This country house has been built in one of the most picturesque sites in the north of Moscow area. The absolutely flat relief without so much as a hint at a height drop made the architects' task significantly easier - although, according to Mikhail Kanunnikov, one of the authors of the project, they were not after taking the line of least resistance; and looking at the entwining lines, surfaces, and volumes of the house, one certainly believes that.
The architects started working on this project back in 2008, when the future customer, upon seeing a house built by them on a neighboring site, found the authors and asked them to design a still more "outstanding" building. For such an exacting customer, "Fourth Dimension" came up with an unusual solution that still, according to the authors, turned out to be a very practical one.
The cross-shaped plan of the house falls in with the principles of Frank Lloyd Wright who insisted that at the core of any house there must be a cross - the windows are oriented to all sides, and the danger of a "dark nucleus" in the center is completely ruled out. The cross is rather conditional and asymmetric, though, in full accordance with Wright's teachings that the practical and "honest" planning should be done "from inside to outside". Thus, all the sleeves of the cross have a different length even at the second floor, while on the first floor the volume next to the billiard room is completely "cut away", and the void is turned into an open-air terrace beneath the children's room - which turns the cross-shaped figure into a intricate Tetris piece. The long "leg" of the cross on the second floor is occupied by the master's bedroom - a spacious one with a broad stanza balcony and a magnificent view over the rooftop of a small single-story bathhouse that continues the line of the leg of the conditional cross.
From the opposite side, shifted a little off the main axis and even elongated sidewise perpendicular to it, there is a single-story guest house with a garage, connected to the main house by a spacious terrace and a "deconstructionist" white frame above it with a large rectangular opening. In the evenings, this rig lightens up with a multitude of spotlights and lights the territory beneath it - however, what is really interesting is the fact that higher up the flat roof of the second floor can be pulled apart, and during the rain the terrace finds itself under the roof and one can cross from the main house to the guest house without getting wet, while in the sunny weather the roof can be opened just like a car hatch. Deeper inside the plot, the architects tucked away the tiny cozy barbecue veranda.
Described above, the pull-out roof terrace is the most vivid example of the open-air recreation area of this house - but one will be able to see a lot more similar spots of a smaller size here - under the stone and wooden awnings that seem to grow out of the very house. The slits, protrusions, and stanzas are in abundance here: the house bites into the space, and casts its large jagged protuberances into it - as if it engages in a symbiosis with it, at the same time offering to it its cubic geometrical language as a means of “inter-material” communication.
In other words, the pull-out roof is the apotheosis - but the house itself looks as if had started assembling itself, before our eyes, from several different materials - stone, white concrete, wood, and glass - and then suddenly stopped in midair, forgetting either to cuddle up or to unfold to the fullest, projecting a multitude of parallelepipeds of all shapes and sizes. All these weird shapes are functionally justified - as the authors explain, each block of the main house - i.e. each of the "sleeves" of its cross is designed for a particular family member (two children, the parents, and the guests) . The windows of the residential blocks do not face their neighbors, they only command beautiful views, avoiding even the fences and nearby construction sites - so there is not much need for curtains that will only get in the way of the guests enjoying the scenery. Oh, by the way, each room here has its own exit to this or that terrace.
For decorating the house, it was decided to use predominantly local materials: wood and natural stone. To get the sandstone, the architect set out to one of the old quarries that, as the legend has it, was there as early as in the times when the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl was built. The sandstone and wood decorate the building's blind walls that contrast with the transparent ones glazed from wall to ceiling. The central accent of the decoration is the "island wall" of dark natural stone that is turned onto the main (yes, the main one under the pull-out roof) terrace between the houses. The stone, contrastingly backlit from all sides, symbolizes the family hearth.
