A story about a student project that the professors liked so much that they found a customer for it. A story about a housing project that can indeed be implemented in one of the districts of New Moscow.
Written by: Alla Pavlikova Translated by: Anton Mizonov
19 October 2015
The project of a multi-apartment residential building was designed by Polina Korochkova, a fourth year student of Moscow Institute of Architecture. In that same spring semester, Polina worked on the planning project done at the example of one of the subdistricts of Southern Chertanovo. Her next project was the residential house - the key centerpiece of the same subdistrict.
The connection to the location in this particular case is but conditional, though: Polina's professors - Vsevolod Medvedev, Zurab Basaria, and Mikhail Kaunnikov from "Fourth Dimension" Bureau - are positive that such an approach (breathing a new life into a rank-and-file subdistrict by introducing a house of individual architecture) is a sure means of transforming virtually any environment - be that Chertanovo, Butovo or Biryulevo... The architects are sure that simple modernization of the standard panel buildings cannot yield the effect that could be comparable to the power of the author architecture capable of charging the city both visually and emotionally.
The most interesting thing, however, is the fact that the professors, highly evaluating the project by the fourth year student of Moscow Institute of Architecture, soon began thinking about implementing it. "We liked this proposal very much while still in the development stage - Vsevolod Medvedev reminisces - This is why we paid special attention to details and made the project as realistic as possible. We even attracted our designers and component manufacturers in order to come up with the right and implementable structural elements". According to Medvedev, the students are oftentimes reproached for their inability to design realistically, for their excessively "sci-fi" ideas, and for being torn away from reality in their design work. For this very reason, this project is deliberately made in the most logic and even slightly simplified manner: the standard distance between the columns, the transparent and clear structural layout, and the familiar, almost model, floor plans of the apartments. The customer came almost at once - it is a large-scale developer that is now massively developing the territory of New Moscow.
Connected by a glazed stairway and elevator units, the two slender residential towers "grow" from a large blueprint of the underground parking lot, on the roof of which there are also a few low-rise volumes: a movie theater, a few retail stores, and a few other "public functions". At the level of the second floor, these public functions are connected to the residential units (and among themselves too) by a jagged line of the marquee that gives protection from the wind and the rain, as well as forms the pedestrians' walking routes. The beautiful stylobate part is developed on a pretty approximate level, though, as a part of a student task should be; it can be redone in whichever way or even deleted altogether in order to "plant" the building on another land site - says Vsevolod Medvedev.
The main thing here is the towers, though. They are unlike each other both outside and inside. One is a "gallery" house - its small-sized studio apartments (averaging 40-50 square meters, 3.8 x 8 meters) adjoin, at a 60-degree angle, a short corridor running from the direction of the elevator nucleus. These are studios for singles and young couples: the bathroom is close to the entrance door, the bed is a little farther, in the "twilight zone"; closer to the light the mini-kitchen (that can take on the function of the living room), and, finally, the balcony are located. The outside wall - the only source of light - is completely made of glass. The "pencil boxes" of the apartments are positioned at different lengths and look like unevenly pulled drawers of some library register. On the outside, the "drawers" are designed in different tones - they are white, gray, and black - which enhanced the effect of a 3D picture or could even remind of some swallow's nests or seashells stuck on some vertical underwater wall.
The other tower contains the apartments with an area over one hundred square meters (129 and 133 sqm) of a more conservative typology. They are inscribed into a laconic glass volume with a diamond-shaped plan that will be finished with a hang-on facade of mirror glass that is meant to liven up and enrich the all-too-pristine image with a multitude of reflections.
"The success of the project, in my opinion, lies in the fact that we were able to answer the demand of the market - Vsevolod Medvedev comments - While there are lots of modular houses around the world, in this country they mostly remain forever on paper, and, if we are able to accomplish what we are planning to do, this will make a positive difference, however small. Nobody is speaking about mass construction of such houses here but, as an experiment, this is quite a possibility. And, of course, it is really flattening to us that it is all about a student project. At its example, we hope to prove that by the efforts of the teachers and their students, we will be capable of creating high-quality and implementable projects".
Still, though, the talks about implementing the project are yet in progress. We will only be able to applaud with certainty to the author and her teachers after the construction has started.
Buyan and the Court Quarter
The news about cancellation of the Tuchkov Buyan park has been stirring the minds of people of St. Petersburg for a week already. In the absence of any verified specific information, we discussed the situation with the architects of the park and the Court Quarter: Nikita Yavein and Evgeny Gerasimov.
