Variety Line

UNK project bureau is bringing to life a plan of a multiformat apartment block in Ivanteevka, The Dutch Quarter.

Anna Martovitskaya

Written by:
Anna Martovitskaya
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov

02 December 2013
Yuliy Borisov
Residential complex “Dutch Quarter”
Russia, Ivanteevka

2012 — 2013 / 2014 — 2015

The investor of the new residential area in Ivanteevka made a number of stipulations on ordering the project: the development was to be a low rise compact residential with an expressive outward appearance despite the low final cost. At the same time the housing was supposed to be built practically in the middle of nowhere: the site borders on a pine forest, in the part of Ivanteevka that is only nominally a city. Up till now only private houses were built on the picturesque landscape. The UNK project was to note another important condition: the complex that is now being designed as an isolated settlement is likely to become a part of a larger scale district in the coming future. “Our client set us a task to develop such a project that can be multiplied – explains Julius Borisov. – That is why we tried to make it in a certain way universal”.

The architects had to work within the economy class sector, which imposed severe limits on the apartment layouts. Since the area mainly consists of small apartments and studios, building it up with separated blocks was practically not an option. Compliance with the norms of insolation, however, was easier to achieve by means of linear orientation of the houses. The neighboring private sector constrained the height of the buildings – the new houses were not to be higher than five stories. And so it turned out that UNK project had to arrange an area of five-storey houses – a mission that would horrify any soviet architect.

UNK project raised a question of designing a five-storey house that would in the least resemble the traditional “prefab”. First of all the architects decided to divide the parallelepipeds into separate segments. This division soon suggested the idea of comparing the segments to small houses. In this way a ribbon development across the private sector would not look so foreign to the latter. It would soon remind its cousin – the town house, rather than an apartment block. And so the idea of “a house of several similar but not identical sections” lead to the stylistic concept of the whole project that subsequently became its name: “The Dutch Quarter”. “Of course we never tried to replicate some certain Dutch buildings – says Julius Borisov. - We’re talking more of a general impression: the rows of houses and the carefully considered dissimilarity of them create vivid “corridors” of buildings that in a way do remind the housing of Amsterdam canals or, let’s say, Copenhagen”. 

It’s clear, that linear planning offers less variety than gridiron layout, and the architects tried to compensate it in all possible ways. First of all, the passages between the “lines” were divided into two types – streets that allow approaching the houses on a vehicle and completely “car-free” pedestrian boulevards. All in all the architects create six lines organized in three pairs. Each pair gets public areas of two types: external and internal. The streets, though fit for traffic, do not allow parking: all the parking lots are situated along the outer perimeter of the development. The boulevards are furnished with common areas for various social groups: here are playgrounds, sports grounds and places for the pensioners to sit and have a rest. It’s important that the areas can be reached through any of the drives from the street. All the drives are made open-end on purpose, so that the residents wouldn’t have to go roundabout ways.         

The perspective of each street and boulevard stretches towards the pine wood. The architects also fill the gaps between the lines with green areas – it is a timid try to direct the social activity sideways as well. And as to the social aspect: such commodities as laundry, cafe, shop and kindergarten are all in walking distance from the dwellings. The latter will be situated on the ground floor of one of the houses, whereas the shop, café and the laundry are concentrated around the checkpoint. By the way, the name of the project reflects in the checkpoint as well – only in this case through design, rather than architecture – carved metal tulips serve both as a fence and a familiar logo.

As for the sections themselves, UNK project created 11 types of them to gather different combinations for every line. They vary in finishing materials (stucco, ceramics and several typed of clinker brick), as well as in height, window patterns, the presence or absence of rustication. The houses consisting of four or more sections are finished with dark jalousie fixings: they camouflage the conditioning packs, but more importantly, they make the volumes seem lighter. The true number of stories is also concealed: the floors in the highest houses are blocked in pairs. Thanks to this the buildings really resemble town houses more than apartment blocks. However, such volume arrangement inevitably results in the appearance of a big number of flat ends. In contrast to the glass street facades the flat ends are made solid with rustication to add certain diversity. 

It was in the course of work, when the idea of creating a block of small flats transformed into a multiformat dwelling project. Now there are studios here with area of 30 sq. m., apartments suited for small families and full-fledged three-room apartments. There are even two-level premises on the upper floors that can be with reserve called penthouses. “We suggested the client to diversify the format of the dwelling and he agreed to it readily. It was a chance not only to sell the apartments sooner, but also to create a really colorful social environment” – comments Julius Borisov. 

UNK project managed to find the optimal proportion of layouts and techniques to create a manifold, balanced area in a fairly small neighborhood. And provided that the project shall in fact be multiplied in the future, the architects hope that the larger scales of the settlement would allow for a deviation from the strict linear structure. 

