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Sergey Estrin architectural studio has developed the design project of a penthouse that is to be situated in "Gorod Stolits" ("City of Capitals") skyscraper on the territory of Moscow International Business Center.


The penthouse that Sergey Estrin worked at is situated on the 76th floor of "Gorod Stolits" residential complex. The architect got the commission for the design project of only the guest area of this apartment with a total area of 450 square meters and three of its four walls being in fact floor-to-ceiling windows. The view of Moscow that this apartment commands is particularly breath-taking at night when the cars headlights trace the structure of the megalopolis with all of its medieval rings and radii. So it is no wonder that the commissioner wanted the interior of his apartment to be fairly modest - according to his idea, nothing was to distract his guests from contemplating the ever-boiling city.

Giving this panoramic view the main role in this interior, we were looking to tie the outwardly open space with the architecture of the building itself, stress somehow that it is a skyscraper in the first place, - shares Sergey Estrin. The massive square-section supporting columns became the perfect solution for this task: they are faced with travertine plates that are shifted in respect to one another in such a way that the supporting columns look like they were made of separate cubic segments. In this composition, one can easily trace the silhouette of the "Gorod Stolits" itself, the skyscraper that looks like it is made up of glass blocks shifted in respect to their central axis.

The ostentatiously skintled brickwork and the play of asymmetric cavities and perches that unambiguously refers to the image of ancient ruins, became one of the main themes of this interior. The bottom of the swimming pool gets deeper in steps that are echoed by the wooden plates of the ceiling. The main accent of the theme, however, is the supporting wall. For its facing, the architects chose to use the shuttering plywood in conjunction with stucco-based plastic mixture covered with mosaic copper. The copper was air-aged and then covered with flat varnish, each fragment getting a texture of its own. The rich relief and the complex texture of a warm shade color make the wall look like a remnant of some ancient palace where a multitude of decorative layers blend into one single mass that come alive in the mornings when the reflexes of the rising sun (the penthouse is oriented eastwards) enhance its golden glow.

The sophisticated multi-layer lighting system of the penthouse is designed to echo the numberless city lights outside its windows at nights. Backlit are the relief of the wall and the ceiling plates but particularly interesting are the metallic columns set in the glass imposts. The latter are made up of punctured metal cylinders, and inside of them they have LED-lights capable of changing the color of the windows "entwining". These columns also look like parts of the "palace", only, because of the ornament, they look less brutal - rather, like some openwork inserts inside the glass. The reflexes of light enhance the play of masses and planes, echoing the big city lights, bustling somewhere down below. And then it becomes clear that the most important accent in the play of this theater of architecture is the height per se - gigantic, mind-numbing and breath-taking.

Text by: Sergei Estrin, Tatiana Shovskaya
Translated by Anton Mizonov
Penthouse in “Moscow City”. Implementation, 2011  Sergey Estrin Architects
Penthouse in "Moscow City". Implementation, 2011 Sergey Estrin Architects
Penthouse in “Moscow City”. Implementation, 2011  Sergey Estrin Architects
Penthouse in "Moscow City". Implementation, 2011 Sergey Estrin Architects

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