The soon-to-be client and the architect met at the award ceremony “Zolotoe Sechenie” of 2007. Whether they made a special visit to meet the architects or they liked Vera Butko and Anton Nadtochi’s projects which were among the award nominees. By the way, the “Atrium” received the three diplomas for the ready-built constructions from the jury of “Sechenie”. It is a rare chance when the event of professional recognition at the same moment brings clients. Well, the “Atrium” was asked to take part in the invited tendering, and the project was given the preference over the project of the other Russian and foreign agencies.
The clients have large businesses, not in medicine sphere as you might think. Construction of the health clinic is not only a money investment. The investors are planning to run the clinic, and probably gain their own health there. And most probably there will be tested the new typology: health clinic plus a spa-resort. It is unique for Russia, though it might be compared to “sanatorium”. But an elite one.
The “five-star clinic” (as the architects call it in joke) will be fully equipped: medical consultation service, laboratory examination, therapeutic courses, if necessary – surgery and rehabilitation under professional supervision. Therefore, the technical enquiry included a requirement that everything must satisfy the general concept of health care and body health treatment. There will not be night clubs, bars, internet-cafes, conference halls, even children playgrounds and game rooms. The owners of the clinic believe their guests will need privacy and possibility to focus on their health, without being distracted by friends, short visits to offices.
To achieve the privacy and distance from the city activities, they chose quite a remote territory – it is 7 and a half ha of former summer camp in a picturesque forest on the border of Moscow and Vladimir regions. Today there are no buildings of the Soviet period, but beautiful gully, birchwood and a stream flowing out of the small lake. Scenery is absolutely idyllic and serene.
The lake has almost dried up, but it will be revived, cleaned up and become a compositional centre of the health clinic with all its constructions around the lake. In detail: from one side there will be 3-storey construction with doctors’ offices, surgery, laboratories, as well as hotel rooms and a public zone. On the other side there are six isolated cottages for those clients who prefer staying incognito or want to meet their neighbors more rarely; for high-ranking officials and famous people. Also, there will be a restaurant and even a small greenhouse. Not only specialist will grow fruits and vegetables there but the gusts. Really, what is more healthy than a work within due limits?
The broad zigzag of the main 3-storey building of the clinic is perpendicularly cut into the slope surface (difference in relief is considerable here,15 m, so the play with heights is reasonable). Massive plates of the concrete floors – a favorite Butko and Nadtochi’s technique, tested on countryside villages – roll down along the floors, break at different angles, go down to the ground by long rampants. They seem to have a geological nature, look like layers of some unknown chalky rocks, winded among hills and woods of common Russian landscape. Well, it will be obvious the stone zigzag is artificial: lines are quite straight, only they run somewhere all the time, stepping aside and leaning upon thin round “legs”, or pushing forward its terraces bravely hanging over the ground or over each other. Inside, there form a three lighted space of an atrium of complex construction due to the shift of floors, and general function areas group around there.
Terraces will be planted, and the authors designed there pastoral paths, stitch-paths which appear in summertime. This detail – not significant, but illustrative part of the project graphics – is fascinating and ads some faint beauty to the idea of green architecture, in its classical variant, already quite annoying for critics. Due to the paths the layers of terraces unfolded like a fan becoming a part of the field – like the Moscow region nature was handed on a platter to the guests of the wonder clinic and put by their doors.
Each of the six cottages on the other side includes the two 1-storey and 2-storey “blocked” halves”. Their spaces are almost equal, but they have different configurations and layouts. It gave the architect a nontrivial solution for the practical task: if a client rents the entire cottage they get a building with a mirrored layout, a common house with a public zone in the middle, a small living room and a few bed-rooms. Also this solution avoids a dull image of “blocked housing” – each building has two parts, but outside it is not obvious.
