The housing project at the Mikhailova Street skillfully uses the benefits of its surroundings to the advantage of its future residents, exploring numerous fashionable trends of today: the façades are meticulously elaborate, and the public spaces are well thought out from the standpoint of both city people and the residents of the complex.
Written by: Alla Pavlikova, Julia Tarabarina Translated by: Anton Mizonov
12 December 2017
This housing project is built in the southeast of Moscow, on a 2.4 hectare land plots, 700 meters away from the border of the Kuskovo Estate Park. But then again, the museum palace and its Large Creek are situated in the opposite side of the park, so the new building will not violate the historical panorama. The immediate surroundings of the complex consist of five-story houses swimming in greenery, including red-brick Stalin ones, with an odd inclusion of buildings with larger numbers of floors. The “Ryazansky Prospect” metro station is a 20 minutes’ walk away, and the “Plyushchevo” railroad station is 10 minutes away. In the nearest future, a new metro station named “Okskaya Ulitsa” will open, which will be a 15 minutes’ walk away from the complex.
The task of designing a large-scale housing project on a relatively small land plot with insolation limitations was far from easy – shares the chief architect of “Olimpproekt” Ekaterina Gren. The client wanted to see a flashy architectural concept that would at the same time fit in nicely with its surroundings, and answer the trends of modern construction. According to Ekaterina Gren, in the process of complicated work, the architects were able to find a solution that could satisfy both the client, and the future residents of the complex, and the residents of the surrounding area.
The complex consists of eight residential units from 12 to 19 stories high. Together, they form a semi-closed yard that opens up northeast towards the park. The front of the Mikhailova Street is formed by three 12-story sections – it is planned that here along the entire façade there will be a public space with cafes, shops, and an open-air promenade before them. The typology of the urban retail stores is generally familiar to the local residents: such stores are to be found on the first floors of the Stalin five-stories and the podiums of later-built 9-story buildings, but the new housing complex is expected to set the trend for a more modern type of busy public space of the ground floors.
Two 19-story buildings stretch into the depth of the land site. The east building is linked to the building that stands along the Mikhailova Street by a broad hypostyle connection. Its green roof will become a small additional park, while its supports will be coated with black polished granite. Across from it, in the west building, there is yet another entrance to the yard: a compact narrow passageway that functionally repeats the east “propylaea” – it is there for a reason, because, as is the custom nowadays, all the entrances to the residential sections are located in the yard, which pretty much turns the yard entrance into a home entrance.
The “Ryazansky Prospect” metro station, just as the future “Okskaya Ulitsa”, is situated east of the complex on the Mikhailova Street – so, the east façade is designed as being sort of a “grand” one, and, because, from this side the main bulk of the pedestrian stream will be coming, the main entrance to the yard is also situated here. For the same reason, the outward front of the east building, just as the first floors along the Mikhailova Street, is given to shops and restaurants. This is the “city side” façade, turned to the bustling Ryazansky Avenue.
But then again, yet another strong side of this place is the fact that with its fairly good transport accessibility it is not squeezed between overcrowded streets or highways. The nearest neighbor from the “grand” east side is a rank-and-file clinic building, overgrown with bushes; it is still good 65 meters to go to the narrow and quiet 1st Institutskaya Street. From the opposite side, the distance to the Lukhovitskaya Street is still further – 180 meters – and here the nearest neighbor of the complex is a three-story building of the former medical unit. From this side, the entire territory stretching up to that street belongs to the complex’s sphere of influence, and the architects are planning to organize here a transition zone – some sort of a quiet yard, going through which, without having to cross any automobile roads, one will be able to reach a football field, a children’s playground, and a library. Here the architects also place a guest overland parking lot with a turfstone paver. From this side, the two lower floors of the northeast building will house an over-2000-sqm kindergarten for 124 children.
