The territory of Tsarskoselsky railway-car repair plant “Sofia” in the outskirts of Pushkin, just as any pre-revolution industrial facility subject to redevelopment, contains multiple cultural layers that can be described by the word “palimpsest”. For project designers, this literal “showthrough” of historical layers through time often not only concerns artefacts which are found a suitable role in the new building development, but also the city-planning structure, the scale and principles of morphology. To different extents, the participants of the tender for development concept of the plant territory laid an emphasis on preservation of the traces of history. The proposal of PANACOM was no exception, but the architects went further by implementing the main principles of working in a historical context with the means of modern architectural language.
According to the design specification of the tender, this heel-shaped territory, where the most significant artefacts have concentrated southwards, is subject to mixed site-development with residential blocks, apartment hotels, a business and cultural centers, social infrastructure and a public center with shopping and entertainment functions and a sports facility. Closeness of the town Pushkin with its famous parks – Alexander and Catherine parks – surely projects its imagery to the planning site. However, the PANACOM architects did not bring here the classic net of blocks as it is; they used the semiotic and structural features of the classical language, in this way preserving the connection with tradition, without turning it into imitation.
“The image of St. Petersburg, the image of Pushkin and this whole area certainly dominate over this territory,” says Arseniy Leonovich. “That is why, there is room for historicism and some classical things worth linking to – but figuratively, not head-on, with iron benches and street lights… We saw our task in conveying the spirit of the time and place, of a powerful, rejuvenating city-planning impulse, which is associated with the build-up of this agglomeration of St. Petersburg, and is the prototype for the new stage of city-planning history. This is a sort of looking back at Holland, at the Germans – in a good way. The leitmotif of our project is an insight to the history, without imitations”.
First of all, PANACOM considered the genesis of this territory, which obtained such odd outline with a “beak” in the south-west part thanks to the curve of a railway road that used to go inside the lot. This dynamic line suggested the geometry of the main planning axis of the new urban-development formation – chains of water areas.
In this concept – just as in St. Petersburg itself – water is the leitmotif and the planning “backbone”. Chanels, ponds, a “loop” with an island, a zig-zag stream: they suck in and thread – as if on skewers – this gigantic tumbling territory, connecting the blocks with infrastructure facilities and the public area in front of the shopping center. Walking, sporting and byking tracks are beaded onto the planning axis of the boulevard system.
The second classical principle in formation of a city like St. Petersburg – “closed facades”, a foregoer of the block build-up – is implemented in the construction of residential houses. They are arranged equally high blocks, six floors each, but with various plastic and individual modern designs. Uniformity of height and the block-wise build-up principle allowed the PANACOM architects to link their project to St. Petersburg context, and, on the other hand, win a pragmatic advantage of rather high density values. The square line of the houses follows the contour of the territory and form private residential yards, separating private and public lives.
The scale is set by the large divisions with emphasized risalits, as well as the giant arches, three-five storeys high. As required by the design specifications, the houses remain independent, with two, three and four entrance halls, but they look like monolite blocks. The interchange of meridional and latitudinal sections allowed the authors to diversify apartment layout.
A plastic and color accent of the residential part is the apartment complex in the forms of disk-houses and cylinder-houses. The low-rise towers inside this cluster can be differentiated by size, while retaining the same height of five high-ceiling floors. Spatially, this agglomeration is connected by a stream wrapping around the buildings and creating impressive reflections.
“According to the assignment, a big number of square meters is to be built-up with apartments. We think that something special cound be made in this segment,” says Arseniy Leonovich. “According to their status, apartments are second-range accomodation. They call for different approach to life, and to planning, and to the standards. We made some of the houses wothout clearly defined yards, although groupped on one territory they surely form their special architectural experience in the space on the landscape”.
In most of the cases, the drive-ups to the houses are arranged only from the outside, practically eliminating transit of vehicles through the residential complex. The main dual artery is brought out to the periphery, to the west and south-west borders. Starting from Kuzminskoye Schosse, passing along the site border, it runs out near the planned parking space in the west part, and goes down to Peterburgskoye Schosse, on the track of presently unsurfaced road. Such connection of a lot to two highways at once improves the quality of its transport scheme.
