Approved by the customer and scheduled to be shortly implemented, the project of the multifunctional residential complex situated on the territory of the Ural Instrument Engineering Plant is significantly different from the concept that a year and a half ago allowed Т+Т Architects to win the contest organized by the administration of Ekaterinburg. At the same time, what remained unchanged were the basic ideological points - according to the judging panel, it was them that brought the victory to the Moscow architects: respect to the city-planning fabric of central part of Ekaterinburg, preserving the historical look of the façades, and the use of traditional Ural ornaments in the decoration. As far as the functional and the planning aspects of the project are concerned, the tables have turned here completely; furthermore, the original idea of reconstructing the plant's buildings got replaced with plans for new construction. Considering and reconciling all the new and old circumstances proved to be quite a challenge - according to the figurative expression of the chief architect of the project, Nikolai Makarov, the architects had to pass between lots of "scyllae and charybdes".
The announcement of the results of the contest was followed by a year-long hiatus during which, however, lots of things happened: an alternative concept of the reconstruction somehow appeared (with a facade in the classic Mauritania style); both projects were widely discussed by the professionals and by the city people; meanwhile, the customer drew up new documents and formed new specifications: it was decided that, instead of a hotel and apartments, this place would get residential buildings. In accordance with the city council's decision, Т+Т Architects revised their project which was later approved by the customer.
The Ural Instrument Engineering Plans is located in the very center of Ekaterinburg, in the middle between the embankment of the city pond and the Pushkin Street. The fact that the production facilities are gradually being removed from here stands to reason because this is in the interests of the city as well as of the company itself. The immediate surroundings of the plant include historical and cultural objects: the "Literary Quarter", the memorial house of Mamin-Sibiryak, churches, theaters, and museums; along the embankment line, the site neighbors on the classical estate of Zotov-Tarasov that is currently occupied by the governor's office, and the monumental neo-gothic "Sevastyanov" house, its elegant corner rotunda bring arguably the main architectural point of interest in Ekaterinburg. Introducing a new object into such a complex composition is a task that is challenging as it is but, to make things still more complicated, in the course of preparing the new version of the concept, it turned out that a considerable part of the main factory building that stretches along the Pervomayskaya Street and then makes a corner turn to the embankment must be kept absolutely intact: the bank that currently occupies this part of the building turned down not only the very idea of reconstruction but refused to do so much as remodel the building's façades. Thus, the main "scylla" consisted in the necessity to visually reconcile the new seven-story building with the historical four-story volume standing right next to it - all this in the "top responsibility" foreground.
"What we wanted to achieve was make our architecture correspond to the stipulated typology without contradicting its surroundings at the same time - Nikolai Makarov explains - This is why in the composition of the façade we maintain the basic lines that were there in the decoration of the factory buildings all along, and then add vertical fracturing to the horizontal kind - as a refrain of the colonnade that stays there on the facade of the bank building as the pilasters of the twin windows. The colonnade that adds visual lightness to the bulky rectangular volume and reflects beautifully in the water of the river also refers us to the river promenades of the epoch of classicism". Making up for the height difference between the old and the new buildings both facing the embankment was made possible by the dark stone that the authors propose to use in the top floors of the new building by contrast with the main part of the facade.
The intertwining horizontals and verticals form a multilayered structural grid: the larger vertical fracturing repeats the pattern of the factory façade while the finer details inside of it correspond to the scale of the neighboring historical building. Then what the architects do is take this canvas and "needlepoint" it with motifs drawn from the traditional local crafts - the wood construction and the Ural cross-stitch embroidery. The finely wrought monochrome pattern with a voluminous structure of the façade makes the perception of the building all but palpable - which is particularly important in view of the fact that the complex standing on the embankment has virtually no middle perspective: it can only be viewed either from a considerable distance - meaning, from the opposite bank of the pond - or from a really close range.
Т+Т Architects developed several versions of the façade backlighting, one of these versions making use of the decorative elements of transparent concrete and backlighting the ornaments from the inside in contre-jour. If this proposal is accepted, in the evenings the rosettes adorning the façades will display almost-real fire.