Anton Nadtochi said the prototype of each “half” was a standard house with two-sloped roof out of which were “taken out” (cut, in some places) separated volumes and so the traditional form became unrecognizable. Slopes of the roofs almost vertically grow into the ground or are almost flat, or join with long roof overhangs which are like heavy concrete hoods. The walls are thin and light, glass alternates with wood panels, brutal and textured stone pipes grow through the ephemeral transparent surfaces. It is like the houses are hatched and got frozen having no idea what was better for them – a Russian countryside plough share (on the roof), wooden balconies of a Swiss cottage or the classics of transparent modernism.
The clients wanted modern architecture, but not urban. That is natural – bucolic. The modern architecture likes natural shapes, sometimes it curves and bends too much, trying to imitate naturalness and uncreated. The project by Butko and Nadtochi is different. Remarkably, its naturalness is not gained by curving. But right angles can hardly be found there – there are plenty of bevels and slopes. It seems, natural (rather, geological) forms were cut. Narrowed to pieces, to simplify (and reduce the costs, important as well) or to demonstrate its artificial nature. It’s a kind of agreement between the “archi” and “tectonics”, human and ecological; architecture is on the edge between both. Most probably, the “golden mean” will work for the clients of this small health resort. The construction process is started and in a couple of years there will be first results. The cottages are already built, the finishing works will be started the next summer. Construction of the main building will probably be stated the next year as well.
The Gallery Approach
In this article, we are covering the concept of a Central District Clinic for 240 patients, designed by Ginzburg Architects, which won at a competition organized by the Architects Union and the Healthcare Ministry.
In this issue, we are publishing the concept of a standard clinic designed by UNK Project, which took second place in the competition organized by the Union of Architects of Russia in collaboration with the Healthcare Ministry.
From Foundation to Teaspoon
Based on the taste of their friendly clients, the architects Olga Budennaya and Roman Leonidov designed and built a house in the Moscow metropolitan area playing Art Nouveau. At the same time, they enriched the typology of a private house with modern functions of a garage loft and a children’s art studio.
A Comfortable City in Itself
The project that we are about to cover is seemingly impossible amidst human anthills, chaotically interspersed with old semi-neglected dachas. Meanwhile, the housing complex built on the Comcity business part does offer a comfortable environment of decent city: not excessively high-rise and moderately private as a version of the perfect modern urbanist solution.
Moving on the Edge
The housing complex “Litsa” (“Faces”) on Moscow’s Khodynka Field is one of the new grand-scale buildings that complement the construction around it. This particular building skillfully tackles the scale, subjugating it to the silhouette and the pattern; it also makes the most of the combination of a challenging land site and formidable square footage requirements, packing a whole number of features within one volume, so the house becomes an analogue of a city. And, to cap it all, it looks like a family that securely protects the children playing in the yard from... well, from everything, really.
Visual Stability Agent
A comparatively small house standing on the border of the Bolshevik Factory combines two diametrically opposite features: expensive materials and decorative character of Art Deco, and a wide-spaced, even somewhat brutal, facade grid that highlights a laminated attic.
The Faraday Cage
The project of the boutique apartment complex in the 1st Truzhenikov Lane is the architects’ attempt to squeeze a considerable volume into a tiny spot of land, at the same time making it look graceful and respectable. What came to their rescue was metal, stone, and curvilinear glass.
The Union of Art and Technology
His interest for architecture of the 1930’s is pretty much the guiding star for Stepan Liphart. In his project of the “Amo” house on St. Petersburg’s Vasilyevsky Island, the architect based himself on Moscow Art Deco - aesthetically intricate and decorated in scratch-work technique. As a bonus, he developed the city block typology as an organic structure.
The project that Evgeniy Gerasimov and Partners developed for Moscow’s Leningrad Avenue: the tallest building in the company’s portfolio, continuing the tradition of Moscow’s Stalin architecture.
In the project that they developed for a southern region of Russia, OSA Architects use multilayered facades that create an image of seaside resort architecture, and, in the vein of the latest trends of today, mix up different social groups that the residents belong to.
Just a Mirror for the Sun
The house that Sergey Skuratov designed in Nikolovorobinsky Alley is thought out down to the last detail. It adapts three historical facades, interprets a feeling of a complex city, is composed of many layers, and catches plenty of sunlight, from sunrises to sunsets. The architect himself believes that the main role of this house is creating a background for another nearby project of his, Art House in the Tessinsky Alley.