The multilayer character of the facades is repeated in the interiors of the house. The custom-designed in-built furniture becomes the building's second skin and replicates the pattern of the outside walls on the inside. There are no redundant partitions; the premises smoothly flow into one another - Wright again! - the hall bleeds into the dining-room, the dining-room - into the fireplace room, the fireplace room - into the drawing room, from which one can exit onto the terrace and then find his way into the garage. If one is going to encounter any "borders", then these are to be found on the first floor, made of glass, transparent, and quite unobtrusive. One can easily "run through" the house from end to end, through the length and breadth of it, coming up with ever new locomotion routes. It is because of this that the owner's children called this house a "labyrinth".
By the way, the theme of "family hearth" comes up here once again - this time in connection with the real fireplace, around which the attention is inevitably concentrated when the hearth is surrounded by the zigzag layers of stone, including the semitransparent onyx, glowing against the fire. Or at the places where the dark glass above the fireplace is turned into a multimedia screen.
Apart from the spacious and sunlit first floor, the house provides a more private layout on the second level that cozily houses a few bedrooms, a game room, and a children's room. In the basement, there is a full-scale movie theater, and presently, the construction of a swimming pool is being completed.
Sharing about his project, Mikhail Kanunnikov repeatedly stressed that minimalism is what this house is all about, as well as pragmatism and the keen attention to detail: "more function, less decoration". And even - "house with a man's character". Meaning - a house that is sturdy, a house with integrity, and a bit gnarled at times; one that appreciates the technical novelties but at the same time not alien to the roughness of the "wild" stone. And still, apart from the certain austerity in details, there is one more peculiarity to it - with all of its terraces, the house sports a very "southern" look, one of a house open to the life in the wild, and because of this, in spite of all of its masculine qualities (or maybe even thanks to them), a look of a house that is very warm - like a villa on a seaside.
Park of Romantic Experiences
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.
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.
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.
In the Istra district of Moscow metropolitan area, the tandem of 4izmerenie and ARS-ST designed a sports complex – a monovolume that has the shape of a chamfered parallelepiped with a pointed “nose” like a ship’s bow.
Stairway to Heaven
The project of a hotel in the settlement of Yantarny is an example of a new recreational complex typology, and a new format that unites the hotel, the business, and the cultural functions. All of this is complemented by 100% integration with nature.
Cape of Good Hope
In this issue, we are showing all the seven projects that participated in a closed-door competition to create a concept for the headquarters of Gazprom Neft, as well as provide expert opinions on those projects.
The Outer Space
Honoring the 300th anniversary of the Kuznetsk coal fields in 2021, a new passenger terminal of the Aleksey Leonov Airport in the city of Kemerovo will be built, designed by GK Spectrum and ASADOV Architectural Bureau.
The Pivot of Narkomfin Building
Ginzburg Architects finished the restoration of the Narkomfin Building’s laundry unit – one of the most important elements of the famous monument of Soviet avant-garde architecture.
The housing complex “Respublika” is so large that it can be arguably called a micro-town, yet, at the same time, it easily overcomes most of the problems that usually arise with mass housing construction. How could Archimatika achieve that? We are examining that on the example of the first stage of the complex.
The Flowing Lines
The five houses of the “Svoboda” block belonging to the “Simvol” residential complex present a vivid example of all-rounded work performed by the architects on an integral fragment of the city, which became the embodiment of the approach to architecture that hitherto was not to be seen anywhere in Moscow: everything is subjected to the flow of lines – something like a stream, enhanced by the powerful pattern of the facades akin to “super-graphics”.
A City by the Water
The concept of a large-scale housing development at the edge of Voronezh, near the city reservoir, or “the sea”, as it is locally called, uses the waterside height difference to create a sophisticated public space, paying a lot of attention to the distribution of masses that determine the look of the future complex if viewed from the opposite bank of the river.
A Journey to the Country of Art Deco
The “Little France” residential complex on the 20th line of the Vasilyevsky Island presents an interesting make-believe dialogue between its architect, Stepan Liphart, the architect of the New Hermitage, masters of the Silver Age, and Soviet Art Deco, about interesting professional topics, such as a house with a courtyard in the historical center of Saint Petersburg, and the balance between the wall and the stained glass in the architectonics of the facade. Here are the results of this make-believe conversation.
