In Rhythm with City, in Balance with Nature

The business center designed by Andrew Romanov and Ekaterina Kuznetsova continues the "green" line of ADM Bureau projects that implement the ideas of interaction and mutual respect between architecture and nature.

Written by:
Alla Pavlikova
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov

11 March 2013
Business center in Moscow Region
Russia, Moscow

Project Team:
Andrew Romanov, Ekaterina Kuznetsova


The construction site is located in the western part of Moscow region, not far from Sheremetevo 2 international airport, in the woodland that is so far situated far away from any houses or infrastructure but, thanks to its vicinity to the federal highway, is sure to start developing pretty soon. Last year, there was a tender for the concept of its housing development. Among other competitors, on the list dominated by foreugn companies, there was ADM Bureau that ultimately came out as a winner.


The commissioner gave the architects a challenging but at the same time interesting urban ask - to create literally from scratch and on a vacant plot of land a grand-scale and fully functioning business center with up-to-date European-standard offices, meant supposedly for international companies, a hotel, and a spacious parking garage. All of this was to be positioned at a land site of a rather sophisticated configuration, whose layout vaguely resembles a giraffe or maybe a dinosaur with its neck pointed northeast. The long and narrow "neck", due to its peculiar dimensions, was the most challenging part of the territory because any building that would have been built here would have looked cut off from the other buildings.


This is why ADM architects proposed to divide the construction site into two areas. In one of them they concentrated all the significant objects of the complex; in the other, they placed a multi-level parking garage. Considering the requirement to keep intact as many trees that were there on the construction site as possible, it was decided that the parking garage will be of the above-ground type. As a result the six-level garage safely occupied the "problem" part of the territory, providing the number of parking stalls necessary for the business center of such magnitude.


As far as the main southwest area is concerned, Andrew Romanov and Ekaterina Kuznetsova proposed, instead of a standard business center, a concept of a small but cozy and self-sufficient town, carefully and harmoniously inscribed into the woodland. The utter absence of civilization around it made it necessary to create a developed space inside of it. And this is how the idea of a wide pedestrian boulevard suggested itself. It starts off from the public transportation stop, directly behind which the reception area is situated - it is a transparent, wall-to-ceiling glass oval-shaped building (this technique, the entrance area with transparent walls, and hence friendly, the architects mastered a few years ago, while designing a building in the Nastavnichesky Alley). Getting through the reception, the visitor finds himself under a tall and picturesquely winding awning that covers the entire space of the boulevard from beginning to end.


Glass reception. View of the complex from the road.

The paved road, very much like a river, flowing gracefully amidst the slender pine trees, covers the office tower sites in intricate waves, reaches out like a river branch to the parking garage, touches, like a wave with the edge of its crest, the square site of the hotel, and finally just as gracefully and smoothly returns to its starting point, completing the circle. Inside the circle, a plot of pine forest is left intact.



The topside of the awning above the promenade is covered with grass, and at some places rocks are strewn around, the legacy of the Zen garden. Thus the offices above will command a view of the wide green strip of land, pierced with the trunks of pine trees - nothing short of the dream of a science fiction romantic - a green, multi-level city. Meanwhile, there is a world going on under the "green blanket". Here and there the boulevard is livened up by street cafes, small shops, recreation places - in a word, this IS a real city street, a place where people meet and communicate. The promenade serve not only the practical communication purpose but also, green and improved, filled with public spaces, street furniture and lamps, forms the human scale of the perception of this complex. The streets unites and connects all the buildings making them live and work in a single rhythm - in the rhythm of the city. And, nevertheless, inspire of the bustling activity on the boulevard, and even in spite of the fact that now and then VIP's cars will drive through it, it look a lot more like a park or a forest - natural, picturesque, with plenty of trees. The architects preserve the trees that grow in the middle of the carriage way, carefully "leading" their trunks up through the round openings in the green awning. The pillars that support the roof at different angles, in turn, echo the tree trunks as if insisting on them being a part of the surrounding pine forest too.


Street under the wavy awning

The centerpiece of the complex actually consists of seven glass towers of a rectangular layout that lets to make the most of the land site. Their rooftops are strikingly "cut off" in a diagonal line, the tallest tower being 75 meter high. On the facades the glass asymmetrically alternates with the rectangles of the wooden panels: this makes the towers look a little more diverse and at the same time "warmer". Six high-rises are occupied by offices and are placed in pairs opposite to one another along the ring of the Main Street. The seventh, placed at some distance, in the northeast protrusion of the site and facing the highway, is meant to be an international-class hotel.


