The winner of the competition for the best renovation project for the complex of buildings of the “First Exemplary Printing Works” became Kleinewelt Architekten with a project that can arguably be considered a breakthrough to a whole new level of material and emotional comfort.
Written by: Lilya Aronova Translated by: Anton Mizonov
“The end game of this project is fairly ambitious – says one of the partners of Kleinewelt Architekten, Nikolai Pereslegin – Our goal was to create perhaps the most comfortable living environment and a top-class residential complex of unparalleled quality here in Moscow”. The grounds for such serious ambition do not lie in the material sphere alone. In the former building of the Sytin printing house, the authors of the project saw the architectural embodiment of the Russian culture in all of its “blossoming complexity” (Konstantin Leontyev), one could say, its ultimate concentration. This gave them the right to add to all the “premium class” factors of an expensive residential complex with a great location yet another one – the factor of “emotional comfort”.
This way, defining the “seed” of the concept of their project, the authors consistently implement this scenario in every element of its structure, from the façades plastique to the music carefully chosen for every building unit, and the signature lines from a literary work for every apartment. The buildings of the complex – in accordance with their character, time of construction, and specific location – got their names after the giants of the Russian literature. Leo Tolstoy, Gogol, Mayakovski, Blok, Esenin – almost all of the members of this venerable Areopagus visited this place at one time or another, and Esenin even worked there as a corrector for a while. In his honor, the architects named the building where once used to be the young poet’s workplace – the building that opens up to the Valovaya Street, incidentally, the earliest of the historical buildings and the only one which was designed not by Erichson but by Fedor Rybinsky and Flegont Voskresensky. Just like all the other contestants, the authors of this project make minimal intrusions to the existing architecture, leaving virtually intact the façade and the structure of the tenement house of the brink of the XIX-XX century, enhancing its beauty by careful restoration, and only slightly increasing the volume of the mansard to create full-fledged penthouses from the side of the yard. “For us, such an approach fits in with our perception of Esenin as a poet, whom I greatly value for his subtle ability to see the seemingly unimportant fragments of the surrounding reality and uncover their inner beauty” – says Nikolai Pereslegin.
The name of arguably most powerful figure in the Russian literature – Leo Tolstoy – was, of course, bestowed on the main building of the former printing house. The architects are proposing to dismantle part of the yard annex, where “Tolstoy” adjoins the renewed building standing along the Monetchikovsky Alley. Such a solution allows them to, first of all, get the materials for authentic revival of the historical street façade, and, second, vacate the space for creating the museum of the Sytin printing house, conceptually vital for the authors’ project. The free space that appeared above the single-story volume of the museum, gives an opportunity to open extra window blocks for the apartments in both buildings.
In accordance with the technical specifications, the “soviet” buildup, which forms today the fifth floor of the main building of the complex, was to be dismantled, and a new story was to be built in its stead, answering the new typology and the new requirements to the outward appearance of the building. The authors of the project are planning to build here spacious penthouses with exits to terraces, shading the floor-to-ceiling glazing of the façades with pull-out panels of punctured copper. Here, on the corner of the Pyatnitskaya Street and the 2nd Monetchikovsky Alley, they are proposing to place the most luxurious apartment of the complex, also, by the way, with a name of its own – “Pierre”.
In the fourth building, which is the most “intimate” one here, standing inside the yard, the architects saw a touching “provincial” quality that put them in the mind of Nikolai Gogol – not the kind of Gogol who wrote “The Government Inspector” and “Dead Souls”, but the romantic Gogol of the times of “Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka”. One can recognize a distant reference to the Ukrainian mud huts in the coating of the mansard that is designed above the today’s roof: the sophisticated surface of the chopped limestone is combined with analogous in color but contrastive in shape smooth slabs of the intermediate floors and the roof, and echoes white horizontal breaks and window frames on the historical façade. At the same time, from the plastique standpoint, the mansard is designed in the simplest way one could think of – it is just a rectangular volume with vertically stretched windows whose rhythm corresponds to the fracturing of the window apertures of the bottom floors.
It is hard to think of a more controversial literary proximity as Leo Tolstoy and Vladimir Mayakovski – but, nevertheless, in the Kleinewelt Architekten project they stand literally side by side. The name of the “singer of the revolution” was bestowed upon the building in the 2nd Monetchikovsky Alley that is being built on the basis of the historical framework. The rhythm of the window niches that fractures the monotony of the long building can indeed put one in the mind of the following “staircase” poetry by Mayakovski.
