In the city of Vladivostok, ABD architects are reconstructing the historical cold storage warehouse, are designing the culture and business center, and are organizing the comfortable public territories between these two buildings.
Written by: Anna Starostina Translated by: Anton Mizonov
This sophisticated multitask project is currently in its approval stage. In spite of the fact that, by the standards of ABD Architects, this work is unusually small-scale, the proposed solutions can have a considerable impact on the set routine of the city's life in this part of Vladivostok. The rectangular plot in the very center of the city has such a complex terrain that finding the successful location of the building was quite a tough call. As difficult was inscribing it into the context of the local urban texture.
Originally, a few tasks were posed before the architects, the first of them being returning to the city the now-derelict building of the cold storage. Exactly one hundred years ago it was built by the company "Union" for keeping the frozen meat brought in from Australia. Supposedly, one of the participants of that project was one of the key figures of Vladivostok, architect and engineer Vladimir Planson. So, this is indeed an important monument for the city. Handling the specific issues that the building, totally unfit for contemporary needs and many times rebuilt, presented was also quite a chore.
The rectangular volume, with a clearly readable on the plan administrative part at the side end and the added later "outstanding" substation (total area about 2700 square meters), will be stuccoed and painted the historically correct white. The freezer, in fact, has completely blind walls: the windows were only there in the office premises situated in the north part of the building. Making new openings in the walls that had the official status of an architectural monument was out of the question. As a result, only one wall, the one that is turned to the yard, upon the approval of the historical monuments conservation committee, will have any windows in it - really large ones. However, thanks to the small depth of the building they will be quite capable of providing the sufficient level of ambient light. The top floors will be occupied by the quite unusual for Vladivostok type of office space - the creative co-working: the work tables will be placed near the windows, and the meeting rooms will be moved over to the blind wall, along with the kitchen, the restrooms, and other premises that do not require the ambient light.
The dark basement floor will house extra expo spaces. The original metallic structures of the historical building will be by all means preserved. The outdated frequent rhythm of the supports, on the one hand, makes the inside space slightly inconvenient for the usual office but, on the other hand, adds to the building's historical authenticity.
In its shape and size (practically the same 2700 square meters, the same four floors, and the same gable roof), the new building to its historical neighbor. Their interrelation are about a respectful dialogue, and close mutual work, and some argument, and even a bit if competition. "We wanted the new building to be as laconic as possible and not really bold in color: the buildings around it look too motley as it is, and they are different in height, too. When we came to this place, absolute chaos ruled here, and we needed to bring it to order, organize it somehow" - says one of the authors of the project Anton Savelyev. The two underground tiers occupying the space under the paved courtyard are the parking garage. The first floor will house a restaurant, small shops, and the exhibition gallery of Vladimir Lanin - the famous local photographer of the late XIX century. The top three floors will be completely rented out as the office of one company.
The shape of the building was practically dictated by its surroundings - the architects simply "listened" to it carefully. For example, besides the cold storage warehouse, there is also the historical water tower standing next to the land plot. There was no task of highlighting this object or take its dimensions into consideration in any way but nevertheless the architects deemed it necessary to pay homage to it lowering the height of the new building's roof in its direction. The result is a subtle, almost invisible, "courtesy". For the same reason, the attractive-looking cutaway of the side wall appeared: it was just "turned" a little bit in the direction of the tower. Part of the "empty" casing of the building, however, the architects preferred to keep intact. The resulting asymmetrical "marquee" and the interesting-looking "screen" wall accentuate the entrance still more, protecting the territory of the courtyard from the wind and the rain, and help to separate and organize the pedestrian flows.
The "screen marquee", however, is by far not the only element of this visual play that the architects introduced into the neutral and calm image of the new building. First of all, the size of the windows changes all the time. While on the main facades, as one's gaze goes up, they grow wider, turning from the narrow slit-like kind to large, almost panoramic, windows, on the side walls, conversely, they grow narrower, threatening to disappear completely. The authors of the project say that they ultimately got quite a jigsaw puzzle here. The second technique is combining two differently textured materials on the facades. Initially, it was planned that in the main facade a cozy type of wood would be used, the type that would look like the soft warm "undergrowth" covered on top by the coarse fur of the natural stone, with the "undergrowth" showing through it. However, on second thought, the architects considered this solution too rash, and opted for the more reserved but as contrastive and sophisticated combination of metal of a warm tone on the main facade and stone everywhere else.
