Fractional Scale

  • contemporary architecture

In the Center of Nizhny Novgorod, Studio 44 is designing a new hotel complex.


As Ivan Kozhin, the chief architect of the project, shares, designing the appearance of the hotel began with solving the two big issues the height of the building and the length of its street-facing facades. Here is the thing: situated at the crossing of Alekseevskaya and Piskunova streets, the landsite determines the triangular shape of the future buildings layout, and the sides of this triangle are of quite expressive length 100 and 80 meters along each of the streets respectively. However, one can hardly find at least one other building with a façade that long in Nizhny Novgorod, and this is why it was obvious to the architects that these impressive surfaces were to be visually fractured in one way or another. The solution was prompted by the surrounding houses that formed neat rectangles of facades of various epochs the architects borrowed their proportions, applying the resulting grid to the hotel building. At the same time, the architects consciously refrained from copying the stylistic diversity of the surrounding buildings the facades display the grid idea per se, this solution being delicate but indicating their contemporariness as well. The lengthiness of each of the street facades is visually neutralized by the fractionality of their composition: the hotel building looks as if it was made up of separate boxes that look like and unlike one another at the same time. The blocks are of prominently different width but are all brick-faced this, according to the authors, makes them look akin to the historical housing and makes them look more human and less distant. The project provides to use several types of bricks that differ not only in their color but in their texture as well. The collage effect is enhanced by the windows of different sizes the architects do not hesitate to experiment with the lintels, transparent fencing of the stanzas and vertical blinds-like partition walls. The authors of the project also place the cornices of each of the segments at different heights (12 to 16 meters), thus making the facades pulsate in the cityscape and create the impression of a whole densely built quarter. Designing the building in the historical center of Nizhny Novgorod obliged the architects to comply with the municipal height regulations that restrict the height of the building down to 25 meters. The Saint Petersburg architects, however, deliberately used the idea of stairway layout when the upper floor of the building is sunk in and is treated as the attic-storey, skillfully carved in under the gable roof. The rooms of this hotel have panoramic windows; the exterior walls are covered with metal sheets.
Text by: Nikita Yavein, Anna Martovitskaya
Translated by Anton Mizonov

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