По-русски

Opting for the Future

In this issue, we feature the contest project of renovating the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts - developed by Sergey Skuratov Architects.

author pht

Written by:
Anna Martovitskaya
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov

07 July 2014
Object
mainImg

Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects

Out of all the participants of recent contest, Sergey Skuratov took the most integrated approach to solving his task, imbuing his project with a virtually unlimited number of possibilities for the development of the famous museum. Suffice it to say that Skuratov came up with both the scenario of reconstructing the new building, and creating a "museum" exit from the "Kropotkinskaya" metro station, and the development of the entire adjacent territory of the museum's "campus". Such meticulous approach, however, inevitably leads to considerable changes done to the museum's environment - it is clear that otherwise one will have a difficult time achieving a harmonious and integrated development of such a diverse territory while many people will be truly difficult to convince of the necessity of such changes. And this turned out to be precisely the case with this project: Skuratov's concept scared the contest organizers with its grand scale and town-planning boldness. 


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects

In fact, the architect totally "reprograms" the entire plan of this part of the Volkhonka Street. Placing - quite predictably - the main museum building into the compositional center of this little "city within a city", he surrounds it with as many as three house blocks - multifunctional ensembles, each of which gets a highly developed pedestrian and green zone of its own. They line up along the main axis that is set by the main facade of the museum and then is supported by two new volumes that complete the composition from the opposite sides at equal distances away from the building. "Thus, the complex takes on the so-wanted-for clear-cut geometry and a comprehensible territory orientation that is also supported by the logistic solutions" - the architect explains. 


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects

And, even though in the street panorama this little town is actualized as a complex system of public spaces and three main stand-alone buildings, Sergey Skuratov still proposes to connect them underground. Besides the main underpass galleries, the new underground structure also includes an extra exit from the "Kropotkinskaya" metro station, an underground parking garage, maintenance facilities, depositories, and exhibition halls. At the same time, however, each of the ensembles gets its own transport and loading terminals that are meant to simultaneously and independently serve each of the three blocks of the museum town. In other words, the little town can exist as a single well-adjusted machine, and as a constellation of independent clusters, not all of which incidentally, must be of a museum nature. 


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects

This is generally one of the points that are crucial for Sergey Skuratov: according to him, it is high time, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts spilled over the confines of its museum - and even "enlightenment" - line of character. It is precisely for this reason that the Prechistenskie Gate Square and the Gogol Boulevard are faced with the museum's multifunctional entry pavilion: open and transparent, this volume is meant to serve a wide variety of events, including in the evenings, when all the other museum premises are closed for the night. In other words, this is something very much like the "embassy" of the museum where the visitors can even enter without a ticket - something like a prelude to getting acquainted to the ensemble where some people will be inspired to admire the works of art and some people will be quite content with hitting the nearest cafe, a bookstore, or an information center. The outward appearance of the pavilion also serves to convey the idea of accessibility: the architect leaves its first floor fully glazed applying over the stained glass slender lamellae of corten steel, while the second floor is designed as a snow-white dynamic rectangular cantilever with a large welcoming terrace. More importantly, Sergey Skuratov proposed to position it exactly above the new metro exit and the underground parking garage - then the functional museum "hub" would really let through a huge number of visitors. 


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects

Implementing such a grand-scale plan would have only been possible if one was to remove the gas station that was built as far back as in the 1930's and that is now considered a monument of architecture. "The city protection purists would, of course, have given me the "thumbs down", even though I am totally convinced that by keeping this building the city loses a whole lot more, namely, the quality of the environment that is being created here and the very architecture of this place, and, even more importantly, the very possibility of fully-fledged development of the museum in the long-term perspective" - says the architect. At this point, one should mention that Sergey Skuratov actually is not speaking about destroying the "mushrooms" of the gas station: considering the fact that functionally the "government" gas station will be carried over from the Volkhonka to the Bolotnaya Square (this decision has already been made), he only suggested considering the option of the mushrooms being transferred to that same place, all the more so because they would have looked a lot more in place against the background of their contemporary, the House on the Embankment. As far as the new construction is concerned that is to be carried out on the territory that is adjacent to the protected estate, the architect stresses: the contest specifications included the question of how this place might develop in the long-term perspective, and what he did was try and answer it in as much detail as possible.


