Transfiguration of the Façade

  • contemporary architecture

Moscow’s “Pavel Andreev Architectural Studio” has finished the reconstruction of “Promstroiproekt Institute” building on Komsomolsky Avenue.


The reconstruction plan developed by “Pavel Andreev Architectural Studio” included dismantling the existing windows and a complete remodeling of the front façade, as well as the back and the side ones. Yet another important part of this reconstruction project was building up an extra (ninth) top floor with a total area of 781 square meters. While the main and basically the only architectural theme of the building was the articulated horizontal stripes, the new façade solution is predominantly based on the verticals alternating with stained-glass elements. At the same time, not only do the architects fracture the elongated rectangle into rhythmical segments but also give its look a slight but perceivable hint of column order - like some sort of reaction to the more pompous surroundings. The resulting segments cannot, of course, be called columns in the full sense of the term, but being accentuated by the cornices on the first-floor level and on the parapets of the neighboring houses, the verticals are definitely visually perceived like columns of sorts. Moreover, grouped into porticos, they cardinally change the scale of the building, splitting the transparent surface into two volumes. This impression is enhanced by the pilasters that project beyond the main plane of the façade wall. The extra top floor, on the other hand, gets an entirely different solution. First of all, it is covered by glass in a horizontal “ribbon” fashion which can be considered as a paraphrase of the look the building used to have. Second of all, the new volume itself is recessed deeper away from the main façade line, and this helps to visually neutralize the augmented height of the building, as well as provide for the usable roof section. In fact, not only does the “Promstroiproekt” building get an extra floor but also a new full-scale terrace that can make an ideal summer café for organizing corporate events in the warm time of the year. The railing of the terrace, executed as horizontal stretched metallic ropes, echoes the theme of the cornice of the top floor that is executed as a comparatively narrow metallic pergola.
Text by: Pavel Andreev, Anna Martovitskaya

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