Actually, City-Arch was faced with a challenging task, with one boundary of the construction site being 300 meters away from the federal architectural monument, namely The New Jerusalem Monastery, and its other boundary crossing the hilly banks of the Istra River. To prevent the museum complex from being underflooded a 4-metre dam was built within the bunded area. A lot of other restrictions had to be taken into account, the chief one of them being height restriction which was based on the results of the visual landscape analysis. A four-hectare site was to accommodate 28 000 square meters of the museum space so some exhibitions were placed below the ground level.
Thus, on the one hand, the building stands above the ground waters and the probable river wave level, and on the other hand, it is a part of the landscape, having been turned into an artificial 12-metre hill. The museum buildings which constitute most of the hill are literally spread along its perimeter. And in the center of an open trapezoid you can see the centerpiece of the complex, a round structure with galleries along the walls and a large round square in the middle. The round square seems to couple with a giant hipped roof above the Edicule, which is the main symbol of Patriarch Nikon’s New Jerusalem Monastery, and the museum square repeats it the other way round: emptiness versus completeness, ledges versus offsets, accompanied with a similar roundabout way and the same design stretching from the east to the west.
When seen from Buzharovskoye Highway, the round structure resembles The Holy Grail because of its deep colour of aged red wine and its contrast with the prevailing grey and green colour scheme of the adjacent buildings.
The museum is quite rich in unique treasures. The collection of the New Jerusalem Art and History Museum which was started almost a hundred years ago, in 1920, now contains approximately 180 thousand objects and is considered the biggest one in the Moscow Oblast. In the New Jerusalem Monastery of Resurrection, not more than 9 000 square meters of exhibition space were available for the collection. Besides, massive construction to restore the monastery buildings was underway, which also affected the collection. In 2008, the Russian authorities separated the monastery and the museum, initiating both the monastery restoration and the construction of a new museum complex on the territory of 28 000 square meters.
Architecturally, the museum is a part of the monastery ensemble: the southern wing of the museum inside the hill runs parallel to the monastery wall. In fact, the territories of the complexes are connected with a footbridge, and you can see a lot of trees while you walk from the monastery to the museum along this footbridge so the museum sinks out sight and reappears again.
Another route to the museum runs from the parking lot near the highway where tourist buses arrive and from where you can see the main entrance with a wide arch cut in the dark-red wall of the round structure which leads to the inner square where various events, concerts and exhibitions of art objects are held and which hosts a café in the summertime. You can also climb the spiral galleries that bring to mind Wright’s Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the prototype of many XX-century museums, and listen to a concert from an unusual “elevated” point.
The red wall of the round complex echoes in the halls of the museum as well, manifesting the connection between the interior and the exterior of the building and giving the impression of a gigantic puzzle which consists of a variety of different elements joined together. So it is quite fascinating to spot something seen outside on the inside.
Besides, some exhibition halls have huge panoramic windows overlooking the monastery complex. A magnificent view opens from the eastern atrium in the northern exhibition wing of the building: looking through a glass wall you can see Patriarch Nikon’s hermitage framed by a small yard, obviously cut in the southern storage wing of the museum for this very purpose. This small yard was not a part of the original project but was added later once the architects noticed the beauty of the view: the hermitage illuminated from above appears glowing, almost like round churches in the vedute painted by the Masters of the Renaissance.
Thus, this magnificent view is an integral part of the museum exhibition, something from the outside entering the museum. And it is obviously a creative architectural idea to highlight the vicinity of the monastery.
Once inside the museum, you can enjoy walking about it even without visiting the exhibition area. Apart from an entrance hall and galleries illuminated by the natural light coming from the panoramic windows along the yard’s perimeter, the exhibition wing also has two atriums, the western one with a café and the eastern one with a wide three-flight staircase and a big multifunctional hall. All those spaces contain exhibits as well as the exhibitions halls, only fewer, and create an atmosphere of an actual museum like, for instance, in the Baths of Diocletian in Rome you can find something interesting in every corner.
The archaeological dimension is also created by a wall at the excavation site where you can see materials and artefacts connected with the monastery, including chalkstone taken from the restoration sites on the territory of the monastery and five-colour tiles specially designed by the architects but not borrowed from the museum collection as one might think. This ornamental and architectural setting is present both in the exterior and the interior, thus producing an impression of an excavation hill, a museum in the archeological space. To tell the truth, it is not a real excavation site but a skillful imitation though together with a panoramic view of the monastery it does give an impression of authenticity.
