Despite the seaming typicality, designing multiunit residential complexes is by no means a trivial challenge. Here, specific requirements of the client are added to the obvious restrictions connected with the peculiarities of the land site and the size of the budget. Trying to adjust to the conditions of the competitive market, the clients set increasingly high standards and rigid boundaries. A typical case is LEGENDA company, which works with new large projects in St. Petersburg. It became popular thanks to the so-called “smart approach” which implies great variety of apartment layouts – up to 50 different variants – so that every potential buyer could choose an option according to their needs and possibilities. This takes a great deal of invention and imagination of the architect – especially if it concerns low- and mid-price segment.
But then again, the first project of LEGENDA was exactly one of the “elite” category: neoclassical facades, natural stone finishing, décor in keeping with the best traditions of Stalin Empire style. All of this is the complex “Pobedy, 5”, a winner of multiple awards in the sphere of immobility which simultaneously became the first cooperation experience for the developer and “Evgeny Gerasimov and Partners” workshop. But, according to Evgeny Gerasimov, LEGENDA is a developer in search. It has set a popular goal – achieved by few: to build comfortable housing at affordable prices. During their work on the two pilot projects in mass segment, the company management determined the special “smart” principles. So when it came to a really large project (for 1470 apartments) in a quickly developing Primorsky District of St. Petersburg, the company turned to Gerasimov once again, in order to offer their clients not only practical apartment layouts, but also a worthy architectural solution.
So Evgeny Gerasimov’s task – from an architect’s viewpoint – was in many ways an ideological one. Moreover, it was complicated by irregular configuration of the lot, restricted by Nizhne-Kamenskaya Street and Komendantsky Avenue. The prolonged triangle shape and the neighbouring large green massif defined the main zones: the entrance and commercial area of the complex faces the avenue, and the private yard borders on the natural massif, which – despite the fences – becomes its visual extension.
In the coming future, nine 21-storey towers with three addresses will appear here. It is a full-fledged residential quarter for almost 3000 residents: within a walking distance, there is an already functioning sporting center; and in plan, there is a school construction nearby and a kindergarten in the complex itself. The first construction line, belonging to address “Komendantsky, 58”, includes only five buildings and 1008 apartments. But it is enough to read the whole “design-code” of the future block.
Its basic principles actually do eco the modern “block construction standards”. One of them is open ground floors: all the towers are connected with a two-level styllobate, whose rooms along the perimeter are meant for commercial and public organisations. This will be the place for doctors’ and cosmetologists’ consulting rooms, caffes and shops, and inside the complex, intended for the residents – a space, fashionably called “co-working”. Here, those who work remotely will be able to use equipped workplaces, school students – do their homework more focused, and the rest – have neighborly conversations and share the news. The second level of the styllobate is an office floor. At that, access to the courtyard is closed for the “outside users”, so the necessary privacy is preserved.
When it comes to the yard arrangement, it is the right time to remember the unusual shape of the lot in combination with the famous “block construction standards”, one of which is complex creation of living environment. The two-level underground parking-lot takes up almost the whole area, while the yard is “divided” on its functional roof and rises more than one meter above the ground level. It allows to emphasize the division into pedestrian and motor traffic areas.
The client pays just as much attention to the functional richness of the yard, as to the apartment layouts. That is why, there are many different platforms and zones in the yard. For example, some platforms are intended specially for babies, others – for teenagers, and the third ones – for “grown-up” sports activities and picnics. This yard allows to hole up in private, or – on the contrary – arrange mass celebrations of neighbors. The numerous zones have different functions and different finish materials; but all of them are stylistically and physically united – by a 500-meter-long winding promenade-path.
However, the most interesting part is the powerful architectural image of the complex itself, found by the authors: like an exotic avocado fruit, it faces the outside with its colorful, plastically rich “skin”, and the inside – with the bright, sun-yellow “flesh”. All the front facades of the complex are united with a colorful pattern that contains numerous pixels. At that, each house has its prevailing color, even though with many additional inclusions. As a result, each house obtained its own character within a uniform ensemble.
The balconies, stanzas and bay-windows “catch” the beams of the real sun. Their completely arhythmic placement on the facades was preconditioned by the calculated parameters defined by the orientation of the buildings along the cardinal points and laws of phisics; and so they seem to be only decorative. The towers, rectangular in plan, are as if made of two sections, shifted along each other – the colorful pixels become volumetric, “alive”, they start moving and lose their likeness to a dull mosaic panel.
The apartment mix develops this idea. The buyer has an opportunity to choose an apartment from numerous options: for instance, one where the kitchen is united with the living-room, or separated from it; with the required number of bedrooms and bathrooms, with a dressing-room and a study. Among over 50 apartment layout options of the complex on Komendantsky Avenue, one is sure to find the wanted one.
The last stroke is the readiness level of the accommodations: the apartments are offered with “white” finish, which leaves the buyer only to settle the issues of paint-tiles-wallpaper-floors. It does not take much time or effort – unlike the apartments that are sold in shell condition – but allows the owners to implement their own design preferences, choose the colors and textures.
The first construction line of five towers is promised to be housed in the 4th quarter of 2018. Meanwhile, LEGENDA and “Evgeny Gerasimov and Partners” have started another common project – this time on Dalnevostochny Avenue, and once again with the “smart” layouts and in mass segment. This is the best proof of the fact that this ideological and architectural experiment was a success – and it is to be continued.
Agility of the Modular
In the Discovery housing complex that they designed, ADM architects proposed a modern version of structuralism: the form is based on modular cells, which, smoothly protruding and deepening, make the volumes display a kind of restrained flexibility, differentiated element by element. The lamellar and ledged facades are “stitched” with golden threads – they unite the volumes, emphasizing the textured character of the architectural solution.
Polyphony of a Chaste 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
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.