“Eugene Gerasimov and Partners” has designed one of the lots of the first stage of “ZilArt” residential complex. The residential building with a confined space of the inner yard turned out to be quite cheerful-looking but against the background of its neighbors it looks pretty traditional – living exactly up to its function.
Written by: Natalya Muradova Translated by: Anton Mizonov
16 June 2017
At ZilArt, Eugene Gerasimov got to design Lot №3, the one that stands on the northern border of the land site. This border runs along the Proektiruemiy Proezd (literally meaning “Yet-designed Driveway”) №4965 that survived from the industrial past of this territory. On the left and right, one will find streets whose names already belong to the present days – Arkhitektora Golosova and Arkhitektora Ginsburga.
The new “neighbors” that the house got are pretty bright: from the west side this is Lot #1 designed by “Sergey Skuratov Architects” with a side end of fire-red corten-steel, while diagonally from it stands Lot#5 designed by “Tsimailo, Lyashenko and Partners” with elegant open-work slits on a red façade.
At the same time, on the north side, the Eugene Gerasimov house faces a six-story high Engineering Block. Built in the 1950’s, this building that sports a fronton and pilasters is one of the few that survived the renovation of the former industrial park. Yet another surviving building is the red brick two-story fire station upon which the house neighbors from the south – the fire station will be turned into a kindergarten.
The volume-and-space solution and the façades of the house designed by “Eugene Gerasimov and Partners” look like an attempt to reconcile the former and the current ZIL “residents”, which seems to make perfect sense due to the “borderline” position of this house.
According to the master plan of ZilArt, the house has 14 stories in it. The main unit has almost a perfect U-shape, the only difference being that in the east end the down stroke forms an acute angle. This way, the façade of the house continues the axis set by Lot№1, while the overall pristine geometry echoes the building of the Engineering Block.
In the south part, on the side of the pedestrian promenade, the main unit is adjoined by five blocked three-story townhouses. Together, they form an inside yard. This yard is not exactly of the confined type: there are passages on either side of the townhouses, and an arch in the eastern wing. Nevertheless, the territory is securely fenced from the rest of the ZilArt territory – the whole thing looks like a hint at “well” yards of Saint Petersburg.
Along the outside perimeter, there are entrances to the shops, a drugstore, a beauty salon, and a cafe; driveways leading up to the residential park are located on the yard side.
The façades are made of Flemish brick, mandatory for all the ZilArt structures. The brick is of three colors – white, gray, and orange, out of which rectangles are formed that are encased in the frames of raised panels standing out. The vertical fracturing is two stories high but, due to the fact that the colors are used at approximately equal proportions, discerning the rhythm is all but impossible. Eugene Gerasimov calls this technique a “programmed chaos”.
“We believe that our residential house has a shape that conforms to the general standard but each of its elements has a right to be different. All the windows will ultimately look different anyway, and there will never be any order on the façade. Such façade design must, in our opinion, give it certain liveliness; it will look different from different vantage points, and it must generally produce a “mottled” impression, like some sort of quilt” – the author explains.
With its neat grilles of French balconies, the façade indeed looks very cozy. It perfectly matches the image of a residential building the way an average buyer could imagine it. On the inside, everything is also peaceful and appropriate: elevator halls with a finish that’s of high quality but without any excessive decoration, and apartments from 49 to 115 square meters. Some of the top floor apartments have fireplaces in them.
There are also fireplaces in each of the five townhouses with a floor space of 200 square meters. The townhouses are three stories high, and the vertical fracturing of the façades here is also three stories high. The double-time rhythm of the French balconies almost precisely repeats the rhythm of the tall windows of the Engineering Block. The French windows of the first floors of the townhouses command little private gardens separated from the pedestrian street by a railing. The entrances to the residential premises are organized from the side of the yard.
The two-level underground parking garage served both residents of the townhouses and the main residential building. Its driving entrance is situated on the west side – this way the architects separated automotive and pedestrian traffic. Although the house is actually pretty large – it has more than 400 apartments in it - it does not produce an impression of a bulky thing at all thanks to the façade design. It looks modern, yet not garishly “hot”, original, yet familiar. This is exactly the kind of house that inspires the desire to live in it, and not just admire it from aside.
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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.
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The Uplifting Effect
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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
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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
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The Fili Duo
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The Wall and the Tower
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The Energy Family
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The Fifth Element
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Springboards and Patios
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Adding Up a Growing City
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Agility of the Modular
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Polyphony of a Strict Style
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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
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Steamer at the Pier
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