The territory of the new district is functionally divided into two unequal parts – the larger residential, and the smaller public one. The system of visual restrictions allows to maintain this division without fences and barriers. With common use in mind, the part close to Kuzminskoye Schosse places a public center, some buildings of which are pre-revolutionary. This place is energized with history and traces of time; here are the buildings of plant management and workshop pavilions, by whose side appears the new shopping center. It includes the part of the pavilion under restoration, as well as the artefacts of the existing plant: a crane bridge and fragments of rails. Nearby, there is a Memorial Park – it is created on the basis of the existing garden by the building of the health safety management; this is the place that the family of thr last Russian Emperor left when going into banishment. At the crosspoint of two planning axes of the park, the authors suggest building a chapel. The second public center, created for convenience of the residents of the new block, appears at the embankment of a man-made oval pond in the middle of the district: here, the authors placed compact and modern constructions of commercial and sporting buildings.
Presence of famous garden and park ensembles at close vicinity forced the authors of the concept not to follow the path of imitations, but to interpret beautification in a modern way, but at the same time preserving the classical principle of interchange of dense build-up of residential blocks with open green public areas. The site improvement becomes a chain of micro-environments, with their “scenarios” superseding throughout the whole “green” planning axis. Various types of paving, timber decking, different grasses, gabions, local lighting of the benches, sculptures and lawns, as well as the one built-in the paving of the lanes and alleys; surface and vertical architectural lighting, bridges over the canals; stony, batten and turf covering of the embankment – this is just part of the specter of modern instruments used for creation of a comfortable and conceptual landscape. The architects also found use in the tradition construction of mansion ensembles with interchange of dense and unloaded areas, with dividing a park into a representative, regular and more private, picturesque parts.
“It was important for us to interpret the territory in large pieces, so we proposed to nominally divide it into three thematic parks: the memorial park, the “English” landscape park and the “French” regular one,” says Arseniy Leonovich. “We sought to make people living in a new city get the feel of the history of this place”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Watched by the Angels from up Above
Held in the General Staff building of the Hermitage Museum, the anniversary exhibition of “Studio 44” is ambitious and diverse. The exhibition was designed to give a comprehensive showcase of the company’s architecture in a whole number of ways: through video, models, drawings, installations, and finally, through a real-life project, the Enfilade, which the exhibition opens up, intensifies, and makes work the way it was originally intended.
A New Version of the Old City
The house at Malaya Ordynka, 19, fits in perfectly with the lineup of the street, looking even as if it straightened the street up a little, setting a new tone for it – a tone of texture, glitter, “sunny” warmth, and, at the same time, reserved balance of everything that makes the architecture of an expensive modern house.
Stepan Liphart: “Standing your ground is the right thing to do”
A descendant of German industrialists, “Jophan’s son”, and an architect, speaks about how studying architectural orders tempers one’s character, and how a team of just a few people can design grand-scale housing projects to be built in the center of Saint Petersburg. Also: Santa Claus appearing in a Stalin high-rise, an arch portal to the outer space, mannerism painting, and the palaces of Paris – all covered in an interview with Stepan Liphart.
Honey and Copper
In the Moscow area, the architect Roman Leonidov designed the “Cool House” residence, very much in the spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright, spreading it parallel to the ground, and accentuating the horizontal lines in it. The color composition is based on juxtaposition of warm wood of a honey hue and cold copper blue.
The Ring on the Saisara Lake
The building of the Philharmonic Hall and the Theater of Yakut Epos, standing on the shore of the sacred lake, is inscribed into an epic circle and contains three volumes, reminiscent of the traditional national housing. The roof is akin to the Alaas – a Yakut village standing around a lake. In spite of its rich conceptual agenda, the project remains volumetrically abstract, and keeps up a light form, making the most of its transparency, multiple layers, and reflections.
Architecture of Evanescence
On the Vernadskogo Avenue, next to the metro station, appeared a high-rise landmark that transformed the entire area: designed by UNK Project, the “Academic” business center uncovered, in the form of its architecture, the meanings of the local place names.
The Theater and Music Circles
The contest-winning ambitious grand-scale project of the main theater and concert complex of the Moscow area includes three auditoriums, a yard – a public area – a higher school of music, and a few hotels. It promises to become a high-profile center for the classical music festivals on a national scale.