The light-colored stone used for coating the façade, contrasts with the “Tolstoy” brick, but the next building, one that is connected to “Mayakovski” with a two-story overpass, is obviously kin to it, although the latter is darker, more austere and “disciplined”. This is “Blok” – the newly-built unit that completes the city block from the north side, on the corner of the 2nd and 3rd Monetchikovsky alleys. In order to avoid the obvious and trivial metaphors of “exuding mists and secret fragrances” (a line from “The Stranger”, a popular poem by Blok – translator’s note), the authors in this case deliberately define the work of the poet that inspired them: not just Alexander Blok, but his poem “The Twelve”, a thing that is rugged and controversial, devoid of any longhair spinelessness. At the same time, the architects also proceeded from the poet’s outward appearance – a long aristocratic face, a buttoned-up frock coat with the inevitable bow-tie or a scarf... Speaking about the latter, its role in the project is played by slender copper-zinc alloy inserts which accentuate the syncopated rhythm of the large basalt blocks.
As far as the yard territory is concerned, in this area the commonwealth of literature, music, and architecture is joined by dance. The landscaping concept is dedicated to Diaghilev Russian Seasons, while the four yard spaces, which flow into one another, are dedicated to their corresponding seasons of the year. The narrative produced by the authors of the project provides for a lot of diverse scenarios for the in-yard activities, from noisy team games to secluded recreation in the shade of the trees, and the architects came up with a lot of interesting ideas as well - a creek whose bottom is adorned with silvery mosaic, an open-air movie theater, the ship from “Scarlet Sails”, and the promenade named “Natasha Rostova’s First Ball”...
Even from this last enumeration one can see how strongly the authors were into their project, and how much soul they wanted to pour into their architecture. “This project – it is indeed all about love – Nikolai Pereslegin shares – It is impossible to compare one’s love of different poets and writers, and what we wanted to do was give the residents of our complex an opportunity for choice – what atmosphere, what legend, and what lifestyle resonates with this or that person best of all. This is what we consider to be the ultimate degree of comfort accessible to modern people”.
Inside of a Drawn Grid
Designing the apartment complex PLAY in Danilovskaya Sloboda, ADM architects placed their bet on the imagery of construction. The area where it manifested itself the most vividly was the sophisticated grid of the facades.
The Yard Aesthetics
Organizing the yard of a premium-class housing complex, GAFA architects took care not just about the image that matches the project’s high status, but also about simple human joys, masterfully overcoming the construction regulations.
MasterMind: a Neural Network for Developers and Architects
Created by Genpro, this software allows you to generate within half an hour dozens of development and construction options in accordance with the set parameters. At the same time, however, being more focused on the technical aspects, the program does not exclude creative work, and can be used by architects for preparing projects with a subsequent data export to AutoCAD, Revit, and ArchiCAD.
This Beetle Has Flown
The story of designing a business center in the Zhukov (“Beetle”) Drive: a number of attempts to preserve a hundred-year-old cold storage facility, at the same time introducing modern buildings interpreting the industrial theme. The project remained on paper, but the story behind it seems to be worth our attention.
The Childhood Territory
The project of the educational complex within the second stage of “Spanish Quarters” was developed by ASADOV Architects. The project is all about creating a friendly and transparent environment that in itself educates and forms the personality of a child.
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”
The British architect Andy Snow has recently become the chief architect at GENPRO Architects & Engineers. Projects, which Andy Snow did in the UK in collaboration with world-famous architectural firms, scored numerous international awards. In Russia, the architect took part in designing Moscow’s Stanislavsky Factory business center, iLove housing complex, and AFI2B business center on the 2nd Brestskaya Street. In our interview, Andy Snow compared the construction realities in Russia and the UK, and also shared his vision of architectural prospects in Russia.
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.
Sergey Skuratov: “A skyscraper is a balance of technology, economic performance, and aesthetic...
In March, two buildings of the Capital Towers complex were built up to a 300-meter elevation mark. In this issue, we are speaking to the creator of Moscow’s cutting-edge skyscrapers: about heights and proportions, technologies and economics, laconicism and beauty of superslim houses, and about the boldest architectural proposal of recent years – the Le Corbusier Tower above the Tsentrosoyuz building.