The Possibility of Flight
The project of the airport, which ASADOV Architects developed for the city of Tobolsk, and which won in the architectural competition, was not implemented. However, it is interesting as an example of designing an airport building of a very small scale, where the main challenge is the optimal organization of space and infrastructure without compromising the imagery component.
Built in the town of Pushkino in the Moscow area, the “Turgeneva 13” housing complex, while fitting in with the surrounding context, differs from it with the rhythmic austerity of its dual composition, a slight wave of the façade, and the color design, in which one can see two images, winter and summer, both “growing” from the specifics of the place.
A Shell by the Sea
Designing the Sports Palace that will determine the development of the entire northern part of Derbent, ASADOV Architects turned to the architectural legacy of Dagestan, local lore, and ancient layers of history.
Karen Saprichyan is wishing everyone a merry Christmas, presenting a series of letter-shaped skyscrapers. The architect has long since been working on this theme, and has calendars of various years in stock. His latest development is a group of towers designed for the city of NEOM, which will be built in Saudi Arabia.
The three brick blocks of the “River Park” housing complex gaze at the water with their terraces. Each block forms a backdrop and two wings, while the residents-only yards turn into “stages” perceived from the river. The landscaped embankment, accessible to all the city people, complements the hierarchy of private, semi-private and public city life that is formed here.
Pompidou Inside Out
Renzo Piano and his GES-2 have already been compared to Ridolfo Aristotele Fioravanti and his Cathedral of the Assumption. And for a good reason: GES-2 also stuns you with its grace and loftiness, but ultimately turns out to be the richest collection of recognizable motifs from an early masterpiece by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, the George Pompidou Center in Paris. These motifs are fused into the grid of Shukhov-esque structures, painted white, and they create a dialogue between 1910, 1971, and 2021, built on references (not devoid of a poster-like quality) to the main masterpiece. The basilica-shaped space of the former power station is taken apart virtually just like the museum, in accordance with the concept by Teresa Mavica.
Next to Lidval and Nobel
The housing complex designed by Anatoly Stolyarchuk in Neishlotsky Alley: tactful change of scale, tribute to the memory of the place, Finnish additions to the functional typology – specifically, saunas in the apartments – and plans for receiving a BREEAM certificate.
And stabbed it with a knife
The leader of Coop Himmelb(l)au, Wolf D. Prix, presented three projects that he is currently doing in Russia: a complex in Sevastopol, Crimea, which, as it turned out, a western architect could build bypassing the sanctions, because this is a cultural project; a museum and theater center in Kemerovo, and the “SKA Arena”, which is built in the stead of the destroyed Sports and Concert Complex in St. Petersburg – during the presentation the latter was symbolized by a round cake that the architect eventually cut.
The Thin Matter
The house named “Medny 3.14” (“Copper 3.14”) is composed of two textures, each of which resembles in its own way some kind of precious fabric, and of three units, each of which is oriented towards one cardinal point. The architecture of the house absorbs the nuances of the context, summing them up and turning them into a single rhythmic structure. In this article, we are examining the new, just-completed, house designed by Sergey Skuratov in Donskaya Street.
The new business center built in Moscow’s district of Presnya in the 1st Zemelny Lane is all about technology and sustainability. Its streamlined shapes and white facade grid are combined with a new version of vertical greenery: the green of wild grapes, placed at a distance from the facade, instead of arguing with the “pergola” grid, sets it off by contrast.
Lightness of Being
Blooming Sakura, a campfire party, kids splashing in a swimming pool – no, these are not pictures from a vacation, but everyday life going on in the yards of Kiev’s housing complex “Fayna Town”. In this issue, we are examining how the utopia designed by the architects is wired, and what they did to make it a reality.
A Triangular Folded Structure
The project of the new terminal of the Muraviev-Amursky airport in Blagoveshchensk offers architecture based on a modular form – endowed with a special imagery, it becomes the basis both for the carrying structures of the building and the plastique of the facade, at the same time reverberating in the interior design.
The Breath of the East
Designing a residential complex for Tashkent, GENPRO is turning to traditional architecture and modern trends, aiming at emotionality and efficiency: the panjar window lattices and mishrabias are neighboring on vertical greenery and parametric ornaments, while the theme buildings do on a cotton alley and an oriental bazaar.
The Openwork XX-Construction Set
The yard of the Architecture Museum on Moscow’s Vozdvizhenka hosts an installation by DNK ag. It is timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the company, and was originally presented at Arch Moscow. The art object is expected to stay in the yard of the museum for one year and set a new tradition – a regularly renewed exhibition project called “Modern Architecture in the yard of MUAR”.
