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In Kaluga region, the studio Architectural Dialogue with the Megalopolis has designed the school building for Kitezh community that unites adopting parents. This time around, however, the architects got engaged in the dialogue not with the dense city housing but with idyllic rural hill scenery...


The architect Andrew Romanov explains that the work on the project began with a careful all-round analysis of the part that the future school was going to play in the life of the local community. Today, Kitezh people have virtually no place where they all could get together, organize a full-scale event, and receive their guests that are generally very numerous in the community - that is why the designed structure was from the very start considered not only as a school building per se, but as a convention center as well. Moreover, the architects originally strived to treat this building not only from the purely functional side but as an architectural image as well this is why they tried to design a building the very shape of which would symbolize the conversion of social and cultural activities. On the layout, the school almost exactly repeats the shape of an equilateral triangle with smoothly rounded angles. The center of this shape is cut out, and in the resulting space there is a square with a lake and a picturesque hill in the open air (in wintertime, the lake makes a skating rink and the hill makes a slide). It is this developed space that is commanded by the windows of the main corridor that runs through the school premises connecting them. In fact, the architects treat this corridor as a gallery that runs along the entire inner perimeter of the building. Because the future school is mostly surrounded by fields with occasional low-rise structures, the authors of the project considered it important to maximally inscribe this building into the scenery. The chosen shape and the smooth outlines of the gently sloping roof, as well as the low rise, visually conceal the relatively large area of the structure (almost 3 000 square meters) and rhyme the building to the surrounding hills. It was as if the dull federal regulatory act about the mandatory running a closed-perimeter fence around the school buildings was turned inside out by ADM studio in Kitezh, the yard is located not behind institution-like fence but inside the very building itself. And, even though this solution caused the structure to be considerably larger than all the other houses in the village, the architects were able to make this volume fit perfectly into its environment. The soft outlines of the roofing and the façades as well as the man-made hill in the courtyard follow the lines of the natural landscape, while the wooden plating of the façades and the multitude of square-shaped windows liken the new building to the already-existing ones in the village, at the same time taking the local architectural tradition to a whole new level.
Text by: Ekaterina Kuznetsova, Andrey Romanov, Anna Martovitskaya
Translated by Anton Mizonov

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