"Dutch Quarter" residential complex in Ivanteevka. Bird's eye view. Project, 2013 © UNK project
"Dutch Quarter" residential complex in Ivanteevka. Project, 2013 © UNK project
"Dutch Quarter" residential complex in Ivanteevka. Master plan. Project, 2013 © UNK project

Yuliy Borisov
Residential complex “Dutch Quarter”
Russia, Ivanteevka

2012 — 2013 / 2014 — 2015

02 December 2013

Anna Martovitskaya

Written by:

Anna Martovitskaya
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov
Headlines now
​The Strategy of Transformation
In this article, we are publishing eight projects of reconstructing postwar Modernist buildings that have been implemented by Tchoban Voss Architekten and showcased in the AEDES gallery at the recent Re-Use exhibition. Parallel to that, we are meditating on the demonstrated approaches and the preservation of things that architectural legislation does not require to preserve.
In the Rhythm of Block Construction
Last week, the housing complex “Ty i Ya” (“You and I”) was presented, built in the northwest of Moscow. By a number of parameters, it exceeds the originally stated comfort-class format, and, on the other hand, fully meeting the city block construction paradigm, popular in Moscow, demonstrates a few interesting features, such as a new kind of public spaces for the residents, and high-ceilinged apartments on the first floors.
​Five Nonlinear Ones
Recently, at the Moscow Urban Forum, they announced a large-scale project that Zaha Hadid Architects would do for Moscow – the multifunctional housing complex Union Towers designed for Quarter 82 of Khoroshevo-Mnevniki at the commission of KROST development.
​Etudes in Glass
The housing complex, located not far away from the Paveletskaya Railway Station, as a symbol of a sweeping transformation of this area: a composition of towers of different height, ingenious detailing of stained glass windows, and a green lawn in the yard.
A Flyover in Watercolor
For the 100th anniversary of Vladimir Vasilkovsky, the architectural office of Evgeny Gerasimov is reflecting on the Ushakov Flyover, which was designed with input from this artist and architect. In this article, we are showing its watercolors and sketches, including the preliminary ones that were not included in the final project, as well as speaking about the importance of architectural drawing.
​Walking on Clouds
A restaurant in the Khibiny skiing complex: 820 meters above the sea level, sweeping views, a levitation effect, and ingenious engineering solutions.
​Transformation with Multiplication
The Palace of Water Sports in Luzhniki is one of the high-profile and nontrivial reconstructions of recent years, and a project that won one of the first competitions, initiated by Sergey Kuznetsov as the main architect of Moscow. The complex opened 2 years ago; this article about it comes out at the start of the bathing season.
​Sergey Tchoban: “I believe it’s very important to preserve this city as a record...
Although originally we planned to speak in this interview with Sergey Tchoban about high-rise construction, the conversation turned out to be 70% about meditation on the ways of regenerating the historical city and about the role of the city fabric as the most objective and unbiased historical record. And, as for the towers, which manifest social contrasts and leave a lot of junk when torn down, the conversation was about the expected construction norms and regulations. We took this interview one day before the Lakhta-2 project was announced, and this is why this newsbreak is not commented upon in any way in this article.
​Courtyards and Constructivism
In this issue, we are examining the second major block of the “city within a city” Ligovsky City complex, designed and built by A-Len, and combining several trends characteristic of modern urban architecture.
​Inside of a Drawn Grid
Designing the apartment complex PLAY in Danilovskaya Sloboda, ADM architects placed their bet on the imagery of construction. The area where it manifested itself the most vividly was the sophisticated grid of the facades.
​Headquarters of the Future
The project by “Arena Group”, which won in an open competition of ideas for the headquarters of the Italian company FITT, combines futuristic forms, an interesting set of functions, energy efficiency, and subtle references to the archetypes of Italian architecture. Particularly beautiful is the “continuous” fountain. In this issue, we are sharing about the three winners of the competition.
​A Tiered Composition
A little bit of New York in Odessa: an apartment complex designed and built by “Archimatika” with towers, townhouses, a square, and swimming pools.
​The Yard Aesthetics
Organizing the yard of a premium-class housing complex, GAFA architects took care not just about the image that matches the project’s high status, but also about simple human joys, masterfully overcoming the construction regulations.
​MasterMind: a Neural Network for Developers and Architects
Created by Genpro, this software allows you to generate within half an hour dozens of development and construction options in accordance with the set parameters. At the same time, however, being more focused on the technical aspects, the program does not exclude creative work, and can be used by architects for preparing projects with a subsequent data export to AutoCAD, Revit, and ArchiCAD.
This Beetle Has Flown
The story of designing a business center in the Zhukov (“Beetle”) Drive: a number of attempts to preserve a hundred-year-old cold storage facility, at the same time introducing modern buildings interpreting the industrial theme. The project remained on paper, but the story behind it seems to be worth our attention.
