The multifunctional complex "Savelovsky City" that is being built in Moscow's Butyrsky district upon the project SPEECH Bureau, has been handled by Т+Т Architects for a long time already. It all started in 2013 from the concept of developing its territory: the architects did a comprehensive survey of the current state of things, thought out the organization of the automotive and pedestrian flows, and came up with a detailed project of integrated territory organization - with open and permeable territories livened up by a whole number of landscape techniques together with the outdoor furniture that turns the surrounding spaces into a whole string of various little parks. The next step in the architects' work on "Savelovsky City" was the interiors of the entrance groups of the buildings of the first stage of construction - two already built twin towers, twenty stories each. Later on, as part of the second stage, the architects plan to build yet another office building and two forty-seven-story residential high-rises. Meanwhile, the landscaping proposals made by T+T are gradually getting implemented - and the entire once-semi-derelict district that formally is not yet part of the giant Industrial Park #11 is coming alive by degrees. The neighbors of "Savelovsky City" also reacted to the appearance of these green organized territories: at some places, the fences were removed, and at some places the closed yards were opened up to the city.
Approaching the two giant yet slender towers one least expects to see behind their doors what was actually designed for their lobbies - or, rather, was created for their lobbies because the end result looks indeed creative - by T+T Architects. According to the leader of the bureau Sergey Trukhanov, his own bravery of these design solution scares himself at times but still he had a great desire to oppose these bright interior solutions to the reserved architecture. "Our project turned out to be one of those rare examples where you just do not settle for any compromise, and we really did cut loose on this project" - Sergey Trukhanov shares.
The original task was promising nothing like this end result. As a matter of fact, the architects were required to decorate two small lobbies about 150 square meters each, unsophisticated rooms of regular shape with a double-height hall that bleeds into the stairway and elevator zone. The authors of the project were undaunted by the shortage of the square footage. Besides, impressing the visitors with the grandeur and magnitude in this case is hardly realistic; however, just as powerful wow-effect can be achieved by different means. One of them, for example, was turning the foyer into an art-gallery with fully-fledged museum exhibits and vivid samples of modern art.
In order to avoid overloading the small volume as it is, the architects decided very early on that the exhibits had to be suspended in such a way that they would draw the visitors' attention the moment they entered the lobby. Some brilliant and witty solution had to be found - for example, real-size human figures made of metal wire. The winged "athletes" (the pet name the architects gave to the figures) hovering under the ceiling are meant to symbolize the limitless possibilities of human mind, meant to saturate the entire space with its power, and become its main focus. The person who took up the implementing the unusual exhibits was a young sculptor from the city of Volgograd Vadim Kuleshov. Adding to the architects' idea a vision of his own, he created not just winged figures but a peculiar hybrid - a human being shown in the process of transformation: from his wire chest, a sharp-clawed eagle with a crooked evil beak springs out - something like Prometheus merging into one with his legendary bird of prey. Slightly "overstepping the mark", this theme, according to the sculptor's idea, embodies the inevitability of transforming of all earthly things, including buildings that, as the years go by, change their appearance and their function, as well as sometimes get a new life in a new capacity. Thus the theme of transforming the space became the main one for this project referring us, among other things, to the history of this place that turns from an old industrial park into a part of the modern city.
However, this interior cannot be by any means considered to be a neutral frame for the hovering wire figures. The differently designed entrance groups of both buildings fit in with a single conceptual idea. The most active are the ceilings with their zigzag relief. The jagged wave starts at the entrance door and, rolling softly, carries the visitor to the turnstiles. Subject to no geometric laws, its irregular shape distorts and transfigures the space of the foyer. A special part in achieving this effect is played by the light. Dissecting the ceiling, the slender rays of light accentuate the breaks of the surface.
In each of the buildings, the 3D ceiling is echoed by the reception desk subjected to the same irregular geometry and executed in the same materials: in one of the foyers this is patinated copper, and in the other - foam-white gypsum plasterboard. The white interior looks lighter and airier than its malachite and copper counterpart. And, as for its reception desk, it is almost ethereal - it looks like some space-age object glowing from the inside. Across from both reception desks, laconic parallelepipeds stretch: in the "white" lobby - with pillows and couches, and in the "copper" one - with rays of light cutting through the plastic. One will not even figure out at once that this is just a waiting bench for the visitors.
The walls and the ceiling, though lacking the jagged breaks, also look expensively attractive. The elevator halls are dominated by glass white panels with a dynamic pattern. Because this part of the entrance group is single-story, the materials and the color here are meant to visually expand the room. The same task is served by the bright light, many times reflected and refracted by the glass surfaces. In the reception zone, however, the walls are partially faced with panels of black glass which visually adds some "depth" to these surfaces. So, the choice of the materials and their rather unusual combinations play their own, possibly just as important, part in creating the wow-effect, resonating with the hovering sculptures, echoing their energy and supporting their movement. All this put together becomes the face of the new complex, a face unusual, dramatic, dynamic, and saturated with conceptual meanings. It cannot and it needn't be interpreted in one certain way once and for all - one could come up with a lot of ideas in response to the artist's gesture but these all will be the ideas of the viewer, not the artist's. But you enter the lobby and see a fantasy figure flying towards you which carries you from the world of square footage over to the world of controversial meanings and multilayered fantasies. Chances are - some of the guys who will rent offices here will think that these figures have direct reference to them... No offense, mates...
