A concept of modular transforming interiors for small apartments.
Written by: Alla Pavlikova Translated by: Anton Mizonov
02 December 2015
Just think - not so long ago, the clients dreamt of spacious living and dining rooms, large floor-to-ceiling windows and high ceilings. Today, many customers and tenants reconsider rational use of small spaces. In line with these trends and following the wish of the client who ordered a big multifamily house “to create a unique low-budget product, not yet presented on real estate market”, the architects of Arch group bureau have developed a project of standard interior that can be transformed for mini-apartments. It is suitable for apartments with the area of 205-388 square feet.
The smallest apartment considered by the architects is a studio of 205 square feet that looks like a hotel suite with a shower tray, built-in wardrobe and a kitchen conditionally separated from the sleeping area with a movable partition. The small space is restricted with a feeling of closedness and the architects did everything possible to free the future tenant from this constraining paradigm. In particular, says Alexey Goryainov, – the authors proposed to cover the walls with special panels with grooves for fixating hanging furniture. To paraphrase the classical words, here anything and anywhere can be hung on a wall, as well as moved and regrouped – whenever you wish and even without using a hand drill, since the walls are already prepared for rearrangement.
The architects offer a wide range of wall panels of different colors and textures. The furniture designed especially for this solution is also modular and rather diverse – starting from classical wooden elements up to lively colorful and metallic furniture in hi-tech spirit. So that the client could single-handedly decide on the design, a special site with a configuration program has been created. After selecting the color scheme, style and structure of the furniture, the client will only have to place the order and wait for the delivery. If during the use something will have to be added, changed or refreshed, the client will have the same site at his disposal: not only the furniture, but also separate elements can be bought.
Besides the fixed cabinet furniture, the architects have developed a whole range of modules of different sizes that can be easily combined with each other: from a standard bookshelf to a block with power outlets, key box or a cathouse. There are many fold-flat elements: the main accommodation – the couch, table and chairs for the kitchen, which however has enough room for the refrigerator and washing machine. The second bed fits in the entresole where one can get on by climbing up a single ladder after moving the shelf a bit down. The ironing board and the drier stand fit inside the closets, and the drop down table by the window screens the radiator grille when it is closed.
Everything is rational and futuristic – in the spirit of Moisei Ginzburg, a spaceship or “The Fifth Element”. Even the lighting solution is special. LED arrays are installed behind the glossy surface of the stretch ceiling and create a striking and dynamic ornament. Lit from behind the ceiling seems to be higher, lighter and one may even think that beyond the pattern of illumination, there is something else – something big and light. Minimalistic light-boxes made of matt glass are also included into the modular system: they can also be hung anywhere on the walls, like the furniture. The electronic clock, flower planters and photo frames are fixed in the same way.
In case the future residents are not ready to make up the interior on their own, the authors propose several complete solutions. For example, there is a “minimalistic” choice with dominating calm colors and surfaces. Another variant – a lively, colorful one – will amuse you with the abundance of vivid colors. The design with metallic elements might attract a tenant with a “manly character”. The so-called “ecological” design with dominating wood will surely become a universal and traditional choice. But even a complete solution can be expanded with something else – as much as your fantasy will allow.
This solution based on the “balance of the appearance and economy” – according to the words of the architects, is first of all intended for young people – students, professionals-in-training, young family couples and employees from other towns – to help them compensate for the forced shortage of living space with a vivid, well-planned design. “Of course, world architecture has plenty of examples for such solutions with standard decorating variants, folding and transforming furniture, movable partitions and so on, – explains Alexey Goryainov, one of the project authors. – However, as a rule, such solutions are very expensive and require individual production. We had to think of something original for economy-class housing and do it eye-catchingly, quickly and in unique manner. We managed to find a furniture company Bauflex that agreed to execute our order with consideration for its large volume and for a relatively low price”. Today four apartment prototypes including the smallest studio-apartment are ready. For now, they function as show rooms.
The Strategy of Transformation
In this article, we are publishing eight projects of reconstructing postwar Art Nouveau buildings that have been implemented by Tchoban Voss Architekten and showcased in the AEDES gallery at the recent Re-Use exhibition. Parallel to that, we are meditating on the demonstrated approaches and the preservation of things that architectural legislation does not require to preserve.
