This complex is built at the junction of the Valovaya and Bolshaya Serpukhovskaya streets, in the stead of Bread Factory N1. The decision of the demolition of the latter was taken by the city still back in 1998, the original idea being that the bread factory would be basically kept intact in this place, just equipped with more up-to-date and compact machinery, and that it would take up considerably less room, yielding part of the advantageously located land site to a business center. This should become an example of a, crucially new for Moscow, scenario of relocating the production facilities, when they are just not taken outside the city center but are transferred to a different format. However, the search for the optimum architectural solution took up so long that speaking about any know-how does not make much sense anymore. The commissioner turned to "Reserve" in 2008 with a request to do some corrections to the facades of the concept that had been developed by another studio but the team of Vladimir Plotkin proposed their own solution of organizing the business center.
Considering the key location of the land site (directly on the Garden Ring, the latter making a smooth bend here) the architects revised the shape and the plastic of the very object, likening the house standing at the turn to a pivot. Back then, in 2008, consisting of triangular bay windows and looking as if it is "bound" with broad belts of concrete and glass, the cylinder of the main building looked more innovative (a similar motif is to be found in the project of the residential complex "Zarechye" upon which Vladimir Plotkin worked during the same years). Without a doubt, the ribbed "pivot" would introduce into the panorama of the Garden Ring a fair bit of something fresh and at the same time high-profile, something that this part of the Garden Ring seems to be in dire need of - but the architectural community refused to believe such a daring shape, and its authors were recommended to do "something more conservative". As Vladimir Plotkin confesses, at this point he felt like giving up on the Valovaya Street altogether - but then the world crisis set in, the budgets were being cut, and any commission came in handy.
In the summer of 2009, "Reserve" yet again presented the revised project to the architectural board. This time, the plan of the complex had a trapeze shape that in fact followed the shape of the land plot and allowed for making a maximum statement of its presence at the junction. The "pivot-ness" theme, however, was still to be traced in the project: the building looked as if it was "embracing" the plot. Still, though, the authors were recommended to forego this direct hint at plasticity as well, just as the theme of broken facets and lamellae that decorated the facades. As for the latter, the members of the board literally insisted on "observing the traditions of the architecture of the Garden Ring" - however, it is particularly the area around the Valovaya Street that is reigned by such an abundance of styles that choosing some specific starting point would have been quite a chore. "At one time we were advised to proceed from the neighboring building that was built in the late Stalin era, but this was actually just an ordinary rank-and-file affair, cloning which would seem to us at least strange" - Vladimir Plotkin explains.
Still, the architecture of the complex did get some of the "general Moscow" thematics: the authors introduced clear vertical horizontal sections, opted in favor of the beige and ochre palette, and proposed to use slabs of natural stone with carved ornament. In the Moscow-characteristic manner, the building's two top floors were accentuated: their glazing area is considerably larger, while the ornament gives way to laconic rustication. Still, even this version had to be revised by the architects: gradually, the project lost its ornamental inserts, and the visual difference between the stories. The version that ultimately got implemented, was called "the most reserved" by Vladimir Plotkin.
In accordance with the original specifications, the complex consists of two volumes - the main building of the business center, turned to the Garden Ring, and the production-facility building that follows the rear boundary of the plot parallel to the Valovaya street. They are designed in totally different ways, both in their shape and facade decoration. The main building kept the trapeze shape of the plan, both bases of this trapeze having rather large cutaways in them - some sort of "light wells" that let the architects keep the regulation distance from the subway ventilation chutes located on the plot.
The corner with which the volume is turned to the crossroads is smoothed out, if minimally, which is gracefully and unobtrusively accentuated by the curvilinear glass that is used here. Running away from this axis, the two surfaces of the main facade form a broad angle, exactly following the red lines of the crossing streets, while the dynamics of this angle is enhanced by the horizontals that dominate the design of the building. The light-beige belts of the intermediate floors are slit with darker decorative lamellae that go a long way to conceal the monotony of these elements. Just as dark hue the architects gave to the vertical inserts between the windows.
The coating is executed not from stone but from glass fiber concrete integrated into the modular system - this comparatively new material allows the architects to make the plastics of the facade rather rich and sophisticated without making it too heavy: the average panel is one and a half - two centimeters thick. Besides, the project provided for the decorative backlight of the building's facades: the special niches for the lights are fully integrated into their coating.
And, while all the belts are designed alike, the inserts change from window to window: upon the darker textured plaque, the architects apply a rectangular grid, the squares of which constantly vary, introducing into this seemingly "reserved" facade a fair bit of an interesting intrigue. The building that is farther away from the Garden Ring, is significantly different from the textured and dissected main facade: the same modular grid is made thinner and, let's say so, clearer. The side wall of the building is covered with a light pattern of smooth but still textured "velvet" slabs of glass fiber concrete, livened up by a few windows; on the rear facade, the windows alternate in a staggered order with the outstanding glass panels covered with silk printing bands.
Driving past the building in a car, one will hardly have time to notice such subtleties - the eye only catches the trail of belts streaming along the crossroads - but the pedestrians approaching the complex or walking past the building will have a fun time examining it.
Oh, about the pedestrians! All along the first floor of the building, the architects make an "undercut" and then cover it with stained glass: the building steps back from the red lines taking on a more friendly and open look. In front of the building, there is a small landscaped square that makes one slow down at the point where the flow of people used to be moving in but a transient fashion. One will also get a considerable aesthetic pleasure just walking around the complex. The rear building that presents a much more laconic parallelepiped is turned to its immediate neighbor with a fully glazed facade, while on the roof level there is a narrow bridge between them that in the clear weather can be barely seen in the Moscow sky but still serves as an indisputable material embodiment of the blood connection of these so unlike volumes.
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.