Waves Rolling Down the Avenue

Two houses embracing the building of "Sputnik" Hotel at the Leninsky Avenue: the new urban ensemble reacts to the traffic flow with plastic waves of the facades, concealing a cozy "courtyard" square inside.

Written by:
Alla Pavlikova
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov

05 February 2015
The laconic sixteen-story slab of "Sputnik" hotel was built at the Leninsky Avenue - if you drive from the city center, you will see it soon after the Gagarin Square - in the late sixties. By that time, the "Kaluzhskaya Zastava" square was adorned by an imposing semicircle of two "Stalin" buildings (1940 and 1950 respectively); the yard to the west got, upon the project of architect Vlasov, an openwork tower of the "Labor Palace" (1936), and along the Lenisky Avenue, large brick frames of residential houses lined up (1959–1960). This place is very populated and vital for the city: the road junction of the Third Transport Ring neighbors on the beginning of the "Neskuchny Garden" - with a lot of academic institutions, the very names of which will hardly be intelligible to everyone. The "Kaluzhskaya Zastava" square was renamed to become the "Gagarin" Square after the tragic death of the legendary cosmonaut; however, the theme of flights "found its home" here as early as in 1961 - because after his first space flight Gagarin drove down this very avenue. The name of the hotel - “Sputnik” - also refers us to the "space" theme.

The hotel stands on the hillock, stepping back from the highway of the avenue's relief road. In front of it, there is a lawn and a parking lot, on the left, western, side, there is a small park. At some distance, there is also a house of the Khrushchev time, and, to the right, nearly precisely next to the hotel, there is a tower built in the late nineties.

The ADM architects were faced with the task of reconstructing the hotel and adding yet another hotel and a shopping building to it - at the same time keeping the park intact. The architects placed the low-rise but at the same time elongated volume of the shopping center along the red line, thus supporting the front of the residential houses of the avenue. For the new building of the hotel, named Staybridge, a place was found in the third row, deeper inside the land plot, behind the slab of the remodeled "Sputnik" - that will be renamed into Holiday Inn.

The architects did keep the existing square intact. As for the territory between the shopping mall and the hotel buildings, however, it was turned into a well-organized city square with picturesque mosaic of diverse paving patterns, blue spruce trees, pavement-level green lawns, the though-out laconic street furniture and the umbrellas of the summer cafes - in a word, the architects carefully organized it, the way ADM does in its virtually project, growing around their buildings layers of so-unlike-Moscow comfortable and well-thought urban space. Meanwhile, the internal square is situated not at all on the ground level but on the roof of the facilities of the basement tier - the relief here gradually lowers three meters down from northwest to southeast, and the architects leveled the place out at the expense of sub-structures, getting a flat surface on the roof, and usable premises under the roof - the extra volume that stops short in the western part with a stark glass wall turned to the trees of the park. Behind the glass wall, there are conference halls.

Part of the design of the hotel square is the protruding marquee of the entrance group of the former "Sputnik" (now "Holiday Inn"): under this marquee, the taxis can await the hotel guests without the latter running the risk of getting wet in the rain. The wooden laths echo the design of the reception areas on the ground floors of both hotels and, alternating with the stripes of the lamps of the same configuration, look like piano keys. The lamps and the ceiling merge into one, and one starts wondering involuntarily - perhaps ALL the stripes are capable of glowing here? But - no! Wood is also important, and it is really abundant behind the transparent walls of the lower floors, giving the whole place - both outside and outside - a cozy countryside feel.

Besides the special features of the terrain, the architects were to take into consideration the close vicinity of a residential house. Looking to keep the insolation of its apartments as intact as possible, the architects cut diagonally the northeast corner of the trading center - which became the starting point - although not the sole reason - for its smooth, wave-shaped, and undulating sculptural shape. An impression is created that the architects gave a good shaking to the bands of the horizontal floors, creating on the facades waves of different amplitude that successfully liven up the long horizontal, overhanging over one another, forming below, on the bridge, convenient awnings for the summer cafe, capable of also protecting the pedestrians that hurry to the metro. The curves of the upper snow-white floors are accentuated by the smooth rhythm of the converging and dissolving strokes of the glazed terra-cotta laths that give the structure an extra resemblance to the wave. Since the permitted height of the volume touching the red line oscillated from six to eighteen meters, the eastern part of the trading center on the roof got a large open-air terrace.

