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: Anna Gorodinskaya, Julia Tarabarina Translated by: Anton Mizonov
15 April 2015
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.
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Inside of a Drawn Grid
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The Yard Aesthetics
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MasterMind: a Neural Network for Developers and Architects
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This Beetle Has Flown
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The Childhood Territory
The project of the educational complex within the second stage of “Spanish Quarters” was developed by ASADOV Architects. The project is all about creating a friendly and transparent environment that in itself educates and forms the personality of a child.
Man and the City
Designing this large-scale housing complex, GAFA architects accentuated two types of public spaces: bustling streets with shops and cafes – and a totally natural yard, visually separated as much as possible from the city. Making the most out of the contrast, both work together to make the life of the residents of EVER housing complex eventful and diverse.
Andy Snow: “I aim for an architecture which is rational and poetic”
The British architect Andy Snow has recently become the chief architect at GENPRO Architects & Engineers. Projects, which Andy Snow did in the UK in collaboration with world-famous architectural firms, scored numerous international awards. In Russia, the architect took part in designing Moscow’s Stanislavsky Factory business center, iLove housing complex, and AFI2B business center on the 2nd Brestskaya Street. In our interview, Andy Snow compared the construction realities in Russia and the UK, and also shared his vision of architectural prospects in Russia.
The Living Growth
The grand-scale housing complex AFI PARK Vorontsovsky in Moscow’s southwest consists of four towers, a “slab” house, and a kindergarten building. Interestingly, the plastique of the residential buildings is quite active – they seem to be growing before your eyes, responding to the natural context, and first of all opening the views of the nearby park. As for the kindergarten building, it is cute and lyrical, like a little sugar house.
Sergey Skuratov: “A skyscraper is a balance of technology, economic performance, and aesthetic...
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The Red Building
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The Uplifting Effect
The project of Ostankino Business Park was developed for the land site lying between two metro stations (one operating and the other in construction), and because of that its public space is designed to equally cater for the city people and the office workers. The complex stands every chance of becoming the catalyst for development of the Butyrsky area.
In this article, we are examining a rather rare and interesting case – two projects by Evgeny Gerasimov situated on one street and completed with a five years’ difference, presenting the perfect example of example for analyzing the overall trends and approaches practiced by the architectural company.
Raising the Yard
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Hearing the Tune of the Past
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Yards and Towers: the Samara Experiment
The project of “Samara Arena Park”, proposed by Sergey Skuratov, scored second place in the competition. The project is essentially based on experimenting with typology of residential buildings and gallery/corridor-type city blocks combined with towers – as well as on sensitive response to the context and the urge to turn the complex into a full-fledged urban space providing a wide range of functions and experiences.
The Fili Duo
The second phase of the Filicity housing complex, designed by ADM architects, is based on the contrast between a 57-story skyscraper 200 meters high and an 11-story brick house. The high-rise building sets a futuristic vector in Moscow housing architecture.
The Wall and the Tower
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An Office for Concentrating Ideas
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The Energy Family
The housing complex Symphony 34 will be built in Moscow’s Savelovsky district; it will consist of four towers from 36 to 54 stories high. Each of the towers has an image of its own, but they all are gathered into a single architectural ensemble – a fragment of a new high-rise urban space lying outside the Third Transport Ring.
The Fifth Element
The high-end residential development in the Vsevolozhsky Lane features a combination of expensive stone and metal textures, immersing them into a feast of ornaments. The house looks like a fantasy inspired by the theater of the Art Nouveau and Symbolism era; a kind of oriental fairy tale, which paradoxically allows it to avoid direct stylization and become a reflection of one of the aspects of modern Moscow life.
Springboards and Patios
The central element of the manor house in the village of Antonovka, designed by Roman Leonidov, is the inner yard with pergolas, meant to remind its owner about his vacations in exotic countries. The exposed wooden structures emphasize the soaring diagonals of single-pitched roofs.
Adding Up a Growing City
The housing quarter “1147” is located at the border between the old “Stalin” district in the north and the actively developing territories in the south. Its image responds to a difficult task: the compound brick facades of the neighboring sections are different, their height varying from 9 to 22 floors, and, if we are look from the street, it seems as though the front of the city development, consisting from long narrow elements, is forming some sophisticated array at this very moment in front of our eyes.
Agility of the Modular
In the Discovery housing complex that they designed, ADM architects proposed a modern version of structuralism: the form is based on modular cells, which, smoothly protruding and deepening, make the volumes display a kind of restrained flexibility, differentiated element by element. The lamellar and ledged facades are “stitched” with golden threads – they unite the volumes, emphasizing the textured character of the architectural solution.
Polyphony of a Strict Style
The “ID Moskovskiy” housing project on St. Petersburg’s Moscow Avenue was designed by the team of Stepan Liphart in the past 2020. The ensemble of two buildings, joined by a colonnade, is executed in a generalized neoclassical style with elements of Art Deco.
In Three Voices
The high-rise – 41 stories high – housing complex HIDE is being built on the bank of the Setun River, near the Poklonnaya Mountain. It consists of three towers of equal height, yet interpreted in three different ways. One of the towers, the most conspicuous one looks as if it was twisted in a spiral, composed of a multitude of golden bay windows.
In the Space of Pobedy Park
In the project of a housing complex designed by Sergey Skuratov, which is now being built near the park of the Poklonnaya Hill, a multifunctional stylobate is turned into a compound city space with intriguing “access” slopes that also take on the role of mini-plazas. The architecture of the residential buildings responds to the proximity of the Pobedy Park, on the one hand, “dissolving in the air”, and, on the other hand, supporting the memorial complex rhythmically and color-wise.