Part of the Whole
On June 5, the winners of Moscow Architectural Award were announced. The winners list includes the project of a school in Troitsk for 2,100 students, with its own astronomy dome, IT testing ground, museum, and a greenhouse on the roof.
Yet another project of a private school, in which Archimatika realizes the concept of aesthetic education and introduces a new tradition: combining Scandinavian and Soviet experience, turning to works of art, and implementing sustainable technologies.
In the “Parallel House” residence that he designed in the Moscow metropolitan area, the architect Roman Leonidov created a dramatic sculptural composition from totally basic shapes – parallelepipeds, whose collision turned into an exciting show.
In the Istra district of Moscow metropolitan area, the tandem of 4izmerenie and ARS-ST designed a sports complex – a monovolume that has the shape of a chamfered parallelepiped with a pointed “nose” like a ship’s bow.
Stairway to Heaven
The project of a hotel in the settlement of Yantarny is an example of a new recreational complex typology, and a new format that unites the hotel, the business, and the cultural functions. All of this is complemented by 100% integration with nature.
Cape of Good Hope
In this issue, we are showing all the seven projects that participated in a closed-door competition to create a concept for the headquarters of Gazprom Neft, as well as provide expert opinions on those projects.
The Outer Space
Honoring the 300th anniversary of the Kuznetsk coal fields in 2021, a new passenger terminal of the Aleksey Leonov Airport in the city of Kemerovo will be built, designed by GK Spectrum and ASADOV Architectural Bureau.
The Pivot of Narkomfin Building
Ginzburg Architects finished the restoration of the Narkomfin Building’s laundry unit – one of the most important elements of the famous monument of Soviet avant-garde architecture.
The housing complex “Respublika” is so large that it can be arguably called a micro-town, yet, at the same time, it easily overcomes most of the problems that usually arise with mass housing construction. How could Archimatika achieve that? We are examining that on the example of the first stage of the complex.
The Flowing Lines
The five houses of the “Svoboda” block belonging to the “Simvol” residential complex present a vivid example of all-rounded work performed by the architects on an integral fragment of the city, which became the embodiment of the approach to architecture that hitherto was not to be seen anywhere in Moscow: everything is subjected to the flow of lines – something like a stream, enhanced by the powerful pattern of the facades akin to “super-graphics”.
A City by the Water
The concept of a large-scale housing development at the edge of Voronezh, near the city reservoir, or “the sea”, as it is locally called, uses the waterside height difference to create a sophisticated public space, paying a lot of attention to the distribution of masses that determine the look of the future complex if viewed from the opposite bank of the river.
A Journey to the Country of Art Deco
The “Little France” residential complex on the 20th line of the Vasilyevsky Island presents an interesting make-believe dialogue between its architect, Stepan Liphart, the architect of the New Hermitage, masters of the Silver Age, and Soviet Art Deco, about interesting professional topics, such as a house with a courtyard in the historical center of Saint Petersburg, and the balance between the wall and the stained glass in the architectonics of the facade. Here are the results of this make-believe conversation.
A House in a Port
This housing complex on the Dvinskaya Street is the first case of modern architecture on the Gutuevsky Island. The architectural bureau “A-Len” thoroughly explores the context and creates a landmark for further transformations of this area of Saint Petersburg.
Balance of Infill Development
Anatoly Stolyarchuk Architectural Studio is designing a house that inadvertently prevails over the surrounding buildings, yet still tries to peacefully coexist with the surrounding environment, taking it to a next level.
The Precious Space
Evolution Design and T+T Architects reported about the completion of the interior design project of Sberbank headquarters on the Kutuzovsky Avenue. In the center of the atrium, hovers the “Diamant” meeting room; everything looks like a chest full of treasures, including the ones of a hi-tech kind.