The wall-to-ceiling windows on the facades will let the office workers enjoy the scenery. This, however, was not enough for the authors of the project. According to Andrew Romanov, they wanted to literally integrate the glass high-rises into the forest, in spite of the fact that they tower incomparably higher that the tallest trees. Trying to enhance the participation effect, the architects supplied the austere volumes of the towers with cantilevers that overhang above the trees from the side of the promenade. The cantilevers are occupied by meeting rooms with wall-to-ceiling windows. It will sure take one's breath away to be inside such a space because of the feeling of flight: the meeting room literally hovers above the forest. Its interior will be, on the one hand, open to the natural surroundings and to the sky; on the other hand, one can clearly feel the theme of overcoming the nature, and, above all, the power of gravity; it is a mixed motif of admiring the landscape and the technical power of man that has risen above the treetops in his "space capsule".


Meeting rooms inside the cantilevers

Cantilevers. Hanging in space.

Thus the architects of ADM grow a forest of skyscrapers amidst the pine trees. Particularly impressive is the combination of unabashed "office" technical architecture of the glass towers with their cantilevers suspended in space, and the architects' attention to detail, to the grass and the trees, and to the quality of the public space, open to people and nature, high-tech and naturally calm at the same time. ADM architects have been exploring these themes for the past few years: right now the bureau is finishing the construction of a few office complexes, each of which combines lightweight up-to-date architecture, careful treatment of each and every tree or bush that happens to be there on the construction site, and - and this is particularly important - quite unusual, by Moscow standards, quality of designing the improvement items (street furniture, footbridges, street lights, and various types of grass), in other words, a serious and professional approach to organizing the environment of the business parks being created. Fed with the nourishment of a large-scale countryside project, these positive qualities grew to the fullest. No wonder this project won an international contest.


Business center in Moscow Region
Russia, Moscow

Project Team:
Andrew Romanov, Ekaterina Kuznetsova


11 March 2013

Written by:

