BUILT | 2014


‘Buddha's Smile’ is a city-forming project and physical culture and sports complex in Ulan-Ude, Russia. Built on the site of the former stadium named in honour of the 25th anniversary of the Buryat ASSR, the sports centre has become a venue for the Altargana National Festival and a point of attraction for active residents.

The building's appearance is a reflection of the idea and perception of Buryatia as the Russian centre of Buddhism. This makes Buddha's Smile an integral part of the Republic's sporting, cultural, and religious history.

The original facade makes the sports complex blend into the panorama of the capital. The softness of the roof silhouettes harmonises with the surrounding landscape, and the accent red colour, symbolic of Buddhist culture, does not fade at a great distance, which makes the building visible from the altitude of approaching planes.

The facade is designed in the form of a theatre backstage, with a staircase acting as the stage. The actors get to it through circular passages in the ceiling, and the audience is seated in the open air. The square becomes an auditorium enclosed on both sides by a hotel and a business centre. Thus, these buildings fulfil simultaneously two functions: they form the space and decorate the entrance group.

The sports complex includes a 50-metre swimming pool with stands for 1,000 spectators, a multipurpose hall for sports with stands for 2,500 spectators, an archery hall, and martial arts halls.

Buryatia is one of five regions of Russia with an increased frequency of earthquakes. This was taken into account when designing the facility and constructing the building - it's constructed to withstand earthquake magnitude of 8.0.