27.12.2012

House of Multicolored Fairs

  • contemporary architecture

A colorful collage, as if glued together out of newspaper and magazine clippings, against the background of monotonous housing of the small town of Moskovsky situated in Moscow area... this is how the competitive project of shopping mall by "Sergey Kselev and Partners" looks like.

Information:

The architects got an invitation to take part in a small closed tender for the project of a shopping mall. The commissioner put the contestants into rather narrow bounds: on a comparatively small strip of land, they were to design a large multi-layer shopping mall and a spacious above-ground parking garage (because the commissioner reasonably wanted to avoid the necessity to burden himself with the expensive earthwork).

 

The land site is located seven kilometers away from Moscow Beltway at the edge of the settlement of Moskovsky, near the flyover that leads from Kievskoye Highway to Borovskoe. The settlement (almost the size of a town) is rapidly growing; today, one half of it consists of giant greenhouses where fruits and vegetables are grown on an industrial scale, and the other half - of bearing wall construction apartment buildings that are growing by the block at the expense of new high-rises. On the neighboring land site, the greenhouses were taken down a few years ago and now those same bearing wall houses are under construction now. It is planned that nearby there will be built a new flyover leading to Moscow, and a new boulevard going eastward. The new shopping mall, in turn, will be situated in the place of a makeshift retail store selling seeds from the greenhouses to the summer residents (its successor will be the gardening center at the first floor of the building).

 

Location plan

The site has a polygon shape, the edges of the construction spot are rather intricate and remind a sketchy little house with a chimney or even a profile of a human face with a long nose turned in the direction of Kievskoye highway. Because there was a need for a lot of useable space, and the land site was comparatively small, it was planned to make the most of it and use every square meter available.

In the contest project, a five-level parking garage occupies the rectangle in the south-east part, and the shopping mall occupies the triangle turned to the highway and the boulevard. Thus the shopping part of the building takes on all the intricacies of the plan with all of its facets, angles, and protrusions, while the recessed and more balanced volume of the parking garage serves as the background.


"A task like this - combining the above-ground parking garage and a shopping mall - we have already come across, in particular, when designing a shopping mall in the South Butovo, even though we had a lot more room there, - Vladimir Labutin explains - In this case squeezing all the necessary shopping areas and the parking garage into the allotted territory was rather challenging because, according to the contest specifications, we could not use the underground space".

 

In the options of the shopping mall structure, that were submitted for the contest, different facades are superimposed; what they have in common is the brightness of the color solution and the diagonal theme.

 

The first option of the project gives the main role to the color as such. The facades are covered with glass and billboards; the "blind" unfilled planes get a large-pixel ornament. It is bright blue, yellow, and red, and as opposed to the traditional "pixels", rather irregular: at some spots, the ornament is turned at a 45-degree angle, at some spots the edges of the colorful spots change their direction to form triangles and trapezes... in a word, the whole thing looks not so much as the traditional pixel design but rather like Russian abstractionist painting of the 1910's. To enhance this analogy, the architects filled in a few advertising spots with enlarged replicas of Malevich's paintings. What they ultimately got was a kaleidoscope in which, like inside some mirror environment, different pictures that look like large-figure ornament and billboards replace one another in a certain order. All this is superimposed on the complex and super-sculptured structure of the facade (which, as we remember, sparing the square meters, follows exactly the outline of the construction spot), is pierced by the diagonal protrusion of the travolator, and is augmented by a few overhanging ledges (which also, yes, add a few extra square meters). The order of the floors is thus completely erased, and the building turns into a three-dimensional version of an avant-guard painting, a 3D collage of sorts.

Option 1

Option 1

Option 1

Option 1

It must be noted at this point the the architects of "Sergey Kiselev and Partners have been working with bright colors for years: if anything, one should remember the "Avant-guard" house (which also sported the classical multi-pixel design), a shopping mall in the South Butovo (colorful strokes on the gray canvas) or the project of a residential complex in Moscow area's Mytischi (that was based on the 3D optical effect of playing with the colors of the rainbow). The Moskovsky project adds yet another position to this list: a building that grows out of a classical avant-guard painting. (One also cannot help but mention in passing that this is a whole world of its own, and it used to be explored by first-rate foreign "star" architects: David Adjaye and his building of business school in Skolkovo or Erick Egeraat and his housing project that was still left unbuilt on Moscow's Yakimanka street).

 

The second option proposed by "Sergey Kiselev and Partners" for the Moskovsky shopping mall is more on the balanced side and is not so much charged with the "metaphorical field". The facades are dissected with thin strokes of peat-brown diagonals with hummingbird-like fragments of glistening orange and yellow. These "beams" were to be executed from ROCKPANEL Chameleon panels that change their shades of color depending on the ambient light and the observer's angle of vision. The design of the facades also sports advertising fragments, even though they are a lot more scarce than in the first option.

Option 2

Option 2

The deliberate use of advertising and artistic treatment of it is also the thing that the two "Sergey Kiselev and Partners" projects have in common. This solution looks sensible and logic: billboards are something that a shopping mall is definitely going to get, and it is better to foresee their presence in advance rather than let them intrude into the architect's original idea. In both of the two versions they become an organic part of the overall idea, an important part of the image, and proudly announce the function of the building.

 

The picturesqueness that the architects ultimately got is resonant with the once-popular song by Maryla Rodowicz "Kolorowe Jarmarki" ("Multicolored Fairs" - translated from Polish, translator's note), the warm nostalgia transferred to the walls of the mall looks more than appropriate. The greenhouse-bearing-wall-housing environment definitely lacked this bright accent; it would also be clearly viewable from the Kievskoye Highway. In one of the options, the architects even proposed to make a multicolored roof - so as the inhabitants of the upper floors of the surrounding high-rises would see a bright spot from their balconies. Which, as the authors hoped, would brighten up their lives.

Construction spot

Transportation map

Option 1

Option 1

Option 1

Option 1

Option 2

Option 2

Option 2

Option 2

Option 2

Option 2

Option 2


Text by: Vladimir Labutin, Igor Shvartsman, Alla Pavlikova
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