Alla Pavlikova
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov
comments powered by HyperComments
Headlines now
​Dynamics of the Avenue
On Leningrad Avenue, not far away from the Sokol metro station, the construction of the A-Class business center Alcon II has been completed. ADM architects designed the main façade as three volumetric ribbons, as if the busy traffic of the avenue “shook” the matter sending large waves through it.
​Steamer at the Pier
An apartment hotel that looks like a ship with wide decks has been designed for a land plot on a lake shore in Moscow’s South Tushino. This “steamer” house, overlooking the lake and the river port, does indeed look as if it were ready to sail away.
The Magic of Rhythm or Ornament as a Theme
Designed by Sergey Tchoban, the housing complex Veren Place in St. Petersburg is the perfect example of inserting a new building into a historical city, and one the cases of implementing the strategy that the architect presented a few years ago in the book, which he coauthored with Vladimir Sedov, called “30:70. Architecture as a Balance of Forces”.
​Walking on Water
In the nearest future, the Marc Chagall Embankment will be turned into Moscow’s largest riverside park with green promenades, cycling and jogging trails, a spa center on water, a water garden, and sculptural pavilions designed in the spirit of the Russian avant-garde artists of the 1920, and, first of all, Chagall himself. In this issue, we are covering the second-stage project.
​Architectural Laboratory
A-Len has developed and patented the “Perfect Apartments” program, which totally eliminates “bad” apartment layouts. In this article, we are sharing how this program came around, what it is about, who can benefit from it, and how.
​“Architectural Archaeology of the Narkomfin Building”: the Recap
One of the most important events of 2020 has been the completion of the long-awaited restoration of the monument of Soviet avant-garde architecture – the Narkomfin Building, the progenitor of the typology of social housing in this country. The house retained its residential function as the main one, alongside with a number of artifacts and restoration clearances turned into living museum exhibits.
​LIFE on the Setun River
The area in the valley of the Setun River near the Vereiskaya Street got two new blocks of the “LIFE-Kutuzovsky” housing complex, designed by ADM architects. The two new blocks have a retail boulevard of their own, and a small riverside park.
​Celestial Tectonics
Three towers on a podium over the Ramenka River are the new dominant elements on the edge of a Soviet “microdistrict”. Their scale is quite modern: the height is 176 m – almost a skyscraper; the facades are made of glass and steel. Their graceful proportions are emphasized by a strict white grid, and the volumetric composition picks up the diagonal “grid of coordinates” that was once outlined in the southwest of Moscow by the architects of the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Clouds over the Railroad
In the stead of former warehouses near “Lyubertsy-1” station, a new housing complex has been built, which peacefully coexists with the railroad, with the flyover bridge, and with the diverse surrounding scenery, not only dominating over the latter, but improving it.
​Towers in a Forest
The authors of the housing complex “In the Heart of Pushkino” were faced with a difficult task: to preserve the already existing urban forest, at the same time building on it a compound of rather high density. This is how three towers at the edge of the forest appeared with highly developed public spaces in their podiums and graceful “tucks” in the crowning part of the 18-story volumes.
​The Towers of “Sputnik”
Six towers, which make up a large housing complex standing on the bank of the Moskva River at the very start of the Novorizhskoe Highway, provide the answers to a whole number of marketing requirements and meets a whole number of restrictions, offering a simple rhythm and a laconic formula for the houses that the developer preferred to see as “flashy”.
​The Starting Point
In this article, we are reviewing two retro projects: one is 20 years old, the other is 25. One of them is Saint Petersburg’s first-ever townhouse complex; the other became the first example of a high-end residential complex on Krestovsky Island. Both were designed and built by Evgeny Gerasimov and Partners.
The Path to New Ornamentation
The high-end residential complex “Aristocrat” situated next to a pine park at the start of the Rublev Highway presents a new stage of development of Moscow’s decorative historicist architecture: expensively decorated, yet largely based on light-colored tones, and masterfully using the romantic veneer of majolica inserts.
​Renovation: the Far East Style
The competition project of renovating two central city blocks of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, developed by UNK project, won the nomination “Architectural and planning solutions of city construction”.
​The Contact
The Istituto Centrale per la Grafica in Rome presents Sergei Tchoban’s exhibition “Imprint of the future. Destiny of Piranesi’s City”. The exhibition includes four etchings, based on Roman architectural views of the XVIII century complemented by futuristic insertions, as well as a lot of drawings that investigate the same topic, at times quite expressively. The exhibition poses questions, but does not seem to give any answers. Since going to Rome is pretty problematic now, let’s at least examine the pictures.
​In Search of Visual Clarity
In this article, we are reviewing a discussion devoted to the question of designing city space elements, which is quite complicated for the Russian expanses of land. The discussion was organized by the Genplan Institute of Moscow at the ArchMoscow convention in Gostiny Dvor.
​The City of the Sun
Jointly designed by Sergey Tchoban and Vladimir Plotkin, the VTB Arena Park complex can arguably be considered the perfect experiment on solving the centuries-old controversy between traditional architecture and modernism. The framework of the design code, combined with the creative character of the plastique-based dialogue between the buildings, formed an all-but-perfect fragment of the city fabric.
​...The Other Was Just Railroad Gin*
In their project of the third stage of “Ligovsky City” housing complex, located in the industrial “gray” belt of Saint Petersburg, the KCAP & Orange Architects & A-Len consortium set before themselves a task of keeping up the genius loci by preserving the contours of the railroad and likening the volumes of residential buildings to railroad containers, stacked up at the goods unloading station.
​Lions on Glass
While reconstructing the facades of Building 4 of Moscow Hospital #23, SPEECH architects applied a technique, already known from Saint Petersburg projects by Sergey Tchoban – cassettes with elements of classical architecture printed on glass. The project was developed gratis, as a help to the hospital.
Park of Sentiments
The project of “Romantic Park Tuchkov Buyan”, which was developed by the consortium of Studio 44 and WEST 8, and has won an international competition, combines sculptural landscape design and wooden structures, variety of spatial features and an eventful agenda, designed for diverse audience, with a beautiful and complex passeist idea of a palace park, meant to evoke thoughts and feelings.
