Pastel and Glass
- contemporary architecture
For two months already, in Saint Petersburg, works "Boris Eifman Dance Academy", the unique building of which was designed by "Studio 44".
This project was already covered by Archi.ru three years ago - back
then, Studio 44 won the tender to become the general design contractor for the
With a total area of 12 square meters, "
Speaking about bricks! In this project, the architects use the light-beige Finnish brick that was chosen, in the first place, specifically because of its color that perfectly matched the restored facade of "Assambleya". Later on, when the work was already underway, it turned out that the Finnish regulations allow for significantly larger fluctuations in the size and smoothness of bricks than the Russian ones do. "At some places, the brickwork looked downright lopsided and untidy, and we, together with the customer and the contractor, went all the way to take these places apart and then straighten out manually each and every brick with our ruler - Nikita Yavein shares - We are really proud with the result that we ultimately got: this is arguably the city's best brickwork among its new brickwork projects".
The building was erected on a really constrained land site, and the most challenging task for the architects was meeting both the land site restrictions and the regulations for designing educational institutions. "It was a bare pass" - Nikita Yavein shares while showing the modest-sized yard territory into which "Studio 44" was ultimately able to squeeze two four-story buildings - the educational and the residential ones, interconnected with an atrium. The functional agenda of the "Academy" is saturated indeed: it provides for full board and lodging, its students not only living and studying here but also doing sports and, if necessary, going through medical check-ups with the appropriate doctors, the medical center occupying a whole separate floor. The last thing in the world the architects wanted to do, though, was distributing all the relevant premises over the two "boxes" - this would have been boring and not really conductive to a creative atmosphere - so, instead of the "two buildings and an atrium" definition, the architects prefer to say "a system of buildings". By means of the atrium, as well as the numerous cantilevers, overpasses, and stairways, the buildings are engaged into an interesting and meaningful dialogue.
The main public area of "Dance Academy" is literally flooded with light - at the few moments one is really taken aback with its size and planning complexity. The architects made a beautiful spin of contrasts: getting exposed to the building with such a reserved, "buttoned-up" facade, one does not in the least expect to find behind it a multi-level labyrinth with glass walls. The inside layout is based on the "aquarium principle": the teachers will always be able to trace the student's progress from the dormitory to the class or dancing hall, while all the subtleties of the teaching process will be hidden from the passers'-by eyes.
The overall color of the "aquarium" is light chartreuse, and
the architects chose it for a painfully long time: while creating the educational
institution for children, the architects wanted to break away as far as
possible from giving a "hospital" feel to it - meaning, the interiors
that are bright and clean but totally faceless. The softness and expressiveness
of the chosen shade is enhanced by the floors and staircases of natural wood,
as well as by the multi-colored portals of the dance halls. Beyond the confines
of the atrium, the color palette of the Academy's interiors grows significantly
more complex: the walls of its classrooms and halls are painted pastel colors
of dozens of shades, the halls for the little ones being decorated in brighter
colors, the playrooms in the residential block designed in bright yellow. The
architects confess that, by employing this technique, they tried to make up for
the shortage of sunny days in
The cooperation between "Studio 44" and Boris Eifman and the
school he founded did not end at the point of creating the educational and
residential complex at the