A New Perspective

A multifunctional complex designed by "ABV Group" on the land site between the Yauza River and the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street will not only yield new housing square meters but also a new pedestrian route and an attractive public space.

Written by:
Lilya Aronova
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov

01 July 2016
Nikita Biryukov
ABV Group

Today, the banks of the Yauza River show to the pedestrians and drivers that stew in the inevitable traffic jams a rather mottled picture. Pieces of parkland and residential complexes built at the turn of the current century alternate with car services, garages, sewage treatment facilities, and industrial parks stretching for miles. Almost each of these projects, with rare exceptions, is in fact "a thing in itself" and inspires no desire to stop by and take in the details. The architects of "ABV Group" decided to break this pattern: the residential complex that they designed, with its façades overlooking the Rubtsovskaya Embankment, is devised as a territory that is totally open to the city people, a territory that opens up new pedestrian routes, and provides a direct access to the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street.

The land site of an irregular shape is curbed by the Yauza River on its east side, with its opposite west side gazing in the direction of the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street. Currently, the grim concrete fence that stretches along the river conceals a territory as vast as it is hard to make much sense of: cut into small and mostly unused segments, it consists of derelict buildings of a weaving mill, a tire service, a substation, various office buildings, and fragments of barbed wire... The whole picture cannot be called cozy by any stretch of the imagination but, still, this is something that a Moscow resident's eye is quite used to. The only object that seems to be capable of attracting one's attention is a red-brick building of the XIX century overlooking the Rubtsovskaya Embankment.  

The concept of a multifunctional housing project on the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street © "ABV Group" architects
The concept of a multifunctional housing project on the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street. Master plan © "ABV Group" architects

The concept of a multifunctional housing project on the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street © "ABV Group" architects

It is expected that the planning and conceptual axis of the project will be centered on a broad boulevard: running from the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street towards the Yauza, it will partially coincide with the current line of the factory's inner driveway. Open to public, this boulevard is meant to become a new pedestrian artery that will command a river view from the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street, and will give people an opportunity to take a stroll toward the river and back again. This boulevard will, of course, have all the features expected from a modern human-friendly urban territory: green plants, landscaping work, and cafes and shops for which the ground floors of the buildings aligned along the boulevard will be allotted. As for these buildings, the architects, in spite of the significant saturation of the new residential complex, designed then as medium-rise, only five to seven floors high, and placed them in a staggered order, doing everything possible to avoid a "window-to-window" planning situation and trying to give the strolling space as much air as possible. This is why, for example, (and also in order to enhance and improve the river view) the boulevard is designed as being rather wide, reaching a maximum of 25 meters in its central part.

At the end of the pedestrian territory, the architects are planning to organize cozy squares that will accentuate the entrance, and, like a River estuary, will invite people to get in. Behind the arrays of the houses standing alongside the boulevard, there will be elongated semi-closed private yards. These yards will also be landscaped; they will only be accessible to the residents. All this put together – the boulevard and the two large residential blocks on its either side - stands upon the roof of an underground parking garage.

The south appendix of the territory will include the two tallest towers of the complex, one being a 13-floor high administrative one, and the other being a 17-floor residential building with a nursery school in its bottom floors. The nursery school will be flanked with a park on both sides, the park's north border adjoining the boulevard's entrance square - together they will form yet another pleasant-looking public territory commanding a river view.

The concept of a multifunctional housing project on the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street. Perspective view © "ABV Group" architects

According to the authors, the façades of these two towers that face the Rubtsovskaya Embankment must become a recognizable "visiting card" of the complex, perfectly viewable from the river. The office tower is brick, and the residential one is light stone, travertine. The main part of the "riverside" facade of both buildings is encased into a slender "television" frame, and is filled with a zigzag of glass stanzas separated by the thin ribs of floor fracturing - a solution that is looks great from the sculptural standpoint on the outside and one that is also efficient on the inside because it allows the residents and the office employees to enjoy the river panorama that is open, thanks to the triangular shape of the ledges, on two sides. The architects also took care to makes the most of the river views for the residents of the other buildings as well: at all the viewing points, the corners of the buildings are "cut out" from top to bottom and replaced with panoramic glazing. Mainly, these corner parts of the apartments contain kitchens and living rooms.

The concept of a multifunctional housing project on the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street © "ABV Group" architects

The concept of a multifunctional housing project on the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street. View from the Rubtsovskaya Embankment © "ABV Group" architects

The concept of a multifunctional housing project on the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street © "ABV Group" architects

The motif of the wave is picked up by yet another office building that flanks the complex from the west, from the side of the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street - its façades are denser, there is more brick in them, but the soft waves pick up the rhythm set by the "river towers". The wave-shaped red-brick facade is decorated by an unexpected accent: the roof of the building supports a totally different volume of a two-story penthouse, an austere glass parallelepiped with floor-to-ceiling windows and a thin mesh of wooden ribs that unite the two floors with their vertical rhythm. This is a very large and comfortable volume with an inevitable visual effect of the surroundings of the Bakuniskaya (former Pokrovskaya) Street: from here, one can see the Church of Intercession in Rubtsovo, and the cheerful-looking belfry of the Nikolsky Temple, and the Stalin-era houses of the Gastello Street.