Big Little Victory
In a small-sized school located in Domodedovo in Moscow metropolitan area, ASADOV_ architects did a skillful job of tackling the constraints presented by the modest budget and strict spatial limitations – they designed sunlit classrooms, comfortable lounges, and even a multi-height atrium with an amphitheater, which became the center of school life.
The Social Biology of Landscape
The list of new typologies of public spaces and public projects has been expanded yet again — thanks to Wowhaus. This time around, this company came up with a groundbreaking by Russian standards approach to creating a place where people and animals can communicate.
Watched by the Angels from up Above
Held in the General Staff building of the Hermitage Museum, the anniversary exhibition of “Studio 44” is ambitious and diverse. The exhibition was designed to give a comprehensive showcase of the company’s architecture in a whole number of ways: through video, models, drawings, installations, and finally, through a real-life project, the Enfilade, which the exhibition opens up, intensifies, and makes work the way it was originally intended.
A New Version of the Old City
The house at Malaya Ordynka, 19, fits in perfectly with the lineup of the street, looking even as if it straightened the street up a little, setting a new tone for it – a tone of texture, glitter, “sunny” warmth, and, at the same time, reserved balance of everything that makes the architecture of an expensive modern house.
Stepan Liphart: “Standing your ground is the right thing to do”
A descendant of German industrialists, “Jophan’s son”, and an architect, speaks about how studying architectural orders tempers one’s character, and how a team of just a few people can design grand-scale housing projects to be built in the center of Saint Petersburg. Also: Santa Claus appearing in a Stalin high-rise, an arch portal to the outer space, mannerism painting, and the palaces of Paris – all covered in an interview with Stepan Liphart.
Honey and Copper
In the Moscow area, the architect Roman Leonidov designed the “Cool House” residence, very much in the spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright, spreading it parallel to the ground, and accentuating the horizontal lines in it. The color composition is based on juxtaposition of warm wood of a honey hue and cold copper blue.
The Ring on the Saisara Lake
The building of the Philharmonic Hall and the Theater of Yakut Epos, standing on the shore of the sacred lake, is inscribed into an epic circle and contains three volumes, reminiscent of the traditional national housing. The roof is akin to the Alaas – a Yakut village standing around a lake. In spite of its rich conceptual agenda, the project remains volumetrically abstract, and keeps up a light form, making the most of its transparency, multiple layers, and reflections.
Architecture of Evanescence
On the Vernadskogo Avenue, next to the metro station, appeared a high-rise landmark that transformed the entire area: designed by UNK Project, the “Academic” business center uncovered, in the form of its architecture, the meanings of the local place names.
The Theater and Music Circles
The contest-winning ambitious grand-scale project of the main theater and concert complex of the Moscow area includes three auditoriums, a yard – a public area – a higher school of music, and a few hotels. It promises to become a high-profile center for the classical music festivals on a national scale.
The Line of a Hardened Breakthrough
Designed by Stepan Liphart, the housing complex “Renaissance” continues the line of the historical center of Saint Petersburg, reinterpreting the Leningrad Art Deco and the neoclassical architecture of the 1930-50’s in reference to the civilization challenges posed by our century.
The Regeneration Experience
The housing project “Metsenat”, which occupies the area next to the Resurrection Church in Moscow’s Kadashi, has a long and complicated history, full of protests, victories, and hopes. Now the project is complete: the architects were able to keep the views, the scale, and a few historical buildings; we can examine the end result now. The project was developed by Ilia Utkin.
The Terraces of the Crystal Cape
Proposed by Nikita Yavein, the concept of a museum, educational, and memorial complex to be built in the city of Sevastopol avoids straightforward accents and over-the-top dramatics, interpreting the history of this place along with the specifics of its landscape, and joining the public space of the operated stairway and amphitheaters with an imposing monument.
Evgeny Podgornov: “You need to make your projects visible”
The leader of Saint-Petersburg’s architectural company Intercolumnium explains why his company’s portfolio includes projects ranging from hi-tech to historicism, discourses upon high-rise landmarks, about the clients, and about the sources of the drive that the city needs.