​The Childhood Territory
The project of the educational complex within the second stage of “Spanish Quarters” was developed by ASADOV Architects. The project is all about creating a friendly and transparent environment that in itself educates and forms the personality of a child.
Man and the City
Designing this large-scale housing complex, GAFA architects accentuated two types of public spaces: bustling streets with shops and cafes – and a totally natural yard, visually separated as much as possible from the city. Making the most out of the contrast, both work together to make the life of the residents of EVER housing complex eventful and diverse.
​Andy Snow: “I aim for an architecture which is rational and poetic”
The British architect Andy Snow has recently become the chief architect at GENPRO Architects & Engineers. Projects, which Andy Snow did in the UK in collaboration with world-famous architectural firms, scored numerous international awards. In Russia, the architect took part in designing Moscow’s Stanislavsky Factory business center, iLove housing complex, and AFI2B business center on the 2nd Brestskaya Street. In our interview, Andy Snow compared the construction realities in Russia and the UK, and also shared his vision of architectural prospects in Russia.
​The Living Growth
The grand-scale housing complex AFI PARK Vorontsovsky in Moscow’s southwest consists of four towers, a “slab” house, and a kindergarten building. Interestingly, the plastique of the residential buildings is quite active – they seem to be growing before your eyes, responding to the natural context, and first of all opening the views of the nearby park. As for the kindergarten building, it is cute and lyrical, like a little sugar house.
Sergey Skuratov: “A skyscraper is a balance of technology, economic performance, and aesthetic...
In March, two buildings of the Capital Towers complex were built up to a 300-meter elevation mark. In this issue, we are speaking to the creator of Moscow’s cutting-edge skyscrapers: about heights and proportions, technologies and economics, laconicism and beauty of superslim houses, and about the boldest architectural proposal of recent years – the Le Corbusier Tower above the Tsentrosoyuz building.
​The Red Building
The area of Novoslobodskaya has received Maison Rouge – an apartment complex designed by ADM, which continues the wave of renovation, started by the Atmosphere business center, from the side of the Palikha Street.
​The Uplifting Effect
The project of Ostankino Business Park was developed for the land site lying between two metro stations (one operating and the other in construction), and because of that its public space is designed to equally cater for the city people and the office workers. The complex stands every chance of becoming the catalyst for development of the Butyrsky area.
​Binary Opposition
In this article, we are examining a rather rare and interesting case – two projects by Evgeny Gerasimov situated on one street and completed with a five years’ difference, presenting the perfect example of example for analyzing the overall trends and approaches practiced by the architectural company.
Raising the Yard
The housing complex Renome consists of two buildings: a modern stone house and a red-brick factory building of the end of the XIX century, reconstructed by measurements and original drafts. The two buildings are connected by an “inclined” yard – a rare, by Moscow standards, version of geoplastics that smoothly ascends to the roof of the stores lined up along a pedestrian street.
​Hearing the Tune of the Past
The Church of the Beheading of John the Baptist in the park near the Novodevichy Convent was conceived in 2012 in honor of the 200th anniversary of the victory over Napoleon. However, instead of declamatory grandeur and “fanfare”, the architect Ilia Utkin presented a concentrated and prayerful mood, combined with a respectful attitude of this tent-shaped church, which also includes some elements of architecture of orders. The basement floor hosts a museum of excavations found on the site of the church.
​Semantic Shift
The high-end residential complex STORY, situated near the Avtozavodskaya metro station and the former ZIL factory, is delicately inscribed in the contrastive context, while its shape, which combines a regular grid and a stunning “shift” of the main facade, seems to respond to the dramatic history of the place, at the same time, however, allowing for multiple interpretations.
​Yards and Towers: the Samara Experiment
The project of “Samara Arena Park”, proposed by Sergey Skuratov, scored second place in the competition. The project is essentially based on experimenting with typology of residential buildings and gallery/corridor-type city blocks combined with towers – as well as on sensitive response to the context and the urge to turn the complex into a full-fledged urban space providing a wide range of functions and experiences.
​The Fili Duo
The second phase of the Filicity housing complex, designed by ADM architects, is based on the contrast between a 57-story skyscraper 200 meters high and an 11-story brick house. The high-rise building sets a futuristic vector in Moscow housing architecture.
​The Wall and the Tower
The OSA architects have been searching for solutions that could be opposed to the low-rise construction in the center of Khabarovsk, as well as an opportunity to say a new word in the discourse about mass housing.