The last but not least constituent part of the work was the task of forming comfortable city territories between the two buildings of the complex. Such territories are practically non-existent in Vladivostok now. Every day, this area has people going through it towards the central railway station located nearby, and back again, so the architects had to, first of all, divide the pedestrian flows: because what kind of "comfortable" territory can you create in a pass-through yard? It was possible to achieve by using the complex terrain of this territory, supplying it with a sophisticated system of stairs and landings. As a result, the space between the two buildings turned into a practically isolated courtyard.
Securely protected from the wind, the paved territory that provides a separate entrance to the restaurant, will allow for organizing an open-air terrace in the summertime; it will also give the office workers an opportunity to go out for a breath of fresh air. And the steep green slope can be used, for example, as an open-air movie theater, of course, weather permitting. The noise of the big city life and the local strong sea winds are additionally fenced off by that same fragment of the new casing of the building that forms this cozy and protected micro-world.
The saturated functional program in combination with the surrounding houses and the challenging terrain made the architects deftly navigate through a lot of underwater stones. And, as strange as it may seem, it was this necessity of navigating that prompted the most interesting and bright solutions. And the seeming lack of logic in some of the applied techniques goes a long way to draw close attention to the building. "This project is not at all as simple as one might think at first sight. Yes, you can criticize some of our solutions, for example, the fact that the location of the entrances to the new buildings is not really obvious, but we are quite certain that all of our solutions are the best possible under the given circumstances. I think we have been able to create a balanced project and solve all the issues we had to solve" - says Anton Savelyev.
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The Red Building
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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
The housing complex Renome consists of two buildings: a modern stone house and a red-brick factory building of the end of the XIX century, reconstructed by measurements and original drafts. The two buildings are connected by an “inclined” yard – a rare, by Moscow standards, version of geoplastics that smoothly ascends to the roof of the stores lined up along a pedestrian street.
The high-end residential complex STORY, situated near the Avtozavodskaya metro station and the former ZIL factory, is delicately inscribed in the contrastive context, while its shape, which combines a regular grid and a stunning “shift” of the main facade, seems to respond to the dramatic history of the place, at the same time, however, allowing for multiple interpretations.
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
The OSA architects have been searching for solutions that could be opposed to the low-rise construction in the center of Khabarovsk, as well as an opportunity to say a new word in the discourse about mass housing.
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
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Agility of the Modular
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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.
Dynamics of the Avenue
On Leningrad Avenue, not far away from the Sokol metro station, the construction of the A-Class business center Alcon II has been completed. ADM architects designed the main façade as three volumetric ribbons, as if the busy traffic of the avenue “shook” the matter sending large waves through it.
Steamer at the Pier
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The Magic of Rhythm or Ornament as a Theme
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Walking on Water
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A-Len has developed and patented the “Perfect Apartments” program, which totally eliminates “bad” apartment layouts. In this article, we are sharing how this program came around, what it is about, who can benefit from it, and how.
“Architectural Archaeology of the Narkomfin Building”: the Recap
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LIFE on the Setun River
The area in the valley of the Setun River near the Vereiskaya Street got two new blocks of the “LIFE-Kutuzovsky” housing complex, designed by ADM architects. The two new blocks have a retail boulevard of their own, and a small riverside park.
Three towers on a podium over the Ramenka River are the new dominant elements on the edge of a Soviet “microdistrict”. Their scale is quite modern: the height is 176 m – almost a skyscraper; the facades are made of glass and steel. Their graceful proportions are emphasized by a strict white grid, and the volumetric composition picks up the diagonal “grid of coordinates” that was once outlined in the southwest of Moscow by the architects of the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Clouds over the Railroad
In the stead of former warehouses near “Lyubertsy-1” station, a new housing complex has been built, which peacefully coexists with the railroad, with the flyover bridge, and with the diverse surrounding scenery, not only dominating over the latter, but improving it.
Towers in a Forest
The authors of the housing complex “In the Heart of Pushkino” were faced with a difficult task: to preserve the already existing urban forest, at the same time building on it a compound of rather high density. This is how three towers at the edge of the forest appeared with highly developed public spaces in their podiums and graceful “tucks” in the crowning part of the 18-story volumes.
The Towers of “Sputnik”
Six towers, which make up a large housing complex standing on the bank of the Moskva River at the very start of the Novorizhskoe Highway, provide the answers to a whole number of marketing requirements and meets a whole number of restrictions, offering a simple rhythm and a laconic formula for the houses that the developer preferred to see as “flashy”.