The vehicle-free private yard is located on the roof of the underground parking garage; the yard is landscaped. The thought-out zoning allowed the architects to combine playgrounds with a highly developed landscape, abundance of greenery, a sufficient number of benches, and even a lilac garden that is capable of doing magic in any part of the city. A shallow strip of water – a miniature man-made river – forms in the main part of the yard a semblance of a short promenade, helps to divide the zones in an unconventional way, and fills the space with emotion. In the corner, where the south and west buildings meet, the “river” ends: there is a small square here, this time without greenery but adorned by a sculpture. The entrances to the underground parking garage are situated not inside the yard but outside of it, and at a sufficient distance to stop the exhaust fumes from poisoning the yard.
“In addition to the town-planning issues and the search for the volumetric and space solution, we had to stylistically inscribe the complex into its surroundings – says Ekaterina Gren – Ultimately, we came up with an austere and respectable image of housing, reserved in the plastique of the volumes and exquisite in the façade decoration”.
Indeed, if we are to speak about some full-scale play of volumes, the genre of a housing complex does not provide for it by definition, and the architects concentrated on the texture, color, and other details, combining two types of façade “matter”: white glass-fibre reinforced concrete и cream-colored clinker. The clinker is used in volumes of smaller height, the 12-story-tall ones, and their height this way echoes the scale of the neighboring panel houses, while their material echoes that of the Stalin five-stories. The clinker is also used to decorate the three sections standing on the Mikhailova Street, and the slabs that visually continue them, cut into the volumes of taller yard-side units. The “white” matter is allotted to taller volumes and is subjugated to the horizontal; the rows of windows look much like bands, but then again, this is compensated by the latent classics of the enlarged and laconic “flutes” in the piers.
The theme of two “matters”, which is important for the complex, is augmented and united by openwork inclusions of ornamental panels which are there in both colors and which form a sunken-in “inner” layer of the façades on a level with windows and inserts of dark ceramic granite. The theme is picked up by protruding wrought iron balconies – air conditioning units that look like French balconies from a distance. They protrude more than it is necessary for the air conditioning units: the façades are endowed with a noticeable depth of their surface, carefully drawn and sculptured. These little balconies can even host small planters – the authors of the project claim.
All the apartments have a stanza balcony in them, and 3-room apartments have even two. Totally, the project provides for 685 apartments of “comfort” class. The developer plans to sell them, as he puts it, “with partitions to be given a finishing touch later” – i.e. without decoration. The list of popular novelties includes, among other things, bathrooms with windows; in some apartments kitchens are united with living rooms; the project also provides for storage spaces for the residents in the basement. The entrances to the residential sections are designed on the “zero” level, so they do not need either stairways or ramps that would otherwise clog up the yard – one can just step inside.
Thus, this new housing complex embodies a lot of the trendy “signs of the times”: attention to detail and desire to rethink the architectural context, a vehicle-free landscaped yard, a developed public space in the bottom floors, thought-out pedestrian routes, and smart use of the benefits given by the surroundings.
One can also mention a few things that are NOT there in this housing complex. The fashion for bright “pixelated” façades came and (luckily) went; the architects found quite a different solution to make sure that comfort-class high-rises no longer look like line “medical thermometers” because of vertical arrays of stanza balconies. It turned out that it was enough to sink the stanzas into the space of the apartments, treating them from the outside as windows, to leave enough room for playing with the façade’s plastique. And as for the image of the buildings, in this specific instance, it teeters on the verge of respectable art-deco: hence the metal, openwork inclusions, vertical modules and flutes – and the modern decorated architecture. Possibly, we are witnessing the birth of a certain branch of Moscow art-deco of the XXI century: different versions of this style have been tried in this city for 20 years already; there have been a lot unsuccessful attempts. As for the new version, however, it is reasonably up-to-date, respectable-looking, and at the same time it answers the requirements of the market that wanted to get a large but “decent-looking” housing complex. One must admit that architecture of residential buildings developed in a similar manner in the XIX century: architects would answer, as best they could, to the requirements of the growing housing market; back in those days, in the beginning of the XX century, all the techniques were honed to perfection. Now we are observing the same process, only on a larger scale, resonant with the pace of the growing megalopolis.
