The project of "Gorky 2" has been in the process of development by "Arteza" since 2005. It was in that particular year that the owner of the house (at that point being built upon the project of the art group "Kamen" ("Stone")) turned to the landscape architects with a proposal to create on the 11-hectare land site a large and really diverse garden.
The land site that was allotted for organizing the garden is 1.2 kilometers long, and has a natural brook running all along its length. The L-shaped three-story house was built on the section with a considerable relief drop (around 15 meters), and this peculiarity of the land site played the key part both in the composition of the house itself and in the organization of the surrounding garden. Turned south with its main facade, the house cascades down the slope, thanks to which its every floor gets a street exit of its own. Besides the residential building, by the moment the architects started designing the garden there was a large garage complex built closer to the central entrance of the grange, and the slope had a tennis court and an open-air swimming pool cut into it.
It was the unconventional architecture of the house together with the expressiveness of the natural surroundings that became the starting points for forming the garden's design concept, the authors of which from the very start did not want to confine themselves within the boundaries of this or that particular style, and placed their bet of the diversity of the techniques and genres of their landscape architecture. The land site of such impressive dimensions was at once treated by "Arteza" as a congregation of several small-sized "theme" gardens and minilandscapes "built into" the structure of the large garden. The authors themselves call this technique "garden within a garden". The result of this painstaking work is the multidimensional man-made landscape with an ever-changing "exposition": wandering over the territory, one can constantly observe the change of colors, shapes, and ecosystems - from a thick wood to a swampland.
The land site is divided into several major zones, each of which got a name of its own. Thus, the territory around the garage complex and the main house entrance is occupied by the "Upper Garden", so called because of being located at the topmost point of the site. The territory behind the house, including the swimming pool, the barbecue, the children's playground, the tennis court, and the rocky slope between the top and the bottom level, is called "Lower Garden" by the authors of the project. Right behind it, there is a picturesque territory spreading around the two man-made reservoirs. A separate section is occupied by the "Japanese Garden" that us located near the auxiliary entrance of the grange. This is not all there us to it, though: most of the territory is occupied by the conditional "connecting tissue that the architects endowed with a maximally natural character, keeping intact the areas of the pine forest, the brook that winds among the hills, and the green meadows.
The "Upper Garden" is the one that supports the architecture of the house and the garage complex more actively. Even its materials were selected to match the color of the buildings' finish. The layout of the garden, and especially some of its elements, also rhyme with the edifices. Thus, for example, the "sail" of the garage grows from the round "pillow" of the bushes that are shaped up by the topiary cutting.
Inside of the "Upper Garden", not far away from the house entrance, there are two thematic mini-gardens: "Jasper" and "Frontal" - both develop the theme of the Southeast Asia. "Jasper Garden" looks a lot like a seashore, only on a diminished scale, and here the space is dominated by the jasper boulders that are meant to symbolize a rocky shore. The dimply water expanse is simulated by the marble pebbles, while the "shore" - by the thicket of the scrubby cotoneaster and meadowsweet. As the authors share, for this territory even bolder solutions were proposed - for example, instead of the light-colored pebbles it was planned to use blue broken glass - but the customer opted for a more conventional solution.
The "Frontal Garden" occupies the plot around the corner of the building, along one of its side walls. This place used to be used by the estate owners as a small makeshift passage running along the erosion pavement of the building. With time, it became clear that it would make sense to organize here something like a "junction" or "roundabout" of the most frequently used routes. So it stood to reason that the customer wanted to somehow organize and accentuate this area. As a result, the pavement got covered by a blanket of small pebbles, the place got the beautifully eroded rocks in the Chinese style, and along the edge low-growing spreading shrub was added.
The "Lower Garden" is probably the most saturated place here that represents a truly diverse assortment of landscape techniques. Particularly interesting is the rocky slope: the authors turned it into a veritable rock that looks as if the very house was cut out of it. To implement this giant-scale idea, tons and tons of rocks were used, the weight of some of them reaching up to ten tons. Down the slope, leading to the terrace of the second level, there runs a picturesque "mountain trail". Around it, there are pine and fir trees, barberries, meadowsweet, and the ground is covered with cover-ground perennial plants. The special "gem" of the slope is the rose house in which the flowers bloom from May till late October.
At the ascent from the "Lower" to the "Upper" garden, the architects of "Arteza" organized a labyrinth of quaintly trimmed plants that are echoed by the round caps of the bushes and the standard lime trees shaped as parallelepipeds. The lime trees are also to be seen near the swimming pool and the tennis court; they visually separate this territory from the house. At the same time, their austere shape rhymes with the geometry of the house and is also supported by the street furniture, plaited and glass cache-pots, and even cubic lights.
