Situated in the southwest residential area of Saint-Petersburg, the complex "Baltiyskaya Zhemchuzhina" ("Gem of the Baltic") is one of the largest Russian-Chinese housing projects. Its investor, ZAO "Baltiyskaya Zhemchuzhina" is a daughter company of Shanghai Overseas United Investment Company Ltd. The project that started in 2005 included not only construction of residential blocks but also beach nourishment, reinforcing the shoreline of the Finnish Gulf, and restoration of the Matisov and the Dudergoff Channels with throwing new bridges over them. The total area of construction amounts to 1760000 square meters, the sum of investment exceeding 3 billion dollars. And for a good reason, too – the location of Baltiyskaya Zhemchuzhina is unique in terms of its landscape properties: its territory embraces the Finnish Gulf, and it straddles the Dudergoff and the Matisov channels; to the west of it, the Yuzhno-Primorsky park is situated. In spite of its suburban location, this area still is a part of the history of Saint-Petersburg: close to it, runs the Peterhof Highway that leads to Strelna with its gem of the Konstantinovsky Palace; quite near, the religious retreat of Troitse-Sergieva Pustyn'.
A fairly decent public transportation accessibility is conditioned, among other things, by the proximity of the Saint Petersburg ring road and the recently-launched bridge. In one of our installments, we already covered the building of "Baltiyskaya Zhemchuzhina" business center that in fact became the flagship of the entire project. Its author, Sergey Tsytsin, is also one of the designers of the general master plan of this territory. At the first stage, the client organized an international competition for developing this territory, the results of which were to ultimately remain on paper – Sergey Tsytsin shares – Then there was a closed tender where we and two other companies participated without defining the winner. The project of integrated development of the territory that formed the basis of the construction project is indeed an "integrated" one because it took in all the proposals of the participating companies".
Dissected by highways and water channels, the territory of this district consists in fact of several residential projects designed by different architects, one of them also being Sergey Tsytsin. His residential project got a name of "Dudergoff Club", a reference to the name of the emperor's dacha, and a popular vacationing place for the people of Saint Petersburg later on. Situated on the bank of the Matisov Channel, right across from the park, it was devised as a premium-grade condominium combining the advantages of both urban and rural lifestyles. The territory of the complex has a rectangular shape of about 800x200 meters, elongated from north to south along the Dudergoff Channel. The two and five story buildings are grouped together into mini-blocks of perimeter-like layout with a courtyard inside.
The line of houses closest to the shore consists of independent villas and townhouses. Then the building lines rise up like an amphitheater providing a maximum view from the windows, balconies, and terraces, as well as from the usable roofs and penthouses. All the apartments have deep recesses verandas with windows, up to 15 square meters each. At the top floors of the penthouses, there are large open-air terraces. The two-apartment sectional houses with land plots of their own stand facing the channel with their side walls. In the center of the complex, there is a nursery and an elementary school. The yards are designed as systems of enfilades strung on compositional axes running through arched pedestrian zones.
""Dudergoff Club" is in fact a strip of land that stretches along the channel and the waterfront promenade, oriented eastward, and open to water and parkland – says Sergey Tsytsin – Ninety percent of the apartments were to command a river view. The scale of the courtyards teeters on the verge of our idea of coziness and the operating construction regulations. What I was after was creating not just courtyards but specifically a "club". The yards are interconnected by a system of parallel and perpendicular arches inspired by the famous Tolstoy House designed by Theodor Lidval. The more expensive apartments are turned to the water and are oriented southward. The owners of the apartments on the first floor own little gardens of their own. We were not able to implement all of our plans because many good ideas seem to "slide away" or slip through your fingers in the process of their implementation. We did get our point across, though, and that is a great landscaping job".
The architecture of the complex is light and modern, with a broad variety of geometric combination and a prevailing "terrace" leitmotif. It is obvious that the authors looked to create a living and breathing silhouette and open their architecture to nature as much as possible – not only functionally but also in terms of its image – by making it transparent and reflecting the surrounding landscape, at the same time penetrating into it. The austere and rational forms are not devoid of exquisiteness, the arched enfilades of the yards and "Pompeii" motifs of the upper terraces entwining with the overall modernist colors. The harmony between the buildings and the landscape is also achieved at the expense of natural materials: brick, stone, ceramics, and large window panes.
The main sight – the Dudergoff Channel – is landscape by a promenade, even though the bridges, regretfully, never were built. In the future, considering the fact that there are channels and the Finnish Gulf available, a network of pleasure boats will be developed here. Of course, this will add new colors to the Dudergoff Paradise.
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.
The Line of a Hardened Breakthrough
Designed by Stepan Liphart, the housing complex “Renaissance” continues the line of the historical center of Saint Petersburg, reinterpreting the Leningrad Art Deco and the neoclassical architecture of the 1930-50’s in reference to the civilization challenges posed by our century.
The Regeneration Experience
The housing project “Metsenat”, which occupies the area next to the Resurrection Church in Moscow’s Kadashi, has a long and complicated history, full of protests, victories, and hopes. Now the project is complete: the architects were able to keep the views, the scale, and a few historical buildings; we can examine the end result now. The project was developed by Ilia Utkin.