“Villa Calypso” made by Ilya Utkin for ‘Pirogovo collection” is a rare contemporary architectural project with literary connotations. It could be understood as quintessence of the authros’ attepts at creating his own architectural language suitable for large villas-palaces.
Nymph Calypso was one of the most enjoyable adventures of Odysseus. Cunning Greek lived with her for 7 years, and she bore him seven sons including – as some versions of the myth say, - Romus, Latinus and Ausones, first kings of Italy. Thus Romans descended from Odysseus. These days Calypso is mostly known as a ‘patron’ of tourism and long voyages – since Jacques Cousteau named his ship after her Architect Ilya Utkin called his project of the country house ‘villa Calypso’ referring mostly to Cousteau. ‘Mythological’ name is atypical for contemporary architecture. These days authors think of function and ergonomics, of pure form and plasticity, of social responsibility, history and politics, or about architectural styles. Few architects would refer to literature, allegories, or myths. Moreover, architects rarely give names to the houses. If a building has name it is usually given by realtors, therefore it has nothing to do with architectural image. The case of Utkin’s villa as atypical: its’ literary’ name has been chosen by the author. One gets a feeling that the name reflects architectural language developed by the author in his projects of country houses of the last decade. The name of Greek nymph hints at the architects’ desire to fill the house with mythical persons or spirits. Interpreting a building through sculpture is typical for all historical architecture although in the 20th c. ‘stone population’ disappeared having been replaced by ‘propaganda’ – i.e., by women with an oar, or athletes. Utkin however often uses figures on porticos and designs nymptheos – fountains decorated with relief; the name itself shows that it is not just about water, rather, the spirit of a spring lives there. It seems that Ilya Utkin is the only architect to use façade and park sculpture constantly, and to treat it as a necessary part of architectural design. ‘Villa Calypso’ has a ‘soul’ – as ancient Greeks would understand it. The villa likes water thus one third of the building that is dug in into soil is turned into a swimming pool covered by large cylindrical vault; the latter reminds of Ancient thermae. Thus the swimming pool looks ‘Roman’; it constitutes the core of the house which is built on top of it. The swimming pool could be taken as a symbolic connection with a mythical cave where the nymph had lived on the Ocean beach. It also reminds of a spring that is dedicated to an ancient deity. Villa ‘Calypso’ does not copy anything and does not construe the logic of ancient myth directly. Rather, it hints to hidden meanings that could be reflected upon. The hint is visualized by sculptures of Poseidon with a trident on north-western loggia.. The top part of the house consists of two floors and a large attic with two classical-shape frontons filled with geometrical ornaments made of wooden beams. Under frontons there are Corinth porticos; two columns unite two floors. Similar columns ‘held’ the central part of the long southern wall. Here the space between the columns is filled with glass so that columns ‘work’ both outside and inside the house where they turn into an important part of the main hall inner space. Villa has a simple symmetrical plan: the central core has two adjacent parts of identical shapes. It is a classical plan of a house- parallelepiped divided into three parts set in hierarchy. This plan could be traced back to the palaces of Italian Renaissance and Palladian villas. It is the main detail that tells us: here is a palace, although its function is to be a country house. Thus the closest analogy would be a Roman suburban villa. The villa lets nature get inside – as far as it is possible within the framework of classicist paradigm. First, the villa’s outer contour has numerous balconies and loggias. Some of them are formed by porticos, others are placed between risalits: at the lower part walls are replaced by windows in order to get day light for the subterranean space of the swimming pool. At the top floors walls give way to balconies. Thus a beautiful landscape is let into the house. Он впускает Secondly, the theme of nature is emphasized by the use of rust surfaces that cover the lower floor walls. The house should not be viewed as a reconstruction of a Roman villa, or as a paraphrase of Russian or English Palladianism though one could find traces of those stiles here. One could also find features of the early 20th-century neoclassical architecture. However the main characteristic of the house could be said as a natural combination of all those elements that together create an individual architectural language of the author. Ilya Utkin has been creating this language during last five or six years. The meaning of its style is in search for the architectural imagery of a Roman suburban villa. Here the eternal search for golden age takes the following path – the architect finds gets details from all renaissances and classicisms and rearrange them into a unique and very personal stile. In case of ‘Calypso’ the search went further than the most archaic prototype reaching Roman’s mythological ancestors.
The Towers of “Sputnik”
Six towers, which make up a large housing complex standing on the bank of the Moskva River at the very start of the Novorizhskoe Highway, provide the answers to a whole number of marketing requirements and meets a whole number of restrictions, offering a simple rhythm and a laconic formula for the houses that the developer preferred to see as “flashy”.
The Starting Point
In this article, we are reviewing two retro projects: one is 20 years old, the other is 25. One of them is Saint Petersburg’s first-ever townhouse complex; the other became the first example of a high-end residential complex on Krestovsky Island. Both were designed and built by Evgeny Gerasimov and Partners.
The Path to New Ornamentation
The high-end residential complex “Aristocrat” situated next to a pine park at the start of the Rublev Highway presents a new stage of development of Moscow’s decorative historicist architecture: expensively decorated, yet largely based on light-colored tones, and masterfully using the romantic veneer of majolica inserts.
Renovation: the Far East Style
The competition project of renovating two central city blocks of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, developed by UNK project, won the nomination “Architectural and planning solutions of city construction”.
The Istituto Centrale per la Grafica in Rome presents Sergei Tchoban’s exhibition “Imprint of the future. Destiny of Piranesi’s City”. The exhibition includes four etchings, based on Roman architectural views of the XVIII century complemented by futuristic insertions, as well as a lot of drawings that investigate the same topic, at times quite expressively. The exhibition poses questions, but does not seem to give any answers. Since going to Rome is pretty problematic now, let’s at least examine the pictures.
The City of the Sun
Jointly designed by Sergey Tchoban and Vladimir Plotkin, the VTB Arena Park complex can arguably be considered the perfect experiment on solving the centuries-old controversy between traditional architecture and modernism. The framework of the design code, combined with the creative character of the plastique-based dialogue between the buildings, formed an all-but-perfect fragment of the city fabric.
Lions on Glass
While reconstructing the facades of Building 4 of Moscow Hospital #23, SPEECH architects applied a technique, already known from Saint Petersburg projects by Sergey Tchoban – cassettes with elements of classical architecture printed on glass. The project was developed gratis, as a help to the hospital.
Park of Sentiments
The project of “Romantic Park Tuchkov Buyan”, which was developed by the consortium of Studio 44 and WEST 8, and has won an international competition, combines sculptural landscape design and wooden structures, variety of spatial features and an eventful agenda, designed for diverse audience, with a beautiful and complex passeist idea of a palace park, meant to evoke thoughts and feelings.
Architecture as an Educational Tool
The concept of a charity school “Tochka Budushchego” (“Point of the Future”) in Irkutsk is based on cutting-edge educational programs, and is designed, among other things, for adapting orphaned children for independent life. An important role is played by the architecture of the building: its structure and different types of interconnected spaces.
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.
Continuation and Development
The second “office” stage of Comcity, the most popular business park of the “New Moscow” area, continues the underground street of the already existing part of the complex, responding to its architectural identity.
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.