It was there, right on the future construction site that Skuratov made a firm decision that one of the main “magnets” of the future complex should be the inner automobile-free courtyard, saturated with light and protected from the noise of the surrounding streets, equipped with children’s playgrounds, green lawns, pedestrian bridges, and bikeways. Now he was to figure out how to make this idyllic dream become a reality.
The inner courtyard is formed by two r-shaped planes, pierced with vertical openings of various width and heights. The horizontal shifts of these openings create an effect of two elongated buildings standing on top of one another. This impression is also enhanced with the help of the connecting glass belt – as a matter of fact, this fully glassed storey includes the flats that are just the same as the ones in the other parts of the house, but, when viewed from a side, one gets the impression that the complex is divided into two independent parts vertically. The extra function of the openings that look like loopholes of sorts - only meant not for defense purposes but for softening the image of the structure – consists in providing the courtyard with extra light and air and improve the insolation of the flats. With this same purpose, some of the corners of the r-shaped planes get distinctly rounded; framing the entrance areas, the rounded facades are perceived as the obvious hint at castle towers flanking the entrance to the fortress.
The façade solutions are based on the so-very-much-like-Skuratov principle of “monomateriality”. On the outside, the building is dressed in a “shell” of red bricks of several shades – it has a unified modular grid but it changes its pattern depending on its current cardinal direction, its size and location in the overall composition of the complex. At some places, the window openings alternate with partition walls of the same size, at some places they are coupled, and at some places they form a rigorous grille pattern at the expense of their elegant intertwining.
The inner facades of the courtyard, in their turn, are faced with white bricks. This choice is pretty much self-explanatory because even though the courtyard has a substantial size, it is still a closed space, the kind that by definition needs a light finish in order to avoid turning into a mediaeval dungeon.
The same principle holds true for the kindergarten: its outer facades are coated with red bricks, while its three courtyards shine pure white. Skuratov places this facility between the residential complex and