In the north of Indonesia, on the shore of the South China Sea, on the east side of the Bintan Island, the firm’s client, “National Investment Alliance”, has purchased a 54-hectare land plot with a purpose of building a seaside resort there. Apart from the virgin “paradise” nature of white sand seaside and jungle, the island can only offer poor Indonesian villages and a few hotels for tourists, as well as an odd shop or an unpretentious restaurant. The investor’s plan was about building a full-fledged self-sufficient seaside resort with a thought-out environment chiefly catering for the residents of Singapore, which is but a forty minutes’ ferry trip away and for the Chinese tourists who traditionally visit these parts.
The Vladimir Bindeman studio was to create an architectural and town planning proposal because the owner of this land was going to sell it by individual plots, retaining, however, the right to the overall management of the territory, thus avoiding the risk of chaotic construction. In order to come up with a beautiful marketing spin, the client proposed to create on this island, which is exotic for Europeans, the kind of environment that would be unusual for the residents of the Southeast Asia, dedicating individual hotels to recognizable architectural images of the European countries. What the architects feared most of all was repeating the Venetian Las Vegas (a Venturi project that became a symbol of postmodernism); the last thing they wanted to do was stuffing the resort with diminished copies of the famous European buildings the way it is done at Turkish resorts. Ultimately, Vladimir Bindeman was able to convince the client to stick more to the modernist architecture of Europe with an odd inclusion of traditional motifs. Six countries were selected: Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, France, and Russia. In addition, there was a task of dividing the housing typology-wise: traditional hotels with hotel rooms, apartments, townhouses, and villas. This yielded two types of classifications – by the national architecture and by the property type. The only task that was left was distributing them over the seaside. As a result, for the first line, the closest to the sea, mostly the hotels (and not the villas) were chosen, because they are in demand in every season, and, partially, the apartments. Thus, the first line was occupied by the English, Italian, and Spanish clusters, the second – by the Russian, French, and German ones, and the third, which is the closest to the jungle, by the houses “of no national origin”.
The territory of the resort is divided into 17 land plots. The entrance is situated at the southeast corner of the land site. At the entrance, there is a wave-shaped building of the management company, a water reservoir, and a venue for public events that otherwise serves as the marketplace of the local goods.
Closer to the sea, there runs a more urbanized strip: hotels and apartments. In the center, there is a string of golf courses, golf being a popular sport here.
Closer to the jungle, the buildings stand not so densely packed – these are groups of villas and townhouses, while behind the drive, in the forest, really, there are the employees’ dormitories. Between the first and the second lines, there is a pedestrian street – the resort’s main promenade with diverse infrastructure: restaurants, souvenir stands, gear rental points, travel agents, and massage salons. The entire street is covered by an awning engulfed in vining plants that create more shade.
The street was designed as being a long and winding one – not only for the sake of picturesqueness (although this was one of the reasons) but also because of the fact that at a seaside resort people usually take their time, and they do not have to necessarily see the end of the street’s perspective in order to get their bearings. The whole master plan mostly consists of smooth and soft lines – for the same reason. The streets are either paved with paving stones or covered with boardwalks.
Due to the fact that the climate is hot here, an easy access to the water was a necessary condition. Alongside the pedestrian street, a little man made river flows. Numerous creeks and pools of different shapes are surrounded by the groups of townhouses and apartment hotels. Most of the villas have, of course, swimming pools of their own.
In terms of recreational infrastructure, the island has two piers (the existing one and the new marina for the yachts) and a cable car that takes the tourists up to the mountain for eco-tourism.
Creating the architectural and town-planning concept of a seaside resort with a national theme is surely an interesting task for the architects, and there are two reasons for that. First of all, it is always an exciting challenge to delve into the national character of architecture. Because one man’s meat is another man’s poison, and the Italian “la Dolce Vita” is obviously different from the harshness of Spanish conquistadors. And in this specific instance the architects had to demonstrate the national character in postmodernist architecture, which is a tall order by definition – because postmodernism is essentially a globalist style developed by a pool of international “star” architectural companies, and it is – expectably – pretty much the same throughout the world. However, as it turned out, there are still some national features to it...
The architects were able to solve the “national question” chiefly at the expense of nation-specific materials, colors, and, to some extent, forms. In the English hotel it is red brick walls with white inclusions, the architecture itself being rather general and neutral, with a few allusions to the Big Ben and the classic red telephone booth. From the side of the swimming pool, however, the hotel has a more defined modernist image with cantilevered platform for walking designed in the style of the London National Theater.
The French hotels will be covered with light-beige stones “the color of Paris”; there will also be a hint at mansards. In addition, in the yard, there is a lot of verdure, and not only on the façades, one can see veritable vertical gardens here – the modern French invention.
The façades of the Spanish hotel are modernist in their design but they also sport the traditional Spanish arches and window blinds, and are covered with warm-colored stucco.
For Russia, the architects proposed buildings shaped like Russian “treasure chests” and the wooden decorative elements in the spirit of the Russian north.
The “German” buildings got the traditional gable roofs covered by roofing tile; the yard façades are of the modern type.
As for the “Italian” buildings, they develop – in the modern key – the typical Italian terrace theme but with glass railings that stand far out on modern cantilevered structures. On each terrace, there is a mini-garden, which lowers the temperature of the surface a few degrees and add some ecological character to the architectural image of the buildings.
The tasks that are typical of seaside resort architecture, namely those of providing great seaside views, as well as shade and privacy, are solved by different means. For example, the cantilevered second floors of the townhouses make shady awnings above the first floors, while shifting the houses in respect to one another increases the private space. The façades overlooking the inner reservoirs are fully glazed but they are also protected from the sun by lamellae, protective grilles or deep ledges.
The national motifs are also combined with the “paradise” theme. Although the name of “Paradise Waters”: was proposed by the client, and the “paradise” associations are an obvious marketing spin, there are still some funny little parallels arising here and there. Each architect wants to know what kind of architecture there is in paradise. And this project is sort of an opportunity to try and find the answer to this question. Although the classics purists claim that the architecture in paradise is surely classical, “Arhitekturium” is proposing a different approach. These are stylish white villas resonant of the avant-garde of the 1930’s and the transparent Californian villas of the 1950’s. The pure geometry is opposed to the landscape but at the same time it ensures unity with it. In the two-story buildings, the horizontals are accentuated – the floor and the ceiling. The “kind of” absent glass walls make one’s merging with nature full and continued. And what else can one want from a Pacific Ocean seaside resort with its crystal clear water?
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.
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.