Tushino, the former famous Moscow airfield, which for the last twenty years has been a testing ground for various architectural experiments, may soon be augmented by a complex of towers near the Volokolamsk Highway designed by Ekaterinburg-based OSA architects. The towers are prominent yet reservedly noble-looking.
Written by: Alyona Kuznetsova Translated by: Anton Mizonov
The land site, upon which OSA architects have designed a housing complex for the “Brusnika” company, is situated on the axis between the entrance to the “Discovery Arena” and the Volokolamsk highway, from which the new towers will be plainly seen from the cars passing by. Next to it, there is a giant housing complex named “Gorod na Reke Tushino” (“City on the Tushino River”), which occupies nearly half of the peninsula of the former airfield. Compared to “Gorod” and the territory of Vi Holding Development lying behind it, the land site that OSA got to work with is relatively small – about three hectares. However, its location next to one of Moscow’s main highways makes it quite noticeable – making the most of this feature, the architects endowed their complex with an important role of being the propylaea of the new district of the nation’s capital, some volumetric sign that signifies the presence of Tushino in the city fabric.
Tushino is an arena for ambitious projects. The red-and-white stadium “Otkritie Arena” for 45 thousand spectators was built to accommodate FIFA-2018, and was acclaimed as one of the best sports facilities 2015. The right to design the concept for the land site of Vi Holding Development was disputed by, among others, Massimiliano Fuksas and Zaha Hadid Architects. The competition was won by Steven Holl Architects and “KAMEN” Architecture Art Group whose buildings look pretty much like parachute hybrids. The houses of “City on the Tushino River” are built upon the projects of SPEECH and TPO “Reserve”.
The OSA architects saw their task “not in trying to continue the string of landmark buildings that create a wow-effect, and not in trying to outshout them, but, rather, in uniting them”. Refraining from repeating any of the surrounding themes, the architects decided to place their bet on more reserved volumes and façades, rather turning their project into a sort of a background for everything that is going on in Tushino in terms architecture. The author of the concept, Vasily Krapivin, says: “We wanted to make sure that our complex is seen from all sides, we wanted it to have plenty of air about it, wanted it to calm and reserved in terms of its building materials”.
Apart from the fact that this land site is rather small, it is also pretty complex. In addition to the residential sections, the trapeze outline between the Volokolamsk Highway and two yet-to-be-built drives will also include a hotel and an office center (which are not part of the OSA project). There is also a gas station. Because of the neighbors, the construction blueprint took on an irregular jagged shape. At that time, the client – “Brusnika” developers, with whom OSA already did several projects – gave the architects a free hand setting no budget constraints. Due to the fact that the construction typology was essentially apartments, there weren’t any strict insulation requirements either.
The site was dissected into a grid of plan modules with a grid space of 8.2 by 8.2 meters. Along the perimeter and through the center run the pedestrian walks that continue the vectors of the pathways from the neighboring areas. This way, the architects got a zone of public spaces, and three construction blueprints. It was decided to put the towers on podiums that contain parking garages inside and shops, offices, and kindergartens on the outside contours, as well as end-to-end lobbies.
The centerpieces of the complex are two towers 32 stories each. The architects arranged them in such a way that even from the remotest vantage points they do not align in a single line, do not start looking like a giant wall, and from all sides look like they are of different height. Along the contours of the podiums, there are extra units from 5 to 12 stories high. This way, the architects were able to achieve a dramatic silhouette, the composition being arranged in such a way that there is plenty of space between the towers. Ultimately, what the architects got was not one but two “scales of construction”: one of the town-planning kind, built on high-rise centerpieces and corresponding to the format of a megalopolis, and the other of a more “human-friendly” kind, closer to the standards of modern urbanists. The yards are placed on top of the podiums and are private and vehicle-free.
Currently, the project is in the stage of sketchy concept; at this stage, the architects first of all tried to provide rationale for their town planning solutions. The façade design proposed by the architects is rather conditional, although it does support the “noble reserve” theme that was set in the brief – each of the blocks i.e. subjugated to one shade of natural stone: gray, beige and terra-cotta. Currently, the architects speak about the prospects of this complex being actually built with guarded optimism, joking that now the only real project that exists on the land site is the active gas station. But then again, we cannot rule out the possibility that in a while the portfolio of the successful Ekaterinburg-based firm, just as the portfolio of “Brusnika” developers known for the high quality of the volumetric and urban planning solutions, will be enriched by a successfully implemented Moscow project. After all, it’s high time for non-Moscow firms to do some touring.
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.