Five Nonlinear Ones
Recently, at the Moscow Urban Forum, they announced a large-scale project that Zaha Hadid Architects would do for Moscow – the multifunctional housing complex Union Towers designed for Quarter 82 of Khoroshevo-Mnevniki at the commission of KROST development.
Etudes in Glass
The housing complex, located not far away from the Paveletskaya Railway Station, as a symbol of a sweeping transformation of this area: a composition of towers of different height, ingenious detailing of stained glass windows, and a green lawn in the yard.
A Flyover in Watercolor
For the 100th anniversary of Vladimir Vasilkovsky, the architectural office of Evgeny Gerasimov is reflecting on the Ushakov Flyover, which was designed with input from this artist and architect. In this article, we are showing its watercolors and sketches, including the preliminary ones that were not included in the final project, as well as speaking about the importance of architectural drawing.
Transformation with Multiplication
The Palace of Water Sports in Luzhniki is one of the high-profile and nontrivial reconstructions of recent years, and a project that won one of the first competitions, initiated by Sergey Kuznetsov as the main architect of Moscow. The complex opened 2 years ago; this article about it comes out at the start of the bathing season.
Sergey Tchoban: “I believe it’s very important to preserve this city as a record...
Although originally we planned to speak in this interview with Sergey Tchoban about high-rise construction, the conversation turned out to be 70% about meditation on the ways of regenerating the historical city and about the role of the city fabric as the most objective and unbiased historical record. And, as for the towers, which manifest social contrasts and leave a lot of junk when torn down, the conversation was about the expected construction norms and regulations. We took this interview one day before the Lakhta-2 project was announced, and this is why this newsbreak is not commented upon in any way in this article.
Courtyards and Constructivism
In this issue, we are examining the second major block of the “city within a city” Ligovsky City complex, designed and built by A-Len, and combining several trends characteristic of modern urban architecture.
Inside of a Drawn Grid
Designing the apartment complex PLAY in Danilovskaya Sloboda, ADM architects placed their bet on the imagery of construction. The area where it manifested itself the most vividly was the sophisticated grid of the facades.
Headquarters of the Future
The project by “Arena Group”, which won in an open competition of ideas for the headquarters of the Italian company FITT, combines futuristic forms, an interesting set of functions, energy efficiency, and subtle references to the archetypes of Italian architecture. Particularly beautiful is the “continuous” fountain. In this issue, we are sharing about the three winners of the competition.
The Yard Aesthetics
Organizing the yard of a premium-class housing complex, GAFA architects took care not just about the image that matches the project’s high status, but also about simple human joys, masterfully overcoming the construction regulations.
MasterMind: a Neural Network for Developers and Architects
Created by Genpro, this software allows you to generate within half an hour dozens of development and construction options in accordance with the set parameters. At the same time, however, being more focused on the technical aspects, the program does not exclude creative work, and can be used by architects for preparing projects with a subsequent data export to AutoCAD, Revit, and ArchiCAD.
This Beetle Has Flown
The story of designing a business center in the Zhukov (“Beetle”) Drive: a number of attempts to preserve a hundred-year-old cold storage facility, at the same time introducing modern buildings interpreting the industrial theme. The project remained on paper, but the story behind it seems to be worth our attention.
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...
In March, two buildings of the Capital Towers complex were built up to a 300-meter elevation mark. In this issue, we are speaking to the creator of Moscow’s cutting-edge skyscrapers: about heights and proportions, technologies and economics, laconicism and beauty of superslim houses, and about the boldest architectural proposal of recent years – the Le Corbusier Tower above the Tsentrosoyuz building.
The Red Building
The area of Novoslobodskaya has received Maison Rouge – an apartment complex designed by ADM, which continues the wave of renovation, started by the Atmosphere business center, from the side of the Palikha Street.
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
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.
Hearing the Tune of the Past
The Church of the Beheading of John the Baptist in the park near the Novodevichy Convent was conceived in 2012 in honor of the 200th anniversary of the victory over Napoleon. However, instead of declamatory grandeur and “fanfare”, the architect Ilia Utkin presented a concentrated and prayerful mood, combined with a respectful attitude of this tent-shaped church, which also includes some elements of architecture of orders. The basement floor hosts a museum of excavations found on the site of the church.
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
T+T Architects have designed an office for a French IT company, where the employees in any point of the premises can discuss with their colleagues new ideas or even write them on the wall.