Moscow Council of Architecture - 22
- contemporary architecture
A regular Council of Architecture took place shortly before the New Year’s Eve, on December 24. It considered and unanimously approved the project of a multifunctional complex on the Paveletskaya Embankment – a work by Sergey Skuratov Architects.
A complex of residential houses, offices and shopping malls is to be built in place of Schlichterman’s Factory. This wool yarn plant appeared on the bank of the river in the late XIX century and in 1968 it was reformed into the factory "Moscow Printing and Publishing Intergrated Works". The low-rise red-brick factory buildings of very distinctive, expressive architecture have been preserved to our days. Today these deserted, tumble-down houses are squeezed in-between two large business-centers: H2O Plaza and “AFI on Paveletskaya”. According to the proposed project, these main buildings of the factory are supposed to be rebuilt and integrated into the new multi-functional complex.
The construction site is about 13, 5 acres. The Paveletskaya Embankent is situated in the middle of the capital – only 4 miles away from the Kremlin and 2 miles away from the Garden Ring. “Moskva Paveletskaya” railway platform and “Tulskaya” metro station are situated right next to the site. The new complex will consist of seven tall residential houses with a spacious courtyard, a separately standing kindergarten with playgrounds, an office block and the entire necessary infrastructure. The building height varies strongly – from 1 to 16 floors. It creates an interesting silhouette and a diverse ambience. The maximum allowed height of the buildings on this construction site defined by the landscape and visual analysis is 188 feet - which corresponds to the maximum height of the complex.
Sergey Skuratov personally presented his project to the councilors. He named the necessity of preserving the spirit of this place as the main designing principle: creating an ensemble reminding the once-existing factory. Everything serves these purposes: the chosen stylistics, the used materials, and the town-planning solution. For instance, all the planning and compositional lines of the present development are preserved in the project; moreover, the complex is notable for the permeability of all its volumes. “Monomaterialism” can be also easily read as one of the main principles of finishing. Only three kinds of material are used: brick, glass and metal, with metal applied for the leaded panels and the roof. Metal-ceramics is also used. As for the reconstruction of the old buildings, according to Skuratov, the architects decided to precisely follow the principle: new elements may by no means copy the historical part of the construction.
One of the advantages of this project is the flexible planning of the apartments and offices. It allows them to be changed according to the user’s needs: for example, a possibility to unite the rooms will definitely attract customers. The authors also suggested a favorable solution for the execution of this large-scale project: they propose using the quickly erectable house technology (houses made up of precast units) – this will significantly cut back on the duration of the construction.
The yard of the complex is planned to be remade into a park due to the history of this place: originally a big garden surrounded the house of the factory owner. Beside the exuberant foliage there will be a square hare with a small pond and a fountain that will be facing the Paveletskaya Embankment, connecting the complex to the city. A wide pedestrian avenue is also planned inside the ensemble. Practically the whole outline of the buildings on the ground floor (and partly first and second floors) level is intended for public functions. There will be no cars inside the yards – the architects provide only fire lanes. Motor transport could be parked on the visitor parking lot, 50 feet away from the residential buildings, or in the two-level underground parking lot for 1146 places and with three entrances. In order to provide easier access to the complex the traffic diagram considers extending the Paveletskaya Embankment, 3d Paveletskiy Driveway and the Proektiruemy Driveway.
Upon hearing Sergey Skuratov’s report, Sergey Kuznetsov remarked that it was a very good example of working with industrial areas along rivers, which is especially important since the site in question is included into the framework of developing the riverfront of the Moskva River. Actually it is due to the important location of the lot that the project was put before the Council of Architecture. Sergey Kuznetsov also wondered if the client was still going to carry out the project considering the economic events in the country. The client confirmed his intentions straight off and readily shared his plans for the future: the evaluation of the project will be started already in February 2015 and the beginning of construction is planned for spring. It must be said the presented project appealed to all the councilors. Instead of the usual comments, suggestions and questions there was only “thank you” to the authors for such a good job and the interesting report.