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.
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
An apartment hotel that looks like a ship with wide decks has been designed for a land plot on a lake shore in Moscow’s South Tushino. This “steamer” house, overlooking the lake and the river port, does indeed look as if it were ready to sail away.
The Magic of Rhythm or Ornament as a Theme
Designed by Sergey Tchoban, the housing complex Veren Place in St. Petersburg is the perfect example of inserting a new building into a historical city, and one the cases of implementing the strategy that the architect presented a few years ago in the book, which he coauthored with Vladimir Sedov, called “30:70. Architecture as a Balance of Forces”.
Walking on Water
In the nearest future, the Marc Chagall Embankment will be turned into Moscow’s largest riverside park with green promenades, cycling and jogging trails, a spa center on water, a water garden, and sculptural pavilions designed in the spirit of the Russian avant-garde artists of the 1920, and, first of all, Chagall himself. In this issue, we are covering the second-stage project.
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
One of the most important events of 2020 has been the completion of the long-awaited restoration of the monument of Soviet avant-garde architecture – the Narkomfin Building, the progenitor of the typology of social housing in this country. The house retained its residential function as the main one, alongside with a number of artifacts and restoration clearances turned into living museum exhibits.
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”.
The Starting Point
In this article, we are reviewing two retro projects: one is 20 years old, the other is 25. One of them is Saint Petersburg’s first-ever townhouse complex; the other became the first example of a high-end residential complex on Krestovsky Island. Both were designed and built by Evgeny Gerasimov and Partners.
The Path to New Ornamentation
The high-end residential complex “Aristocrat” situated next to a pine park at the start of the Rublev Highway presents a new stage of development of Moscow’s decorative historicist architecture: expensively decorated, yet largely based on light-colored tones, and masterfully using the romantic veneer of majolica inserts.
Renovation: the Far East Style
The competition project of renovating two central city blocks of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, developed by UNK project, won the nomination “Architectural and planning solutions of city construction”.
The Istituto Centrale per la Grafica in Rome presents Sergei Tchoban’s exhibition “Imprint of the future. Destiny of Piranesi’s City”. The exhibition includes four etchings, based on Roman architectural views of the XVIII century complemented by futuristic insertions, as well as a lot of drawings that investigate the same topic, at times quite expressively. The exhibition poses questions, but does not seem to give any answers. Since going to Rome is pretty problematic now, let’s at least examine the pictures.
In Search of Visual Clarity
In this article, we are reviewing a discussion devoted to the question of designing city space elements, which is quite complicated for the Russian expanses of land. The discussion was organized by the Genplan Institute of Moscow at the ArchMoscow convention in Gostiny Dvor.
The City of the Sun
Jointly designed by Sergey Tchoban and Vladimir Plotkin, the VTB Arena Park complex can arguably be considered the perfect experiment on solving the centuries-old controversy between traditional architecture and modernism. The framework of the design code, combined with the creative character of the plastique-based dialogue between the buildings, formed an all-but-perfect fragment of the city fabric.
...The Other Was Just Railroad Gin*
In their project of the third stage of “Ligovsky City” housing complex, located in the industrial “gray” belt of Saint Petersburg, the KCAP & Orange Architects & A-Len consortium set before themselves a task of keeping up the genius loci by preserving the contours of the railroad and likening the volumes of residential buildings to railroad containers, stacked up at the goods unloading station.
Lions on Glass
While reconstructing the facades of Building 4 of Moscow Hospital #23, SPEECH architects applied a technique, already known from Saint Petersburg projects by Sergey Tchoban – cassettes with elements of classical architecture printed on glass. The project was developed gratis, as a help to the hospital.
Park of Sentiments
The project of “Romantic Park Tuchkov Buyan”, which was developed by the consortium of Studio 44 and WEST 8, and has won an international competition, combines sculptural landscape design and wooden structures, variety of spatial features and an eventful agenda, designed for diverse audience, with a beautiful and complex passeist idea of a palace park, meant to evoke thoughts and feelings.
Architecture as an Educational Tool
The concept of a charity school “Tochka Budushchego” (“Point of the Future”) in Irkutsk is based on cutting-edge educational programs, and is designed, among other things, for adapting orphaned children for independent life. An important role is played by the architecture of the building: its structure and different types of interconnected spaces.
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.
The Flying One
Expected to become an analogue of Moscow’s Skolkovo, the project of the High Park campus at Saint Petersburg’s ITMO University, designed by Studio 44, mesmerizes us with its sheer scale and the passion that the architects poured into it. Its core – the academic center – is interpreted as an avant-garde composition inspired by Piazza del Campo with a bell tower; the park is reminiscent of the “rays” of the main streets of Saint Petersburg, and, if watched from a birds-eye view, the whole complex looks like a motherboard with at least four processors on it. The design of the academic building even displays a few features of a sports arena. The project has a lot of meanings and allusions about it; all of them are united by plastique energy that the hadron collider itself could be jealous of.
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.