A House in a Port
This housing complex on the Dvinskaya Street is the first case of modern architecture on the Gutuevsky Island. The architectural bureau “A-Len” thoroughly explores the context and creates a landmark for further transformations of this area of Saint Petersburg.
Balance of Infill Development
Anatoly Stolyarchuk Architectural Studio is designing a house that inadvertently prevails over the surrounding buildings, yet still tries to peacefully coexist with the surrounding environment, taking it to a next level.
The Precious Space
Evolution Design and T+T Architects reported about the completion of the interior design project of Sberbank headquarters on the Kutuzovsky Avenue. In the center of the atrium, hovers the “Diamant” meeting room; everything looks like a chest full of treasures, including the ones of a hi-tech kind.
Big Little Victory
In a small-sized school located in Domodedovo in Moscow metropolitan area, ASADOV_ architects did a skillful job of tackling the constraints presented by the modest budget and strict spatial limitations – they designed sunlit classrooms, comfortable lounges, and even a multi-height atrium with an amphitheater, which became the center of school life.
The Social Biology of Landscape
The list of new typologies of public spaces and public projects has been expanded yet again — thanks to Wowhaus. This time around, this company came up with a groundbreaking by Russian standards approach to creating a place where people and animals can communicate.
Watched by the Angels from up Above
Held in the General Staff building of the Hermitage Museum, the anniversary exhibition of “Studio 44” is ambitious and diverse. The exhibition was designed to give a comprehensive showcase of the company’s architecture in a whole number of ways: through video, models, drawings, installations, and finally, through a real-life project, the Enfilade, which the exhibition opens up, intensifies, and makes work the way it was originally intended.
A New Version of the Old City
The house at Malaya Ordynka, 19, fits in perfectly with the lineup of the street, looking even as if it straightened the street up a little, setting a new tone for it – a tone of texture, glitter, “sunny” warmth, and, at the same time, reserved balance of everything that makes the architecture of an expensive modern house.
Stepan Liphart: “Standing your ground is the right thing to do”
A descendant of German industrialists, “Jophan’s son”, and an architect, speaks about how studying architectural orders tempers one’s character, and how a team of just a few people can design grand-scale housing projects to be built in the center of Saint Petersburg. Also: Santa Claus appearing in a Stalin high-rise, an arch portal to the outer space, mannerism painting, and the palaces of Paris – all covered in an interview with Stepan Liphart.
Honey and Copper
In the Moscow area, the architect Roman Leonidov designed the “Cool House” residence, very much in the spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright, spreading it parallel to the ground, and accentuating the horizontal lines in it. The color composition is based on juxtaposition of warm wood of a honey hue and cold copper blue.
The Ring on the Saisara Lake
The building of the Philharmonic Hall and the Theater of Yakut Epos, standing on the shore of the sacred lake, is inscribed into an epic circle and contains three volumes, reminiscent of the traditional national housing. The roof is akin to the Alaas – a Yakut village standing around a lake. In spite of its rich conceptual agenda, the project remains volumetrically abstract, and keeps up a light form, making the most of its transparency, multiple layers, and reflections.
Architecture of Evanescence
On the Vernadskogo Avenue, next to the metro station, appeared a high-rise landmark that transformed the entire area: designed by UNK Project, the “Academic” business center uncovered, in the form of its architecture, the meanings of the local place names.
The Theater and Music Circles
The contest-winning ambitious grand-scale project of the main theater and concert complex of the Moscow area includes three auditoriums, a yard – a public area – a higher school of music, and a few hotels. It promises to become a high-profile center for the classical music festivals on a national scale.
The Line of a Hardened Breakthrough
Designed by Stepan Liphart, the housing complex “Renaissance” continues the line of the historical center of Saint Petersburg, reinterpreting the Leningrad Art Deco and the neoclassical architecture of the 1930-50’s in reference to the civilization challenges posed by our century.