Bridge to the world of haute couture

  • contemporary architecture

Architectural studio SPEECH developed a renovation concept of "Aelita" garment factory in Vyshny Volochyok. Since manufacture is in operation, the architects decided not to repurpose it, but support it by constructing an outlet-centre by the factory.


Basis of the project is an outlet model which is a shopping area by the factory specializing on its products or brand. According to the architect Sergey Tchoban, it will provide Vyshny Volochyok textile factories with regular orders and revitalize the town. "Moscow and St. Petersburg residents as well as foreign tourists will happily spend their days-off here having rest and being able to buy beautiful, stylish and practical cloths by Russian designers national traditions", - he said.

Designed by SPEECH the outlet-center has three major functional areas. First is the factory itself, historical buildings of which are renovated and enlarge by three more blocks. At that, developing the functional part, the architects asked factory employees and got to know that, in particular, Aelita employees need a small park and subculture objects. So SPEECH decided to join historical and new buildings by a glass heated gallery. There will be an all-season recreation area with a winter garden, canteen and cafe. Northern gallery side is attached to the public complex, which houses a club, cinema of 240 seats and a steam bath. Southern gallery end space passes to the public area of the reconstructed mill first floor.

Along the opposite western Tsna bank there will be a shopping area with embankment promenade, low-rise residential complex for employees, boat and yacht berth. Designer clothing outlets are located close to the water and the bridge connecting with the factory. Again SPEECH designed most plain volumes.], in fact they are display boxes "content" and image of each will be determined by a particular brand image. "The proposed architectural solution is really very clear and simple - Sergei Kuznetsov agrees. By such simplicity, we emphasize the contrast between new and old buildings, delicacy of buildings scale. Besides, such project is guaranteed to be constructed with Russian materials and technologies.

The main attraction center of the designed complex is located over the river. Between the Tsna river the authors throw an unusual pedestrian bridge, which can transform into a fashion museum or a fashion show catwalk. Along its bays there are placed white cubes of pavilions serving as supports. "Actually their facades are simply screens designed to demonstrate images chosen for a particular show" - explains designer Alena Akhmadullina, author of the museum concept. Remarkably the same idea is introduced in the interior of the exhibition space: there will traditional dressed mannequins as well as standard blank models on which any clothing can be projected. During night shows on the bridge the cubes will be partly transformed into stands and the bridge itself will be turned into the runway. Small ships are able to sail under the bridge its central part is raised, hall-cubes are raised by 4 meters with jackscrew built on their supports.

Text by: Sergei Tchoban, Sergey Kouznetsov, Anna Martovitskaya

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