The architects of the project made special efforts to design the functional programme of the museum: the original technical design specified only the total floor area, and 20 000 square meters out of 28 000 were allocated to the exposition, so now the museum occupies the area twice as large as it used to. Thus, the new building has not only the exhibition zone, which was mostly created by the Saint-Petersburg center “Raritet”, but also a cultural and educational zone, which includes a double-height café and two levels with a children’s club, a state-of-the-art conference hall (both equipped with big skylights), and a research library. The café is adjacent to the restoration workshops that also function as a hotel for artists who come to work here.
The original project included windows in the workshops which would allow the visitors to have a look at the restoration artists working. However, later the idea had to be abandoned.
Unfortunately, some other parts of the original project were not realized either. Instead of dark-red composite panels, the round structure of the museum was covered with red vinyl fabric. Neither an observation deck overlooking the monastery that was supposed to be located on the spiral gallery running within the round structure nor the accessible roof area of the hill where you could walk enjoying the view were actually built. The proposed idea of the way connecting the monastery with the museum hill and then running up and down along the spiral ramps had been meant to be a spatial leitmotif, a unifying theme with its upturns and downturns, and having lost this expressive means the museum now lacks many things.
The engineering systems and technological solutions, which were designed and proposed by City-Arch and received a lot of awards, have not been implemented. However, the original project seriously focused on energy conservation and Passive House technology (if the warmth-keeping system had been installed according to the original design, the museum would not need a heating system, which is crucially important for a building located far from the central heating lines). Through the contractor’s negligence the dam and the hydrofuge insulation were built with numerous defects, which now results in regular flooding of the museum depositories.
This complex and interesting project, which could be perfect in so many ways, is still incomplete.
It is not a secret that low construction quality is a curse of Russian architecture on a wide scale. However, the building is being actively used and developed, and maybe one day some construction defects can be repaired. Anyway, the museum is a part of the modern trend in Russian architecture, a fine example of a museum-hill, the idea of which was probably presented for the first time in the project of Strelna Museum, the winner of the 2007 competition. The same idea was realized in the Kulikovo Polye Museum, around the same time as the New Jerusalem project was launched, and in the recently opened Zaryadye pavilions as well. The essence of the projects is the same: a museum gets down into the ground turning into an artificial hill and an observation deck at the same time so the viewers perceive space in its many aspects while looking around or finding themselves deep underground, in a “cave”. You can enjoy a wide range of experiences, as the museum exists on the border between present-day reality of views, space and light, and the historical reality of preserved and exhibited monuments. And this is exactly where a museum is supposed to be located.
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.
The Magic of Rhythm or Ornament as a Theme
Designed by Sergey Tchoban, the housing complex Veren Place in St. Petersburg is the perfect example of inserting a new building into a historical city, and one the cases of implementing the strategy that the architect presented a few years ago in the book, which he coauthored with Vladimir Sedov, called “30:70. Architecture as a Balance of Forces”.
Walking on Water
In the nearest future, the Marc Chagall Embankment will be turned into Moscow’s largest riverside park with green promenades, cycling and jogging trails, a spa center on water, a water garden, and sculptural pavilions designed in the spirit of the Russian avant-garde artists of the 1920, and, first of all, Chagall himself. In this issue, we are covering the second-stage project.
A-Len has developed and patented the “Perfect Apartments” program, which totally eliminates “bad” apartment layouts. In this article, we are sharing how this program came around, what it is about, who can benefit from it, and how.
“Architectural Archaeology of the Narkomfin Building”: the Recap
One of the most important events of 2020 has been the completion of the long-awaited restoration of the monument of Soviet avant-garde architecture – the Narkomfin Building, the progenitor of the typology of social housing in this country. The house retained its residential function as the main one, alongside with a number of artifacts and restoration clearances turned into living museum exhibits.
LIFE on the Setun River
The area in the valley of the Setun River near the Vereiskaya Street got two new blocks of the “LIFE-Kutuzovsky” housing complex, designed by ADM architects. The two new blocks have a retail boulevard of their own, and a small riverside park.