscow, Russia

Designed to visually reference the form of a Russian matryoshka doll, the Skolkovo Business Centre is a multifunctional building that incorporates office, restaurant and residential space, as well as a theatre and the Museum of Innovation. It is the first project in the ambitious scheme to transform Skolkovo into a centre for technology.

Buro Happold was appointed to provide an integrated engineering service on this unique 20,000m2 development.


The fact that this relatively compact building was intended to fulfil so many different functions presented our team with an array of challenges, not least the complex engineering required to realise the architect’s unique vision. In addition, our client was concerned about the impact the nearby airport would have on noise levels inside the centre.


To achieve the architectural aesthetic desired, our engineers developed an inclined structural system for the building that tapered by three degrees on all sides. We also incorporated large cantilevered floor slabs within this structure, in order to create the desired open plan interior layout. Our experts undertook rigorous, detailed structural design work and 3D simulation in order to develop and test both aspects of this complicated design.

The architect envisaged the top two levels of the centre as penthouse apartments with a rooftop viewing deck. This meant that the building’s ventilation equipment couldn’t go on the roof as is usual in such developments, so instead we relocated it down in the basement alongside the heating and air conditioning systems.

Our engineers addressed our client’s concern about noise from the nearby airport by selecting special soundproof glass for the facade glazing, which ensured theatre performances and other events wouldn’t be disturbed by the busy air traffic overhead.


The Buro Happold team brought original thinking and insight to this project, and successfully delivered a stylish, multifunctional building that fully realises our client’s ambitious vision to create a building that is memorable in design yet highly comfortable for residents and visitors.

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