The Red Building
The area of Novoslobodskaya has received Maison Rouge – an apartment complex designed by ADM, which continues the wave of renovation, started by the Atmosphere business center, from the side of the Palikha Street.
The Uplifting Effect
The project of Ostankino Business Park was developed for the land site lying between two metro stations (one operating and the other in construction), and because of that its public space is designed to equally cater for the city people and the office workers. The complex stands every chance of becoming the catalyst for development of the Butyrsky area.
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
The housing complex Renome consists of two buildings: a modern stone house and a red-brick factory building of the end of the XIX century, reconstructed by measurements and original drafts. The two buildings are connected by an “inclined” yard – a rare, by Moscow standards, version of geoplastics that smoothly ascends to the roof of the stores lined up along a pedestrian street.
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
The project of “Samara Arena Park”, proposed by Sergey Skuratov, scored second place in the competition. The project is essentially based on experimenting with typology of residential buildings and gallery/corridor-type city blocks combined with towers – as well as on sensitive response to the context and the urge to turn the complex into a full-fledged urban space providing a wide range of functions and experiences.
The Fili Duo
The second phase of the Filicity housing complex, designed by ADM architects, is based on the contrast between a 57-story skyscraper 200 meters high and an 11-story brick house. The high-rise building sets a futuristic vector in Moscow housing architecture.
The Wall and the Tower
The OSA architects have been searching for solutions that could be opposed to the low-rise construction in the center of Khabarovsk, as well as an opportunity to say a new word in the discourse about mass housing.
An Office for Concentrating Ideas
T+T Architects have designed an office for a French IT company, where the employees in any point of the premises can discuss with their colleagues new ideas or even write them on the wall.
The Energy Family
The housing complex Symphony 34 will be built in Moscow’s Savelovsky district; it will consist of four towers from 36 to 54 stories high. Each of the towers has an image of its own, but they all are gathered into a single architectural ensemble – a fragment of a new high-rise urban space lying outside the Third Transport Ring.
The Fifth Element
The high-end residential development in the Vsevolozhsky Lane features a combination of expensive stone and metal textures, immersing them into a feast of ornaments. The house looks like a fantasy inspired by the theater of the Art Nouveau and Symbolism era; a kind of oriental fairy tale, which paradoxically allows it to avoid direct stylization and become a reflection of one of the aspects of modern Moscow life.
Springboards and Patios
The central element of the manor house in the village of Antonovka, designed by Roman Leonidov, is the inner yard with pergolas, meant to remind its owner about his vacations in exotic countries. The exposed wooden structures emphasize the soaring diagonals of single-pitched roofs.
Adding Up a Growing City
The housing quarter “1147” is located at the border between the old “Stalin” district in the north and the actively developing territories in the south. Its image responds to a difficult task: the compound brick facades of the neighboring sections are different, their height varying from 9 to 22 floors, and, if we are look from the street, it seems as though the front of the city development, consisting from long narrow elements, is forming some sophisticated array at this very moment in front of our eyes.
Agility of the Modular
In the Discovery housing complex that they designed, ADM architects proposed a modern version of structuralism: the form is based on modular cells, which, smoothly protruding and deepening, make the volumes display a kind of restrained flexibility, differentiated element by element. The lamellar and ledged facades are “stitched” with golden threads – they unite the volumes, emphasizing the textured character of the architectural solution.
Polyphony of a Strict Style
The “ID Moskovskiy” housing project on St. Petersburg’s Moscow Avenue was designed by the team of Stepan Liphart in the past 2020. The ensemble of two buildings, joined by a colonnade, is executed in a generalized neoclassical style with elements of Art Deco.
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
On Leningrad Avenue, not far away from the Sokol metro station, the construction of the A-Class business center Alcon II has been completed. ADM architects designed the main façade as three volumetric ribbons, as if the busy traffic of the avenue “shook” the matter sending large waves through it.
Steamer at the Pier
An apartment hotel that looks like a ship with wide decks has been designed for a land plot on a lake shore in Moscow’s South Tushino. This “steamer” house, overlooking the lake and the river port, does indeed look as if it were ready to sail away.