We travel to Belarus today for the Epstein 'Would Have Been' Wednesday feature on the Minsk City Center, a mixed-use development that would have been Tony Hawk's dream structure! For this proposed project Epstein served as the lead structural engineer and executive architect, which would have been comprised of offices, hotel, retail & entertainment spaces. The development was scheduled to be fully operational before the World Hockey Championships which will be held in Minsk in March 2014.
The main structure of the Minsk City Center consisted of a U-shaped building profile with a valley in the middle and two sweeping side towers flanking it. (Perfect for performing the ultimate 'Top Gun' or 'Ollie' – for non-thrashers – google it) The overall extent of the tower sections of the building was15 stories in the northern office part and in the southern hotel part 20 stories. The central section was 3 stories high at the lowest point and rises up to the side building flanks.
The building complex was to include such various uses as:
• Shopping Mall
• Entertainment Centre, Cinema Centre and Food Court
• Hotel & Apartments
• Spa/Health Club
The 5-star hotel would have featured 248 rooms (230 standard rooms, 14 suites, 3 VIP suites, 1 presidential suite) and the 44 residential apartments comprised of 14 single room studios, 30 one/two and three room apartments. The shopping mall and entertainment center would have included cinemas, ice rink, bowling, billiards, children's play centre, food court, night clubs, disco and casino. Lastly, the Minsk City Center was planned to feature a 15-story office building and provide nearly 1500 underground parking spaces.
The design concept and preliminary design drawings for the Minsk City Center were prepared by BRT Architekten GmbH in Germany.
Alas the budget for this very ambitious project became a little too steep for the developers and they 'bailed' mid 'flip' – still the concepts developed could easily be downsized for the next X-Games – don't you think?