The pavement in front of the building will at some places be as much as twenty-five meters wide: the glass wave of the first floor, contrasting with the overhanging "snow chunks", is decorated with black granite and it recedes into the depth of the volume, increasing the size of the extension of the consoles and suggesting a promenade running along the showcases. In the middle, the undulating front of the shop windows is torn by a wide aperture similar to a cave - the glittering rounded corners seem to draw you inside - the driveway leads to the hotel yard, and this is one of the main exits/entrances (there are two more on the east side next to the park, and the entrance to the underground parking garage of the shopping center closer to the avenue; the transport layout is rather intricate).

On entering the aperture between the shop windows of the shopping center and finding oneself on the already familiar to us inside square of the two hotels, the visitor will probably at once recognize the motif of the wave that he has already noticed on the street facade - in a more reserved way, it is echoed by the cavities on the facades of the new Staybridge Hotel building in the depth of the land site and by its rounded corners. This building was planned to be twenty-two stories high and triangular on the plan but after the consideration at the architectural council, where it was decided to cut the building by three floors, it took on the slab shape. However, its facades preserved both the filleted corners and the thin rock faceting with the elegant variability of the width of the cross connections and the module, which unites the floors into groups of three - all these vertical lines balance the flowing horizontal, giving to the volume simultaneously stability and respectability. And, at the same time, building but a hint of the "image" connection with the "Novatech" building located further down the avenue.

The central and the ostentatiously geometric component between the two wave-shaped objects is the "Sputnik" building, clad by the architects into a new shell of the dark terra-cotta panels in combination with glass surfaces covered by the thin vertical stripes of silk printing. The former “Sputnik", three stories lower than the volume high-strung behind its back, keeps its historical proportion and looks in this new company as the most regular, horizontal, and geometric one. Its seriousness is emphasized by the predominance of dark tone and by the soundness of the facade grid of the assumed “backbone” of the building: meanwhile, the thin vertical primes of the strips of silk screen printing - just as the light asymmetry of the cross-linked with wide primes rhythm - make the old volume a contrasting, but still completely harmonious part of the new complex that has grown around it.
Hotel and shopping complex at the Leninsky Avenue © ADM Studio
Hotel and shopping complex at the Leninsky Avenue. Master Plan © ADM Studio
Hotel and shopping complex at the Leninsky Avenue. Square of two hotels © ADM Studio
Hotel and shopping complex at the Leninsky Avenue © ADM Studio
Hotel and shopping complex at the Leninsky Avenue. Improvement elements © ADM Studio
Hotel and shopping complex at the Leninsky Avenue. Organization of the inside square © ADM Studio
Hotel and shopping complex at the Leninsky Avenue. Inside public square © ADM Studio
Hotel and shopping complex at the Leninsky Avenue. Entrance group of Holiday Inn © ADM Studio
Hotel and shopping complex at the Leninsky Avenue. Marquee of the entrance group © ADM Studio
Hotel and shopping complex at the Leninsky Avenue. Commercial block © ADM Studio
Hotel and shopping complex at the Leninsky Avenue. Shopping center © ADM Studio
Hotel and shopping complex at the Leninsky Avenue. Staybridge Hotel © ADM Studio
Hotel and shopping complex at the Leninsky Avenue. Fragment of the facade of Holiday Inn © ADM Studio
Hotel and shopping complex at the Leninsky Avenue. Pavement along the shopping block © ADM Studio
Hotel and shopping complex at the Leninsky Avenue. The arch leading to the courtyard of the complex © ADM Studio
Hotel and shopping complex at the Leninsky Avenue. Fragment of the facade of the shopping center © ADM Studio
Hotel and shopping complex at the Leninsky Avenue. Fragment of the facade of the shopping center © ADM Studio
Hotel and shopping complex at the Leninsky Avenue. Overview from the avenue © ADM Studio

05 February 2015

Written by:

Alla Pavlikova
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov
Headlines now
​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”.
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 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.
​Parallel Universe
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.
​Waves of Sound
The conceptual design of a music school: proximity to an Alvar Aalto building, expressive organics, and an attempt to draw public attention to a “low-profile” competition.
​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.
​Wicker Vitality
Next to the Dubrovka metro station, ADM has designed a Vitality housing complex with a polychrome mixture of Klinker brick on its ridged facades.
​Freedom Factory
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.