At a first glance, today's Berlin is almost the complete antithesis of Moscow - city that never hurries anywhere, with a highly developed infrastructure, full of public territories and green areas. From a Berliner's point of view, Moscow is chaotic and rather conductive of a conflict than a dialogue; besides, the order of introducing the modern architecture into the historical part of the city more often than not fails any logic tests. In this pair, Berlin is synonymous of comfort and communication, while Moscow, at least, until recently, was synonymous of chaos and alienation. It was all about urban disorientation and absence of systematic work on revising the public territories that the city inherited from the soviet era. Only at a first glance, though. Today's Moscow, like no other megalopolis, is all about renovation and creating comfortable territories for communication.
Still in May, the main architect of Moscow Sergey Kuznetsov brought to Berlin architectural forum "Aedes" the exhibition "New Moscow" that featured all the main contest projects on reorganizing Moscow's territories over recent years.
Now the story of revising and updating Moscow's public territories is joined by Berlin Architectural gallery lead by Ulrich Mueller who, incidentally, plans to widen the geographic focus of the gallery's activity in the direction of Russia.
Berlin saw Dmitry Likin and Oleg Shapiro, partners of the architectural bureau Wowhaus, and, probably, one of the main transformers of Moscow's public territories, bring to the exhibition not a standard set of boards and models but an amphitheater. Or, rather, an idea of one - the structure itself was made on the spot, only a few days before the exhibition. Executed from high-quality plywood, the amphitheater took up almost the entire space of the gallery serving both as an exhibit and as a functional object - comfortably sitting on the rows of its seats, the visitors can be further immersed into the creative work of the bureau turning to the video screen that displays the main projects done by Wowhaus, or simply have a great time enjoying a glass of wine together.
The reason for the architects turning to the genre of amphitheater is pretty obvious. An amphitheater is the most important and the most easily discernible archetype of a public territory, a space for communication. The idea of creating a statement of an object also as best as possible fits the traditions of the gallery: Herr Mueller has always preferred conceptual solutions to the rank-and-file sets of exhibits. Besides, these solutions are oftentimes created specifically for this gallery and are in fact installation objects that are meant to start the visitor thinking, in one way or another, about the meaning of architecture, and immerse him or her into the atmosphere of dialogue and exchange of creative ideas.
The amphitheater Wowhaus is not just tribute to history but a peculiar story of the works by the bureau itself. Amphitheater is the architectural solution of Strelka's yard, and of the summer open-air movie theaters (in Gorky and Feelee parks). Besides, according to the architects' idea, the quaint buildup of the amphitheater's steps that is on the side opposite to the spectators' rows will be the "library of forms" inspired by the projects done by the bureau.
The space between the two constructions of the amphitheater is designed as the entrance landing. On getting here from the street, the first thing that catches the visitor's eye is a series of black-and-white photos of Moscow territories. These are the very land plots where Wowhaus projects were designed and/or implemented: Green Theater, Tverskaya Square, Revolution Square, Olive Beach (Gorky Park), Krymskaya Embankment, and Strelka Institute. Thus the task-setting is made: revising the neglected or under-developed territories. As for the space of the forum/amphitheater, it is also in fact one of the possible solutions of this task, and, actually, forum is meant to communicate and solve such tasks.
Moscow amphitheater of Wowhaus, a forum inscribed into the space of Berlin Architectural Forum, reconciles the two seemingly different nation’s capitals. Set in such a way, the theme finds its continuation in a series of specially organized events: public lectures, screenings of Russian movies, and informal meetings of the architects.
At the opening ceremony, the inauguration speech was delivered by the German culture expert and writer Michael Schindhelm known, among other things, as a curator of the survey of public territories at Strelka. Herr Schindhelm presented today's Moscow to the Berlin audience as a sum total of some certain contradictions: openness to multi-nationality and absence of adequate dialogue between cultures, vast green territories within the city limits and lack of their organization. At the same time, Moscow was presented as a territory with a huge potential for modern changes. And one of the main propagators of these changes today are definitely Wowhaus architects - says Michael Schindhelm.
One of the main projects implemented by Wowhaus is the reorganization of the Krymskaya Embankment. Once a bleak way down the pedestrian sidewalk, for example, from the Central House of Artists to Red October complex has now been remodeled to become one of Moscow's most beautiful promenades. Interesting is the fact that the architects were in fact able to make an architectural path from one of their projects to another: from the Gorky Park (Olive Beach and the winter skating rink) to the amphitheater in the yard of Strelka. Casting one's eye over the exhibition from the happy Berlin, it becomes obvious that Moscow is also becomes a better city to live in, while the transformed downtown territories are also capable of creating the ideal environment for the exchange of ideas and communication.
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.
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.
The Regeneration Experience
The housing project “Metsenat”, which occupies the area next to the Resurrection Church in Moscow’s Kadashi, has a long and complicated history, full of protests, victories, and hopes. Now the project is complete: the architects were able to keep the views, the scale, and a few historical buildings; we can examine the end result now. The project was developed by Ilia Utkin.
The Terraces of the Crystal Cape
Proposed by Nikita Yavein, the concept of a museum, educational, and memorial complex to be built in the city of Sevastopol avoids straightforward accents and over-the-top dramatics, interpreting the history of this place along with the specifics of its landscape, and joining the public space of the operated stairway and amphitheaters with an imposing monument.
Evgeny Podgornov: “You need to make your projects visible”
The leader of Saint-Petersburg’s architectural company Intercolumnium explains why his company’s portfolio includes projects ranging from hi-tech to historicism, discourses upon high-rise landmarks, about the clients, and about the sources of the drive that the city needs.