​Architecture as an Educational Tool
The concept of a charity school “Tochka Budushchego” (“Point of the Future”) in Irkutsk is based on cutting-edge educational programs, and is designed, among other things, for adapting orphaned children for independent life. An important role is played by the architecture of the building: its structure and different types of interconnected spaces.
​The Gallery Approach
In this article, we are covering the concept of a Central District Clinic for 240 patients, designed by Ginzburg Architects, which won at a competition organized by the Architects Union and the Healthcare Ministry.
Health Constructor
In this issue, we are publishing the concept of a standard clinic designed by UNK Project, which took second place in the competition organized by the Union of Architects of Russia in collaboration with the Healthcare Ministry.
From Foundation to Teaspoon
Based on the taste of their friendly clients, the architects Olga Budennaya and Roman Leonidov designed and built a house in the Moscow metropolitan area playing Art Nouveau. At the same time, they enriched the typology of a private house with modern functions of a garage loft and a children’s art studio.
Continuation and Development
The second “office” stage of Comcity, the most popular business park of the “New Moscow” area, continues the underground street of the already existing part of the complex, responding to its architectural identity.
​The Flying One
Expected to become an analogue of Moscow’s Skolkovo, the project of the High Park campus at Saint Petersburg’s ITMO University, designed by Studio 44, mesmerizes us with its sheer scale and the passion that the architects poured into it. Its core – the academic center – is interpreted as an avant-garde composition inspired by Piazza del Campo with a bell tower; the park is reminiscent of the “rays” of the main streets of Saint Petersburg, and, if watched from a birds-eye view, the whole complex looks like a motherboard with at least four processors on it. The design of the academic building even displays a few features of a sports arena. The project has a lot of meanings and allusions about it; all of them are united by plastique energy that the hadron collider itself could be jealous of.
​The Aperture Effect
For a housing complex built in the town of Pushkino in the Moscow metropolitan area, KPLN Architects designed facades that adjust the stream of light by using the wall geometry.
​A Comfortable City in Itself
The project that we are about to cover is seemingly impossible amidst human anthills, chaotically interspersed with old semi-neglected dachas. Meanwhile, the housing complex built on the Comcity business part does offer a comfortable environment of decent city: not excessively high-rise and moderately private as a version of the perfect modern urbanist solution.
Moving on the Edge
The housing complex “Litsa” (“Faces”) on Moscow’s Khodynka Field is one of the new grand-scale buildings that complement the construction around it. This particular building skillfully tackles the scale, subjugating it to the silhouette and the pattern; it also makes the most of the combination of a challenging land site and formidable square footage requirements, packing a whole number of features within one volume, so the house becomes an analogue of a city. And, to cap it all, it looks like a family that securely protects the children playing in the yard from... well, from everything, really.
Visual Stability Agent
A comparatively small house standing on the border of the Bolshevik Factory combines two diametrically opposite features: expensive materials and decorative character of Art Deco, and a wide-spaced, even somewhat brutal, facade grid that highlights a laminated attic.
The Faraday Cage
The project of the boutique apartment complex in the 1st Truzhenikov Lane is the architects’ attempt to squeeze a considerable volume into a tiny spot of land, at the same time making it look graceful and respectable. What came to their rescue was metal, stone, and curvilinear glass.
Color and Line
The new successful techniques developed by A.Len for designing a kindergarten under budget constraints: the mosaic of irregular windows and working with color.
The Union of Art and Technology
His interest for architecture of the 1930’s is pretty much the guiding star for Stepan Liphart. In his project of the “Amo” house on St. Petersburg’s Vasilyevsky Island, the architect based himself on Moscow Art Deco - aesthetically intricate and decorated in scratch-work technique. As a bonus, he developed the city block typology as an organic structure.
The Countdown
The project that Evgeniy Gerasimov and Partners developed for Moscow’s Leningrad Avenue: the tallest building in the company’s portfolio, continuing the tradition of Moscow’s Stalin architecture.
White Town
In the project that they developed for a southern region of Russia, OSA Architects use multilayered facades that create an image of seaside resort architecture, and, in the vein of the latest trends of today, mix up different social groups that the residents belong to.
​Just a Mirror for the Sun
The house that Sergey Skuratov designed in Nikolovorobinsky Alley is thought out down to the last detail. It adapts three historical facades, interprets a feeling of a complex city, is composed of many layers, and catches plenty of sunlight, from sunrises to sunsets. The architect himself believes that the main role of this house is creating a background for another nearby project of his, Art House in the Tessinsky Alley.
​Part of the Whole
On June 5, the winners of Moscow Architectural Award were announced. The winners list includes the project of a school in Troitsk for 2,100 students, with its own astronomy dome, IT testing ground, museum, and a greenhouse on the roof.
Pedagogical Architecture
Yet another project of a private school, in which Archimatika realizes the concept of aesthetic education and introduces a new tradition: combining Scandinavian and Soviet experience, turning to works of art, and implementing sustainable technologies.
​Rational Arrangement
In this article, we are examining a complex of buildings and interiors of the first stage of the project that has recently become extremely popular – the Kommunarka clinic.
​Parallel Universe
In the “Parallel House” residence that he designed in the Moscow metropolitan area, the architect Roman Leonidov created a dramatic sculptural composition from totally basic shapes – parallelepipeds, whose collision turned into an exciting show.
In the Istra district of Moscow metropolitan area, the tandem of 4izmerenie and ARS-ST designed a sports complex – a monovolume that has the shape of a chamfered parallelepiped with a pointed “nose” like a ship’s bow.
​Stairway to Heaven
The project of a hotel in the settlement of Yantarny is an example of a new recreational complex typology, and a new format that unites the hotel, the business, and the cultural functions. All of this is complemented by 100% integration with nature.
​Cape of Good Hope
In this issue, we are showing all the seven projects that participated in a closed-door competition to create a concept for the headquarters of Gazprom Neft, as well as provide expert opinions on those projects.