The developer is promising to put the housing complex into operation in the second quarter of 2019; the construction worker is underway.
A Ringlet Bridge
The project of a pedestrian bridge, proposed by the architectural company ATRIUM, headed by Vera Butko and Anton Nadtochiy, for the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan, became the winner of the A+A Awards organized by the Architizer portal in the “Unbuilt Transportation” nomination. The bridge is indeed a stunner: a “hanging garden” in concrete tubs of columns, suspended over a city highway, is fitted with ringlets of wooden ramps, which in the bridge’s key point form an element of national ornament.
Consistency of the Method
Marking its 35th anniversary, Reserve Union (officially named OOO TPO Reserve in Russia) used the venue of the Arch Moscow convention to showcase its hitherto unannounced projects. We asked Vladimir Plotkin a few questions, and we are showing a few pictures – without any captions yet.
Julia Tryaskina: “Modern public interiors are about the super-goal, not about unnecessary...
The new IPI Award for design of public interiors considers the projects from the point of view of today’s trends of the modern world, and even broader – from the point of view of a super-goal set by the client and achieved by the architect. In this article, we are speaking to the initiator of the award: about the specifics of rating the projects, about the priorities, fears, and hopes.
Vladimir Plotkin: “Our profession is complex, vulnerable, and sometimes defenseless against...
As part of the editorial project devoted to the high-rise and high-density construction that Moscow is seeing in recent years, we spoke to the leading architect of CU Reserve Vladimir Plotkin, the author of many grand-scale – and high-profile – buildings of this city. We spoke about an architect’s role and his tasks in the mega-construction process, about the drive of the megalopolis, about the strong sides of mixed and multifunctional construction, and about the methods of organizing big forms.
Alexander Kolontai: “The competition revealed the potential of Moscow as a global city”
An interview with the deputy director of the Genplan Institute of Moscow about the international competition for the concept of development of the nation’s capital and the territories that it annexed in 2012. The competition took place 10 years ago, and this year we are seeing its anniversary, just as the anniversary of changing the boundaries of the capital city.
The Book Sanctuary
Reconstructed and renovated by Studio 44, the building of Vladimir Mayakovsky Public Library received modern technical content, at the same time becoming closer to its authentic image from the times when it was part of the compound of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra.
In Tune with Mendelsohn
The “Kersten House” standing next to the “Krasnoye Znamya” (“Red Banner”) factory fits in with the tactful course adopted by Anatoly Stolyarchuk studio: it allows of no historical stylization, yet at the same time is quite respectful of the surrounding context.
Foothills and Peaks
Developed by OSA, the concept of revitalization of the territory of Stankoagregat plant combines two scales: extreme-high towers and relatively “human-friendly” urban villas. In the conditions of ultra-dense construction, this solution makes it possible to vacate territories for public spaces and trees, as well as adapt the project for the conditions of the changing market.
City in the Stream
The books by Genplan Institute of Moscow, published for the Institute’s 70th anniversary and for the coinciding exhibition, are the most amazing three-volume edition that I ever saw: the books are totally different, yet packed in one box. This, on the other hand, is justified by the specifics of each of the volumes, the diversity of approaches to processing information used in them, and the complexity of the material as such: town planning is a multifaceted science, bordering on art.
Stop the [special operetion]!
The collective letter Russian architects was published here the 26.02.2022. Now, 04.03.2022, it's text is edited according the new law of the Russian Federation. All the signatures, more than 6800, are deleted, as well as weblinks. But we coserved the edited text for the history.
Shape of the Winery
In this article, we are telling you more about the development of the shape and the implementation of the “Skalisty Bereg” (“Rocky Shore”) winery, designed by Alexander Balabin and his company “Severin-Project” in the Krasnodar Territory, and one of the finalists of WAF 2021.
An Architectural Reality Show
Roman Leonidov, the well-known architect of luxury countryside residences, about which Archi.ru repeatedly wrote, launched a new online project called “Build YOUR House” on his YouTube channel.
