In Vissarionov’s project, the Federal Sports Centre looks either as if it has landed from outer space and grew into the soil or as if it has hatched from the ground. One thing is clear, though: the authors’ wish to inosculate three cities: a small-scale district, a big, slightly abrupt industrial one – and the city of the future, in this case a sports city.
Written by: Julia Tarabarina, Anna Gorodinskaya Translated by: Anton Mizonov
The town of Kashira near Moscow today is known more as a summer resort by the Oka river, not because of the several factories situated here, one of which is actually a brewery, and not even because of Kashira power plant built under the personal direction of Lenin back in the day. One must say that a name “urban locality” assigned to many areas today suits Kashira much better than actually “a town”: a town as such, in the typical urban view, is not that easy to find here. Kashira is a historically torn, a “crossing” town: after the Time of Trouble it was moved to the right bank of the Oka from the demolished left one, where the ancient settlement is still preserved in Staraya Kashira (rus. “old Kashira”). The town had existed on the right bank as a suburban district with wide streets and low-rise houses until it was decided to start developing it as an industrial center, and several rail tracks were laid towards the Oka – which is very convenient allowing to use two types of transport at the same time – and a small town “Kashira-2” was founded two miles to the east of Kashira beyond the field and the railroad, with the factories and the power plant. Later, a microdistrict of “Kashira-3” was built in the eastern outskirts of the old (well, relatively old) Kashira. Today the network users tag it as the “natural ghetto”: five- and ten-story blocks of flats, “nowhere to go”, but, according to the Soviet norms, there are schools and kindergartens. Nearby, just at the border with the field and by the roadway leading from highway “Don” towards Kolomna, in late 80s the building of City Hall was built from the rose brick – associated with the regional committee but for an individual project. Even though the administration building turned out to be technically in the center, in seemed to be on the very outskirts of old Kashira, pitched to a hardly developed microdistrict. And in the middle – or to say, between the suburban district and the industrial town – nothing, a breach, that the city-machine started to fill with “Kashira-3” in the 70s, but stopped short, unable to pull it through.
Here, on the field east of the town hall offices, plans call for a “Competitive Sport Academy”, which on a scale of Kashira – a place with a population of about forty thousand people – is a very big project, practically of a federal level, with a total area of all the planned rooms – 900 000 square feet – which means an average size for Moscow, but a lot for Kashira. The project is very multifunctional: apart from the two halls for sporting events – a big one and a small one – one training complex, a swimming pool and the rest sport infrastructure, the authors are also planning a boarding school, housing for the teachers and an inter-university center (there are several branches of Moscow universities in Kashira), and also three shopping malls, that will take after the shop situated now at the roadside by the City Hall. The civil servants are talking about the importance of the new “Academy” for the development of the town and for “enhancing the region’s investment attractiveness”. The project has been approved by the City Council of Moscow Region; the architectural design of the Academy was developed by the Architectural Bureau of Yuri Vissarionov, that demonstrated it among its new projects at Zodchestvo festival, on a stand a la 20s (by the way, the stand of the Bureau was awarded the “Golden diploma” of the festival).
Now, as mentioned above, the site of the future “Academy” represents an open country with a small grove at the background, where the housing for the teachers is planned. According to the city development plan, however, the Academy is to be “cut” by a road, that will extend Centrolit street leading through the fields from Kashira to the foundry, situated a bit to the south – then it will be possible to get to the foundry straight from the city. On the one hand, the new road is an advantage for the “Academy”, since it will provide a convenient approach to the sporting complex itself, as well as to its public and administrative center. But on the other hand, it is a disadvantage, because the transport artery will inevitably divide the ensemble in two. That is why the architects suggested “covering” the transport watershed with a green avenue-bridge. The wide boulevard serves as the public center and the green core of the complex. Taking this way, for example, you can walk from the old micro district “Kashira-3” up to the central part of the “Academy”. Actually, the main sporting center looks like an oval donut, or reminds a space ship from a fantastic novel that has landed onto the grass, a bit on the cross, and as a result has grown into the soil. It is, however, tightly pressed to the ground by five flat triangles that admit a fitness-center, a training complex and the extension of the main sporting complex. It results into something reminding a giant octopus (or so to say a “pentapus”) or even a button that, if you look from above, looks as if it aims to connect the parts of Kashira, scattered about the landscape. A sort of a space paperclip…
The roofs of the triangle volumes – the assumed “arms” of our clip – have been turned into hill-boulevards that will be good for skiing in winter. One may doubt the likeness to a space ship: what if, on the contrary, the “donut” has grown out of the ground? And here you can imagine some sort of a secret underground “Kashira-4” – isn’t it odd, that parts of the city had been set so far from one another; there must be a reason – so here you have a secret underground “donut”, some kind of collider, and the tectonic shifts have made it come up onto the surface – an accident, like on some submarine – and it came out, and the massive underpinning, that had kept it down, followed it up – well, and became convenient hills for skiers and children with sleds. There is a similar image of “rising ground” in Dmitry Bykov’s novel “ZhD”. Of course, it is all science fiction, much like space fiction, but the image has turned out to be quite precise.
The green hills on the roofs together with the promenade avenue over the road create a landscape complex, that belongs to the relief and is even park-like to some extent, even though there are not so many trees – mostly there is grass and especially many parking lots: there is no underground parking and the pavement for the cars takes up about 12% of the territory. Splicing the buildings with the landscape, likening them to results of tectonic shifts and cut hills is a popular method in modern architecture, among eco-friendly methods showing regard for the environment. Besides, thanks to the avenues-anchors the sporting complex, that is evidently quite too big for this town and his area, has found its right scale to the nearest and further surroundings – has fit into the urban and natural environment.
The problem of matching with its scale is solved very delicately here. The “Academy’s” position between the corresponding residential development and the picturesque landscape of the nearest suburb defines the reasonable allocation of the administrative, residential, commercial, educational and sporting and other functions around the whole territory of the center. At that, the architects had to find the right proportion solutions, they had to melt, dissolve such an impressive object, “saturate” it with the city. And they managed it: the exaggerated rhythm of large volumes of the middle part of the complex is turning into a spreading of small, prisms with square roofs towards the periphery and forming the exact mapping of the complex. The administrative offices, a hotel and shopping centers are grouped in the western part of the territory, near to the micro district “Kashira-3”. On the East, by the forest, there are family dorms for the coaches and tutors, a rehabilitation facility and a kindergarten. And there, far out, the so-called “back-up” territories are in the future planned for low-rise accommodation: apartments, “bed and breakfast” hotels and care homes. Their sizes diminish towards the borders of the territory reaching a size of a cottage and smoothly growing into the image of Kashira district, trying to overcome the fragmentary nature of the semi-urban texture of this place, to splice it as much as possible in such cases.
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.
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.