At first we will remind you that the final results of the contest for the best architectural and urban-planning proposal of the International Financial Center have not yet been announced. On the 8th of April, the judging board named the three finalists of the contest, and now the commissioner, ZAO "Rublevo-Arkhangelskoe", will choose the winner that will further work on the project. One of the nominees is the Russian bureau "Reserve" and the Dutch company "Maxwan" that have already done a few projects together - what they offered for Rublevo-Arkhangelskoe is arguably the most detailed project of IFC.
Maxwan and Vladimir Plotkin bureau are doing already the third contest project on end: this cooperation grew particularly strong at the "Zaryadye" Park project, so, when embarking on the development of the IFC project, the architects were already a tight-knit team in which the parties know and understand one another. Probably because of that, the authors pretty soon settled down about the overall layout of the future financial center, as well as about the key principles of the development of the project.
Totally, there were seven "starting points" of this kind - like the cornerstones of the concept they support not only its attractiveness but also its exceptional sustainability. The first and probably the most important starting point was about making the most of the wonderful scenery that the IFC will be built upon.
The architects themselves call this idea "Optimizing the Gifts", explaining that the remoteness from the megalopolis together with the breathtaking scenery around the site, and the panoramic view of the Moskva River are the factors that can (and must!) make the IFC the greenest business area ever, totally unlike the traditional financial centers. The main question is, of course, how you use these benefits: if you hand the territory completely over to the bankers, you will hardly be able to create a truly sustainable neighborhood (which is more like a whole city, judging by its scale).
It was specifically because of this that the next points were the "optimum balance with the surrounding landscape" and "variety of lifestyles" or the "semi functional" planning, so popular nowadays. What is interesting is the fact that unlike the many other competitors, the team of "Reserve" and "Maxwan" forewent the idea of spreading the functions evenly all over the territory - instead, the architects create five planning clusters each of which combines these functions in different proportions and thus gets a face of its own in the structure of the city that is in construction. Yet another two clusters will be placed on the triangular plots that are located along the northern border of the site closest to the Novorizhskoe Highway - but this is a further perspective of the development of the project.
The densest area will be the Central that, in fact, is getting the role of the international financial center: the numerous administrative buildings here alternate with the high-rises that also include apartments (at the very top) and the public functions (at the very bottom). On the plan, the neighborhood has the shape of an elongated rectangle, and, from the planning point, the architects play this configuration as if on que: coupled with the numerous traversing boulevards, the four longitudinal axes of the streets form the planning grid - some kind of New York whose business-like air is clearly readable from the first glance.
Nearby, the Park quarter (Forest Estate) stretches, just as triangular on the plan and having the same grid of blocks - only now residential ones. And, while the Central area had only some green injections of the boulevard esplanades and odd fractions of a small park here and there, here the verdure dominates: the broad park belt embraces the neighborhood along its perimeter, and each of the blocks is adjoined by a green boulevard. The planning density is also different here: there are mostly five-story houses that create the atmosphere of a nice little town.
Yet another rectangle is placed not perpendicular to the river but parallel to it: this is the River quarter that consists predominantly of townhouses that mark the transition from the dense urban environment to the more sparse country housing. This makes perfect sense because behind it, the river meadows start, that are prohibited to build upon: the architects place here a golf-club surrounded by private residences that nicely fit into the surrounding scenery. A similar "green island" is also flanking the yard from the other side: the woodland that prevails there also cannot fit into the rigid planning grid and thus the architects fit in the residential houses in between the trees, giving to the mater plan of the Forest neighborhood a picturesque naturalness.
The groundbreaking planning breakthrough of "Reserve" and "Maxwan" is the decision of digging two water channels on the territory of the IFC: the architects run one of them from the Zakharkovsky Reservoir that is located in the northwest part of the territory, and the other - from the horseshoe-shaped riverbed of the abandoned loop of the Moskva River, located more to the east. The "blue streets", on the one side, give to the structure of the city a clear and bright identity, and, on the other side, help to zone out the so-unlike Central, Park, and Forest neighborhoods. The environment is also livened up by the numerous bridges thrown from one neighborhood to another, the main connecting axis being the broad winding "snake" thoroughfare upon which the architects string the main public territories of each of the clusters.
Top public spaces are yet another cornerstone of this project. Instead of creating a large number of "recreation" places, the architects laid their stress on the landscaped streets and squares together with their thought-out connections with the outside environment. What is interesting is the fact that the Central neighborhood with its numerous high-rises uses the "height-reduction concept": the high-rise facade steps back from the edge of the street at the level of the 4th or 5th floor, thus letting even such dense housing as this one keep the light and the human proportion of the street. The "maximum humanity" is also achieved at the expense of detailed elaboration of the transport issue (yet another priority).
"The master plan that we developed provides for steady interrelation between various types of transport - Vladimir Plotkin explains - We tried to arrange it in such a way that the priority here is given to the pedestrians and cyclists, while the highly-developed public transportation (metro, busses, river taxis) will allow for making this town a pretty much car-free zone". The architects even found a solution for eliminating the possibility of cars passing through the territory of the IFC (located between the Rublevskoye and Novorizhskoe highways, it will indeed become a temptation for the drivers that like a shortcut, especially during the commuter traffic jams on Moscow Ring Road): this risk is eliminated by the thought-out hierarchy of the streets, regulated crossroads, and a tollway system.
Great architecture was also an unconditional priority of this project (IFC will consist of friendly, sustainable, and "open" buildings, many of which are so expressive that stick in one's memory from the first visualization), but its sustainability is, first of all, is provided for by its very master plan. Each block here is terminally flexible and consists of three elements: the parking (it can occupy the construction blueprint fully or partially), the "base" (the first floors of the buildings, sometimes joined into a single whole), and the "upper volumes" (these can be altered or even replaced altogether with time, leaving only the outside front facades unchanged). Just as flexible and at the same time unconventional is the plan of the "layer" development of the blocks. Instead of developing such a huge territory in the traditional phases, "Maxwan" and "Reserve" proposed to landscape all the five major clusters, and then start gradually building in them - in small increments, but all the five simultaneously. According to the architects, such a "recipe" of developing this land long-term for the future unknown will provide for the natural and gradual growth of the town and, more importantly, ensure the high quality of the environment from the very start.
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.
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.