Buyan and the Court Quarter
The news about cancellation of the Tuchkov Buyan park has been stirring the minds of people of St. Petersburg for a week already. In the absence of any verified specific information, we discussed the situation with the architects of the park and the Court Quarter: Nikita Yavein and Evgeny Gerasimov.
The Possibility of Flight
The project of the airport, which ASADOV Architects developed for the city of Tobolsk, and which won in the architectural competition, was not implemented. However, it is interesting as an example of designing an airport building of a very small scale, where the main challenge is the optimal organization of space and infrastructure without compromising the imagery component.
Built in the town of Pushkino in the Moscow area, the “Turgeneva 13” housing complex, while fitting in with the surrounding context, differs from it with the rhythmic austerity of its dual composition, a slight wave of the façade, and the color design, in which one can see two images, winter and summer, both “growing” from the specifics of the place.
A Shell by the Sea
Designing the Sports Palace that will determine the development of the entire northern part of Derbent, ASADOV Architects turned to the architectural legacy of Dagestan, local lore, and ancient layers of history.
Karen Saprichyan is wishing everyone a merry Christmas, presenting a series of letter-shaped skyscrapers. The architect has long since been working on this theme, and has calendars of various years in stock. His latest development is a group of towers designed for the city of NEOM, which will be built in Saudi Arabia.
The three brick blocks of the “River Park” housing complex gaze at the water with their terraces. Each block forms a backdrop and two wings, while the residents-only yards turn into “stages” perceived from the river. The landscaped embankment, accessible to all the city people, complements the hierarchy of private, semi-private and public city life that is formed here.
Pompidou Inside Out
Renzo Piano and his GES-2 have already been compared to Ridolfo Aristotele Fioravanti and his Cathedral of the Assumption. And for a good reason: GES-2 also stuns you with its grace and loftiness, but ultimately turns out to be the richest collection of recognizable motifs from an early masterpiece by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, the George Pompidou Center in Paris. These motifs are fused into the grid of Shukhov-esque structures, painted white, and they create a dialogue between 1910, 1971, and 2021, built on references (not devoid of a poster-like quality) to the main masterpiece. The basilica-shaped space of the former power station is taken apart virtually just like the museum, in accordance with the concept by Teresa Mavica.
Next to Lidval and Nobel
The housing complex designed by Anatoly Stolyarchuk in Neishlotsky Alley: tactful change of scale, tribute to the memory of the place, Finnish additions to the functional typology – specifically, saunas in the apartments – and plans for receiving a BREEAM certificate.
And stabbed it with a knife
The leader of Coop Himmelb(l)au, Wolf D. Prix, presented three projects that he is currently doing in Russia: a complex in Sevastopol, Crimea, which, as it turned out, a western architect could build bypassing the sanctions, because this is a cultural project; a museum and theater center in Kemerovo, and the “SKA Arena”, which is built in the stead of the destroyed Sports and Concert Complex in St. Petersburg – during the presentation the latter was symbolized by a round cake that the architect eventually cut.
The Thin Matter
The house named “Medny 3.14” (“Copper 3.14”) is composed of two textures, each of which resembles in its own way some kind of precious fabric, and of three units, each of which is oriented towards one cardinal point. The architecture of the house absorbs the nuances of the context, summing them up and turning them into a single rhythmic structure. In this article, we are examining the new, just-completed, house designed by Sergey Skuratov in Donskaya Street.
The new business center built in Moscow’s district of Presnya in the 1st Zemelny Lane is all about technology and sustainability. Its streamlined shapes and white facade grid are combined with a new version of vertical greenery: the green of wild grapes, placed at a distance from the facade, instead of arguing with the “pergola” grid, sets it off by contrast.
Lightness of Being
Blooming Sakura, a campfire party, kids splashing in a swimming pool – no, these are not pictures from a vacation, but everyday life going on in the yards of Kiev’s housing complex “Fayna Town”. In this issue, we are examining how the utopia designed by the architects is wired, and what they did to make it a reality.