The Spinning Vibe
The pavilion designed by Sergey Tchoban for the World EXPO 2020 in Dubai is a bright and integral architectural statement, whose imagery can be traced back to avant-garde graphic experiments by Jacob Chernikhov, but allows for multiple interpretations. The pavilion looks both like a dome temple, a spinning “Planet Russia”, and the head of a matryoshka doll. Still more interestingly, the core of the exposition is a “brain”. In this article, we take a closer look at the interpretations and the subtleties of the implementation.
Tolerant Aesthetics of Terraforming
The World Expo is a gigantic event; it is difficult to give it one definition or cover it at a glance. All the more so – such an ambitious and record-breaking fair as the one that is now open in Dubai despite all the pandemic restrictions. By no means claiming to present an all-rounded review, we are making an attempt to examine Expo 2020, where signs of aesthetic tolerance of a developer project begin to loom behind the imposing-looking “wings” of “star” architects and delights from space exploration.
The Town in the Snuff-box
The new academic building of Cooperation School in Moscow’s Taganka, designed and built by ASADOV Architects, is a compact volume, at the same time filled with functions and impressions. It easily combines classrooms, a theater, a cafeteria, a gym, and a double-height atrium with an open library and an exit to the terrace – virtually everything that you expect to see in a modern school.
The Northern Versailles
On the bank of the magnificent Vychegda River, in a picturesque location six kilometers away from Syktyvkar, the capital of the Komi republic, the renowned neoclassical architect Mikhail Filippov has designed the town of Yugyd-Choi in the traditional aesthetics inspired by the center of St. Petersburg. The customer Elena Soboleva, the head of the Syktyvkar Housing Construction Fund, sees her mission in making Yugyd-Choi the hallmark of the republic.
Analysis and Synthesis
The project of the housing complex “Krasin”, designed for the historical center of St. Petersburg, and situated in a very obliging place – next to the Mining University designed by Voronikhin, yet bordering on an industrial area – became the result of a thorough analysis of the specifics of historical construction on the Vasilyevsky Island, and a subsequent synthesis with avoidance of direct stylization, yet forming a recognizable silhouette, resonant with the “old town”.
Tatiana Guk: “A document that determines the development of the city has to be flexible”
In this issue, we are talking to the director of the Genplan Institute of Moscow about trends that determine the future, about the 70-year history of the Institute, which is celebrating an anniversary this year, about electronic computing in the field of urban planning and about international experience accumulated in this area, as well as about how the Institute is involved with other cities, and about the perfect document for the city development, which has to be flexible and strategic.
The high-rise housing complex MOD, whose construction has begun in Moscow’s district of Maryina Roshcha next to the site, on which the new Russian Railways headquarters will be built, is responding to the “central” context of the future city surroundings, and at the same time is positioned by the architects as a “manifesto of Modernist minimalist principles in architecture”.
A project by DNK ag won in a competition for the science campus of the National Center for Physics and Mathematics in the city of Sarov, conducted by ROSATOM corporation in collaboration with the Moscow State University, Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Kurchatov Institute.
The new terminal of the Leonov Airport in Kemerovo was built in record-breaking time, despite the pandemic. It became one of the important factors for the rapid development of the city, visually reflecting its dedication to the first spacewalk, both in the interiors and on the facades. Its main features are the “starry sky” effect and overall openness.
The Spiral Approach
The school building in the city of Nur-Sultan, designed by Vera Budko and Anton Nadtochiy from beginning to end – from concept to working documentation – became the embodiment of the architects’ method for creating a modern educational environment, which the ATRIUM architects have been developing for years. Its fundamentals include creating an inspiring environment that motivates you to create. This is why the new school received a shape of an ornamental golden spiral that symbolizes ascension to knowledge; on the inside, the building is a compound and multifunctional “city within a city” with multilevel atriums, amphitheaters, and varying routes.
Stream and Lines
Stepan Liphart’s projects of Art Deco villas demonstrate technical symbolism in combination with a subtle reference to the 1930s. One of the projects is a “paper” one; the others are designed for real customers: a top manager, an art collector, and a developer.
On the Bank of a Very Quiet River
The project of landscaping the territory of the residential complex NOW in Moscow’s Nagatinskaya Valley goes beyond the limits of its task and looks more like a modern park: with viewing platforms, an embankment, spaces different in their moods, and thought-out scenarios for visitors aged between 0 and 80.