As one takes his first glance at the two residential and office towers of the new complex designed by "Asadov Architectural Bureau" next to the Timiryazevsky park, a flood of associations comes steaming in, one of them being that of primeval earth material, the other - of the crystal that it gave birth to.
Written by: Marya Snejinskaya Translated by: Anton Mizonov
09 February 2016
To do the project justice, one must mention straight away that the park of the Timiryazevskaya Agricultural Academy is only within an arm's reach on the master plan: in actuality, the park and the designed complex are separated by a bunch of railroad tracks. From its opposite side, the hectare-strong land site is propped by a driveway and the residential buildings of the Akademika Ilyushina street, and squeezing into it the required 50 000 square meters of usable space turned out to be quite a tough call. Out of these, 20 thousand square meters fall on the hotel and office function each, the remaining ten occupied by a shopping mall.
"As a result, we got a very peculiar kind of "shoulder-yoke", a "dumbbell" building with two weights on its ends - the residential and the office towers - and the connecting bar of the stylobate that hosts a shopping mall" - Andrew Asadov comments on his concept. Probably, yes, the two volumes of equal height (75 meters maximally allowed here, to be precise) could indeed offset each other like buckets of water or barbell weights.
Not in the case of the Asadovs, though: the spirals, the intertwining bands, the snakes, the scallops, and the stars - this company's projects are almost always about large-scale voluminous figures that are prone to change beyond recognition when seen from different viewing angles. The narrow (in the literal sense of the word) constraints of the construction blueprint made the architects look for alternative ways of expressing their signature "breathtaking" dynamics - and that resulted in this meticulous (and at places even painstaking) work with the plastic of the façades. The close proximity of "Airbus" - the gigantic residential building designed by Vladimir Plotkin against the background of which the new residential complex stops looking all that massive - also left its mark on the Asadovs' project. "What we wanted to do was building, next to "Airbus", something that would be, on the one hand, proportionately large, and, on the other hand, more agile and dramatic in its material" - Andrew Asadov says. If we are to use stone (Flemish ceramics in this particular case) - then we use the rugged untreated type with cavities and concave spots, whose relief character is picked up by the line of the façades. If it's glass - then it's all about facets glittering in the sun". So the towers turned out to be far from identical: they are a family but not of the blood type - rather like husband and wife. As for the stylobate, from the standpoint of the facade materials, it has kept its "link" status: coated with the same Flemish ceramics, it also gets accents of large glass inserts.
So it turns out that the "living" earth material gives birth to a crystal of fine faceting - the architects planted it exactly at the junction of 8th of March and Akademika Ilyushina streets, at the spot where the glass 18-story volumes gets perfectly viewable from distant vantage points. The difference between the facade designs also highlighted the versatility of the complex: the residential tower is a stone "fortress", while the office one is more open and more transparent. Such prominent form of the crystal, by the way - and, as a consequence, the differences in the size and configuration of the floors - became possible thanks to the absence of necessity to zone the office premises all too strictly. Around the functional nucleus that is shifted a bit off-center, the offices are organized in accordance with the free planning principle.
In the "stone" tower 21 stories high (the number of floors is different because of the difference of the thickness of the intermediate floors), the planning solutions are, on the contrary, strictly regulated. On the bottom floors, there will be a hotel with rooms from 35 to 90 square meters, while on the top floors - apartments (45-250 square meters), these apartments being not the kind that is often marketed as residential stock while in fact it is not but true long-stay apartments.
And, finally, the retail stores occupy the second, the third, and part of the fourth floor of the stylobate. As for the first floor, it is almost fully occupied by the parking garage. If we are to take a look at the section view, we will be sure to see just what a challenge it was for the architects to squeeze the required number of car stalls here. In spite of the fact that the garage stretched beneath all the units, two of its levels designed as having two sub-floors each, the three underground levels turned out not to be enough to allocate the required number. Ultimately, the architects had to engage some of the first floor for the parking garage needs as well (plus thirty places to the four hundred seventy).
Considering just how little was left of the land site after the complex was built upon it, the architects designed for all the vacant street territories some or other landscaping solution. At some places, this is just asphalt or concrete pavement. Along the northeast border of the building, however, from the side of the designed driveway and the other complex entrances, the architects designed a green parkway, rows of benches, and streetlights. And, next to the hotel building, on the mini-"piazza" formed by the corner cutaway, there is a curvilinear cotoneaster hedgerow.
The main "oasis", however, is situated not on the ground but on the green roof on the fourth floor of the shopping center. In the conditions of the densely packed buildings and the investors' understandable desire to extract profits from each square meter of this expensive ground, such green roofs become all but the cure-all solution. In our case, the office workers and the hotel guests get a fully-fledged green territory. And the district overbuilt with predominantly rank-and-file typical buildings gets a new interesting architectural centerpiece.
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This Beetle Has Flown
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The Childhood Territory
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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”
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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...
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The Red Building
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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
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The Energy Family
The housing complex Symphony 34 will be built in Moscow’s Savelovsky district; it will consist of four towers from 36 to 54 stories high. Each of the towers has an image of its own, but they all are gathered into a single architectural ensemble – a fragment of a new high-rise urban space lying outside the Third Transport Ring.
The Fifth Element
The high-end residential development in the Vsevolozhsky Lane features a combination of expensive stone and metal textures, immersing them into a feast of ornaments. The house looks like a fantasy inspired by the theater of the Art Nouveau and Symbolism era; a kind of oriental fairy tale, which paradoxically allows it to avoid direct stylization and become a reflection of one of the aspects of modern Moscow life.
Springboards and Patios
The central element of the manor house in the village of Antonovka, designed by Roman Leonidov, is the inner yard with pergolas, meant to remind its owner about his vacations in exotic countries. The exposed wooden structures emphasize the soaring diagonals of single-pitched roofs.
Adding Up a Growing City
The housing quarter “1147” is located at the border between the old “Stalin” district in the north and the actively developing territories in the south. Its image responds to a difficult task: the compound brick facades of the neighboring sections are different, their height varying from 9 to 22 floors, and, if we are look from the street, it seems as though the front of the city development, consisting from long narrow elements, is forming some sophisticated array at this very moment in front of our eyes.
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 Strict 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.