The club house Gorokhovsky’12 is a vivid example of a laconic and integral, although by no means minimalist or scarce, architectural solution that its author considers to be slightly Berlin-ish. The injection was a success because there is a fair share of Moscow in this house as well.
Written by: Julia Tarabarina Translated by: Anton Mizonov
The land site at the Gorokhovsky Lane, 12 has been explored by ADM architects for over ten years: it was one of their first contracts that they landed immediately after they founded their company back in 2006. Originally it was planned that this would be an office building with its façades stuccoed at the customer’s request. After 2008, it was turned into a club house consisting of apartments. The building changed everything: its function, its plan, its volume, and the look of its façades. The only thing that must have remained the same was its location.
The house, whose construction began in 2014 and was completed in the spring of 2016, is situated deep inside of the block behind the embassy of Ecuador, on the spot where until the early 2000’s there was a derelict orphanage building. Still earlier, in the beginning of the XX century, when the Von Derviz Gymnasium, located a bit further to the west, was attended by the little Marina Tsvetaeva who was later to become a famous Russian poetess, half of the site belonged to the gymnasium’s garden, where beautiful roses were grown. And in the 1980’s, passing through the block in the direction of the Kazakova Street, one could now and then accidentally notice batches of oversized bricks bearing the seal of a two-headed eagle – somebody was obviously collecting what was left of the demolished houses to use it as building materials for his dacha later on. This area is as ancient as it is unique – located on the borderline between the Basmannaya and the German quarters, it is but a fifteen minutes’ walk away from the palaces of the Supporters of Peter the Great standing on the Yauza River, while Ivan Demidov’s “Golden House”, the masterpiece of Moscow classism, or, for example, the en route imperial palace of the King Ivan III are but a five minutes’ stroll away. This area is quite historical, although a bit tainted by fractions of the soviet-era “slabs” and towers. Its historical environment is fragmentary and intermittent, so the new club house that offers to its new inhabitants the peace and quietness of the Moscow “almost-downtown-immediately-behind-the-garden-ring”, did not violate the integrity of the environment at all: it is but seven floors high. Quite the contrary: glittering beautifully from behind the two-story mansions, it tactfully fills in the void that otherwise would have been quite inappropriate here.
The plan of the house looks like the letter H with symmetric volumes of projections that stand out at the ends of two longitudinal façades. Compact and rational to the point of being exquisite in its efficiency, this plan is almost the quintessence of the axial symmetry. The entrance is sunken in a bit; there is a small green square in front of it with a couple of benches. Inside, in the middle of the house, there is a reception desk flanked by four symmetrical glass verticals of the staircases that are sunk into the volume and at the same time well-lit, and thus are quite easy to find. From the outside, the staircases look like lintel blocks between the projections and the core part of the building. Such vertical “ledge” lintels – and this is plainly seen on the model – visually fracture the volume in numerous places: the "letter H" is slit at its side ends – the cutaways conceal the smallest apartments. The elongated façades of the projections also sport slim sunken-in verticals. This way, the plan starts to look like a very much stylized quadrifoil, four sections adjoining one common core. Everything that is on the outside perfectly matches the layouts of the apartments. Underneath, there is a parking garage.
On the outside, the building is just as rational. The façades consist of evenly spaced verticals that are crossed just as neatly by broad horizontals of the ceramic bands running between the floors and imitating plaster in the bindings of the metallic protrusions of the same color at the top and bottom. As for the verticals, they consist of alternating bands of the window panes and the terra-cotta partition walls glazed in a slightly darker tone. The glazing luster of two tones – a darker and a smaller one – forms a slightly mottled pattern.
The verticals of the window panes on the elongated façades are about the same width as the partition walls, and this is why they look not so much like windows as an element of the general rhythm. On the corners, the glass verticals come together and they become more numerous which gives the apartments more light and visually takes a considerable weight off the volume because, instead of stone, the corners are marked by windows that are either transparent or, depending on the angle of view, dark, and slightly sunken in, giving way to the ribs of the friezes that shoot out at the corners, revealing the building's framework.
“I see a note of Berlin in this house – Andrew Romanov says – all these glass corners, efficient planning, terra-cotta tiles on the façades... On the whole, we are happy with the solution that we ultimately came to, working on this land site”.
As is the custom with ADM, the area around the building is thoroughly organized. The architects carefully preserved the old lime trees that meet the incomers and even form a pedestrian boulevard with a few benches and street lights leading directly to the entrance. Lots of different pavement patters are used; there are backlighting bands running along the line of the basement floor, and figured metallic stripes on the slopes before the pedestrian overpasses. The grass around the house is green; the numerous bushes are trimmed to fit the height of the low-rise street lights – they are about a third of their height. In a word, under your feet the texture is even more diverse than on the façades.
As for the façades, they win you over with the simplicity of their design solution, balancing on the verge of traditional material and deliberately exposed technology. Meanwhile, just as the Moscow tradition prescribes, the house stands in the depth of the site, surrounded by the garden and the lime tree promenade. However “Berlin” it is, the house took root in this place – in the Gorokhovsky Lane where Rokotov lived and where little Marina Tsvetaeva went to school.
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.
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.
The Terraces of the Crystal Cape
Proposed by Nikita Yavein, the concept of a museum, educational, and memorial complex to be built in the city of Sevastopol avoids straightforward accents and over-the-top dramatics, interpreting the history of this place along with the specifics of its landscape, and joining the public space of the operated stairway and amphitheaters with an imposing monument.
Evgeny Podgornov: “You need to make your projects visible”
The leader of Saint-Petersburg’s architectural company Intercolumnium explains why his company’s portfolio includes projects ranging from hi-tech to historicism, discourses upon high-rise landmarks, about the clients, and about the sources of the drive that the city needs.