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects

Sergey Skuratov was also the only contestant who came forward with a proposal to renovate the main building finding in it "hidden resources" that would help to increase the useful area without having to alter the historical image. In particular, the architect organizes a whole new underground floor, "uncovers" part of the buried premises of the basement floor, as well as gets rid of the chaotic maintenance functions and covers the two already-existing courtyards. And it is only from the side of the Maly Znamensky side-street that the architect proposes to create a stand-alone glass double-door entrance - a laconic and almost transparent parallelepiped that looks as like a space module that has docked to these historical walls. In actuality, this "space module" is, of course, stationary, but its ostentatiously neutral appearance renders the interaction of the old and the new as tactful as possible, if not tentative, simultaneously allowing to create, in the museum, the infrastructure that answers today's comfort and safety requirements. 

Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects

And, finally, the volume that will allow the museum to forget for a long time about the congestion of its depositories and studios - the depository and restoration center with a total area of 20000 square meters is now situated on the other side of the alley, in the yards between the Verstovsky side street and the Stulov house. Surrounded by the historical monuments, reconstructions, and new buildings, this territory, according to the architect, would hardly be able to withstand anything except one austere and clear-cut form. And this is exactly the form that Sergey Skuratov is creating - a narrow elongated parallelepiped is situated parallel to the Volkhonka with its sidewall turned to the main museum building. 


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects

This sidewall is actually the face of the entire complex. Here the architect also uses glass and corten steel as the facade materials - only thus time the lamellae get so wide that look more like pylons a whole floor high. Turned to the facade at a different angle, they add depth to the facade and, more importantly, make this building look totally unlike the traditional and purely utilitarian "box" of the museum depository. A large part here is, of course, played by the corten steel, a material that is very artistic and dramatic, one that turns the laconic volume into an imposing and self-sufficient edifice. The house, though, in spite of all the laconism of its geometry, actively interacts with its environment: in the central part of the volume, the architect makes a large rectangular arch into which he inscribes one of the mansions donated to the museum. To this mansion, the one that the building of the museum literally steps over, Skuratov leads a long gently sloping stairway, and surrounds it with a multilevel pedestrian square with the help of which he unites and organizes all the haphazardly scattered yards of the block.


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects

And, while Sergey Skuratov is able to leave, at the expense of the giant cutaway in the building of the museum, this historical mansion virtually intact, the wing of the Glebov Mansion, after a long and painful deliberation, the architect decided to sacrifice. "This is my deliberate, though painful, decision - Sergey Skuratov stresses - I considered a lot of planning options that allowed for keeping this side wing, and in each case I had to sacrifice either the useful area of the depository, or the public territory in front of it, that, in my opinion, is totally necessary because this gives "air" to the complex, and, even more importantly, engages general public into the museum life. Yes, I could have saved part of the wing - some fragments of it - as the contest specifications had it - but thus seemed to me an example of amateurish planning, so I ultimately opted in favor of increasing the useful space, at the expense of which the contemporary life of the historical architecture that at the same time answers the museum needs of the XXI century, is made possible". 


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects

In respect to the museum's main building and the Volkhonka's historical planning, the building of the depository looks, at first glance, too large, to contemporary, and too pristine. However, it is deliberately "sunken in" into the depth of the block so as to provide a possibility for creating here an open-air public territory that will help people to keep a respectful distance from the architectural monuments and at the same time be engaged in a fruitful dialogue on behalf on their epoch. Balanced off with the entrance pavilion on the opposite side of the land site, it makes the entire territory of the museum campus not only look contemporary and in the spirit of the modern aesthetic but also impeccably functional and clear - which, from the point of view of the future visitors of the museum, is probably still more important. 


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects




Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects


Concept of developing the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts © Sergey Skuratov Architects

 


07 July 2014

author pht

Written by:

Anna Martovitskaya
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov
Headlines now
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.
​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.