The concept of a multifunctional housing project on the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street © "ABV Group" architects

Quite a different accent is presented by the historic factory building on the Rubtsovskaya Embankment - it is meant to allow the modern housing project to better "grow" into its historical environment. As for the small water tower that now stands all but unnoticed on the depth of the industrial park, the architects decided to restore it, based on its measurement diagrams, at a new place - bring it to the beginning of the boulevard where it will become the architectural "gem" that will accentuate the fact that the complex exists "in different times". The first floor of the factory building under reconstruction will be turned into a pedestrian arcade with shops - if viewed from the embankment, this arcade looks like an embryo of a cozy town - further on, the motif is picked up by the square, the boulevard, and the 17-story tower whose two bottom floors are also turned into an arcade.

In addition to the water tower, the architects are planning to recreate the façades of two historical buildings that are too shabby to be preserved: one of them will be inscribed into the front of the boulevard, and the other - into one of the private yards.

The concept of a multifunctional housing project on the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street © "ABV Group" architects

The design of the buildings standing along the boulevard is pretty laconic: right angles, a lot of glass, and a balanced rhythm of the window apertures. The decoration, just as it was the case with the flanking towers, is based on two materials: brick (light-colored and the usual terra-cotta type) and travertine. One should also take notice of the fact that some of the buildings are monochrome, and some split their colors in two: for example, up to the left of the stairwell, the house is light-colored, and on the right it is brick, and vice versa. The light-colored stone volumes and the red-brick ones alternate freely but in a balanced way, and each square that serves an entrance to the boulevard gets red-and-white propylaea. On the embankment, they form a somewhat more complex composition that consists of three parts: on the right, there is the saturated red of the factory building, on the left, there is the reserved brown of the modern brick of the office building, and in the center there is the light-colored 17-story tower, the tallest building in the complex.

The concept of a multifunctional housing project on the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street © "ABV Group" architects

The apartment range of the complex is rather interesting; the complex will be a particularly great place for young couples to live in. The layouts of the apartments are flexible, there are practically no single-room apartments - or, rather, practically no single-room apartments because where the kitchen should be there is a real living room with a kitchen recession, and thus a standard single-room turns into a fully-fledged double-room apartment. This same technique adds a room to the apartments of a larger square footage. And, thanks to the fact that the apartments are designed as having several windows upon the facade, the rooms, should such need arise, can be divided with a partition for making more rooms for the family members.

And - yet another perspective! In the future, it is planned that a pedestrian bridge over the Yauza will be built: on the western bank it will be integrated into the historical volume of the factory building, while on the eastern bank the supportive role will be played by a stylized brick tower with a wooden roof - it looks like the water tower under reconstruction that stands on the river's right bank, and at the same time looks like some historic fortifications, putting one in the adventurous and romantic mood and accentuating the historical value of this place: it was not far away from this place, behind the German and the Basmannaya Slobodas, that the Tsar's "palace village" of Pokrovskoe-Rubtsovo was situated, in which Elizabeth the Empress, the daughter of Peter the Great, would lie ill being at the same time wont to grow her gardens. Meanwhile, the architecture of the bridge itself does not have a tiny bit of historicism about it: it is a transparent beam, twisted in a spiral-like fashion - which ultimately forms a great contrast. 

Connecting the two river banks, the bridge will serve as a continuation of the route that starts at the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street and then runs down the boulevard, because this will give the residents a direct access to the "Elektrozavodskaya" metro station - which will significantly increase the cohesiveness of this part of town that is still underdeveloped from the urbanist standpoint.
The concept of a multifunctional housing project on the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street. Bridge © "ABV Group" architects
The concept of a multifunctional housing project on the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street. Perspective view © "ABV Group" architects
The concept of a multifunctional housing project on the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street. Plan of the underground parking on the -1st floor © "ABV Group" architects
The concept of a multifunctional housing project on the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street. Plan of the first floor © "ABV Group" architects
The concept of a multifunctional housing project on the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street. Section view © "ABV Group" architects
The concept of a multifunctional housing project on the Bolshaya Pochtovaya Street. Section view © "ABV Group" architects

Nikita Biryukov
ABV Group

01 July 2016

Written by:

Lilya Aronova
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov
Headlines now
​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 Contact
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.
​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.
Health Constructor
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 Aperture Effect
For a housing complex built in the town of Pushkino in the Moscow metropolitan area, KPLN Architects designed facades that adjust the stream of light by using the wall geometry.
​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.
Color and Line
The new successful techniques developed by A.Len for designing a kindergarten under budget constraints: the mosaic of irregular windows and working with color.
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 Countdown
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.
White Town
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.
Pedagogical Architecture
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.
​Rational Arrangement
In this article, we are examining a complex of buildings and interiors of the first stage of the project that has recently become extremely popular – the Kommunarka clinic.
​Parallel Universe
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.
​Waves of Sound
The conceptual design of a music school: proximity to an Alvar Aalto building, expressive organics, and an attempt to draw public attention to a “low-profile” competition.
​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.
​Wicker Vitality
Next to the Dubrovka metro station, ADM has designed a Vitality housing complex with a polychrome mixture of Klinker brick on its ridged facades.
​Freedom Factory
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.