Two faces of a "green" house

  • contemporary architecture

In Moscow there has been started construction of a residential complex with sports centre on Soviet Army street designed by the architectural studio Atrium. As a rule mixed-used buildings are designed as different volumes literally connected to each other, but Vera Butko and Anton Nadtochy had their own vision.


The housing number 6 on Soviet Army street closely borders with Ekaterininsky park, and eventually the neighborhood influenced the function and type of the building. Sports facility is the function inherited from the previous building. There used to be an athletics school, and Moskomsport decided to build here an innovative sports technology center - a special research facility where athletes will be examined, pass sports testing, etc. One of the main requirements of the technical enquiry was a running track, as long as possible. "It is obvious, we were not able to build it longer then the site length, so we located the sports facility along it borders on Soviet Army street, and apartment buildings are placed perpendicular to this volume, and front the park" - says the architect Vera Butko. On the plan the residential complex is ϔ shaped forming a cozy courtyard within it, protected from the road and becomes an extension of the park. But the volume itself demonstrates ideas uncommon for such structure and residential architecture at large: the five-storey block of the sports center merges with the northern residential block and forms a single spatial -shaped form, while the south housing block (lower), on the contrary, is totally separated from the volume of the sports center it is almost hanging over it with its long console. To solve such complicated constructional task they invited a famous German bureau Werner Sobek Engineering & Design. The building does not touch it non-residential neighbor, it even seem to step back, creating an arch between them. The gap is an important functional role not only foot-walkers can pass there but also more of the day light making the interaction of the architectural volumes more intense. Despite the large scale of the building, the architects wanted to create a light architectural composition splitting the single volume into complex geometric shapes. Buildings are radically different from each other not only in their forms, but the materials: one is finished with light stone, the other main -shaped is finished with brick. However, in both cases they are only a wrap partially covering the fragile glass volumes. Like a carelessly thrown on the satin pillow cover is little by little slipping down: the "crossbeam" of the sports center is made entirely of brick, but the residential building are partly "covered", although they could not do without finely adjusted geometry.
Text by: Vera Butko, Anton Nadtochiy, Anna Martovitskaya

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