Getting down, one can find himself in the so called "Zone of ponds and a creek". The central place here is occupied by two large reservoirs separated by a small land bridge. One of these reservoirs is used for swimming, and the other - for breeding fish. For their creation, the architects had to make a rather large mound 3.5 meters high, thanks to which the relief drop between the house and the ponds grew smaller, and as for the brook running through this place, the architects were able to route it under the reservoirs. The bed of the brook that winds down the steep slope was to be turned into a semblance of a mountain river. The territory around the ponds got numerous plants, day lilies, irises, miscanthus, spherical and weeping willows, and into the green banks the architects installed stone slabs that form the access to the water. On the banks of the pond, there are decks for fishing and making picnics, while over the pebbled land bridge the architects stretch a "sail" tent under which the reclining chairs are stowed away.
Below the ponds, there is a small garden of rhododendrons, crossed by neat planked footways. This looks like some sort of border between the garden and the woodland. Beyond this flourishing garden, both eastward and westward, swampy a forest spreads, that looks nothing like a man-made one, yet one can only guess how much money and effort was invested into its every square meter by the architects and the builders. The green blanket of the grass and the frolicking brook are concealing the sophisticated engineering systems that provide the constant watering, the necessary humidity and the temperature of the soil - but the only thing that reminds of man's intervention on the above-the-ground level is the wooden footways and the straight architectural stairways alternating with the natural ones.
The turf swamp that occupies the whole western side of the land site almost down to the point where it meets the Moskva River, is to be kept intact as a sample of a unique eco system. The swamp turned out to be shallow and not seriously dangerous, so the architects threw over it a wooden bridge upon piles - the bridge supports both pedestrian and automobile traffic. The brook also looks untouched all along its length, even though for its organizing and the strengthening of its banks the architects used some 80 tons of rocks and a plague of various plants. At some places, the brook is crossed by little bridges, and along it runs a bicycle road.
Yet another bright element of this "compound" man-made landscape is the "Japanese Garden". Its very appearance was dictated by this place where the brook makes an unbelievably picturesque bend with the scenery of smoothly rising hills covered with fern under the masts of the pine trees. The architects also decided to make the brook wider and deeper turning it into a small creek surrounded by a pile of rocks. Its bank got a meadow a small gazebo and bonsais. Situated in the lowland, the "Japanese Garden" is perfectly viewable from the road leading up to the entrance to the manor.
It should be specifically mentioned that the main task of the landscape architects was preserving as much as possible the vegetation of their land site. All the gardens were formed around the already-existing natural framework. Today, the garden lives a life of its own, grows, and gains height and color - all this under rigorous supervision of the "Arteza" specialists that have been tending the garden for a whole year now. What is interesting is the fact that in winter the garden leads a life just as active as ever: specifically for the New Year's Day the architects are developing a fairy-tale winter decorations - the ponds turn into a giant skating rink, and the slopes become good for skiing and sleighing.
Agility of the Modular
In the Discovery housing complex that they designed, ADM architects proposed a modern version of structuralism: the form is based on modular cells, which, smoothly protruding and deepening, make the volumes display a kind of restrained flexibility, differentiated element by element. The lamellar and ledged facades are “stitched” with golden threads – they unite the volumes, emphasizing the textured character of the architectural solution.
Polyphony of a Chaste Style
The “ID Moskovskiy” housing project on St. Petersburg’s Moscow Avenue was designed by the team of Stepan Liphart in the past 2020. The ensemble of two buildings, joined by a colonnade, is executed in a generalized neoclassical style with elements of Art Deco.
In Three Voices
The high-rise – 41 stories high – housing complex HIDE is being built on the bank of the Setun River, near the Poklonnaya Mountain. It consists of three towers of equal height, yet interpreted in three different ways. One of the towers, the most conspicuous one looks as if it was twisted in a spiral, composed of a multitude of golden bay windows.
In the Space of Pobedy Park
In the project of a housing complex designed by Sergey Skuratov, which is now being built near the park of the Poklonnaya Hill, a multifunctional stylobate is turned into a compound city space with intriguing “access” slopes that also take on the role of mini-plazas. The architecture of the residential buildings responds to the proximity of the Pobedy Park, on the one hand, “dissolving in the air”, and, on the other hand, supporting the memorial complex rhythmically and color-wise.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.