The project got an even more high-profile by the upcoming 300th anniversary of Ekaterinburg (the year of its foundation is considered to be 1723): the redevelopment of the plant's territory is to become one of the key construction points on the eve of the anniversary. The architects proposed the format of a "club house", still rather new to Ekaterinburg. The residential complex will consist of two buildings with a different number of floors - 7 and 13 - but the expected number of the apartments is not so large - 132 (what is peculiar, this number is split exactly in two between the two buildings despite their absolutely different configuration). The club format made the architects refrain from the idea of making the complex accessible to the general public which was, by the way, one of the contest stipulations; we will remind you at this point that it provided for dismantling part of the building on the embankment side and organizing a end-to-end passage running through the yard. This break, incidentally, became one of the most controversial points when the project was discussed. Currently, however, absolutely all the levels of the project, from master-planning to designing the interiors work towards creating an intimate homely "only for the family and friends" atmosphere. The interior design of the public zones was something that the architects paid a particularly respectful attention to: "Actually - says almost in full seriousness the company leader Sergey Trukhanov - it was all about the interior design all along anyway!" The main lobby of the club house, he says, must look like a drawing room in a private mansion where there is place for a sofa group, and a library, and a fireplace, and a bar counter (it is planned that the people who will live here and their guests will be served by the restaurant next door). The Intimacy and the graceful luxury - these two principles are observed in the interior design projects down to such tiny details as the design of the mailboxes. As for the inevitable reception desk, in this space it will have to play a role of a "great butler": it is actually there but it stands on the side keeping a low profile.
The entrance group is situated exactly at the spot where the factory's checkpoint used to be. The composition center of the façade though it is, it still puts forward no claims to play the dominant role, only sporting a graceful metallic marquee and a checkered paved "carpet" of tiles in front of the doors. Coming through the lobby - it was of particular importance to the architects making the lobby "walk-through", without steps or height differences - one can access the apartments of both buildings both on the outside, through the courtyard, and on the inside, through the covered gallery that stretches along the entire perimeter of the seven-story building and further connecting the two buildings via a single-story stylobate in which the architects are planning to organize a swimming pool. Due to the fact that the gallery runs along the inside façade that has the stairway and elevator units attached to it, the authors of the project had quite a hard time figuring out how to organize the space as efficiently as possible. As a result, the stairways receded into the depth of the building, the elevators became panoramic ones, and each of the four hallways got a fully-fledged atrium.
The building of the swimming pool that joins the two residential units is yet another point of pride of the architects. In spite of its clearly utilitarian role, it must become the embodiment of the club ideology that the project is based upon. Here is the thing - the pedestrian gallery is only separated from the swimming pool by a glass wall - which means that on the way home people living in Unit B will be able to wave hello to their neighbors splashing in the water, while the latter, thanks to the glass façades and the turnaround pylons, will be able to watch what is going on in the courtyard. As for the outward appearance of this structure, the architects deliberately designed it as laconic as possible - so as not to divert the viewer's attention from the interaction of the two residential units that deserves special attention.
Unlike Unit A that embraces the block along its perimeter, Unit B is in fact a thirteen-floor tower. It is clear that with such height it will inevitably "tower" above the embankment skyline but the architects had no choice anyway: the useful square footage is still what matters, and the complex still will not become the tallest building in the cityscape - the panorama of the city pond has buildings in it that are still taller anyway. And as for the design of the façade, that same structural grid that is there at the basis of the façades of the outside part behaves in a much freer way: it is not hindered here by the disciplining influence of the embankment's historical context. This is why the rhythm of the vertical fragments starts skipping beats, the vertical surfaces turn with their blunt angles, and generally the building produces an impression of a more modern one but still closely connected, well, not to its "twin" but still to its brother. An observer that finds himself inside the courtyard and has an opportunity to see the two buildings at once will be sure to appreciate this gradient transition from the classical reserved manner to the utmost architectural freedom.
Because there is a considerable four-meter relief drop inside the block, the yard is divided into two major parts: the upper and the lower one. Down below, there is an underground parking garage that is a level and a half thanks to the height difference. The role of the bearing wall for the upper yard is again played by the building of the swimming pool. On the slope, an unusual fountain is designed - the water issues directly from under the wall of the house forming a little brook flowing into a small reservoir in which the pylons of the pool reflect. The center of the composition of the upper yard is the circular bench/flowerbed, the playground being neatly inscribed into the curve of the pedestrian trails of the lower part. Designing the yard, the architects had to take into consideration not only the fact of the bank building being there but also a few other structures adjoining the site from the side of the Pushkin Street. The role of the small but toothy "charibdes" was played by the Pension Foundation and the memorial house of Mamin-Sibiryak, two organizations that, in addition to their two buildings, possessed some extra premises on the territory of the plant. The authors of the project not only had to find a way around these buildings but also make up for the lost square meters; luckily, the solution left everyone happy. Which, ultimately, was the goal, anyway.
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.