По-русски

​Social Network

T+T Architects has won the contest for designing a research and development cluster in Ekaterinburg with a project that was all about enhancing the spirit of one of the most dynamically developing companies on the Russian market.

Written by:
Lilya Aronova
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov

25 July 2018
Object
mainImg

For this country, the Ekaterinburg-based company SKB Kontur is a truly distinctive phenomenon. Established in 1988, it has been rapidly growing ever since, not losing momentum even during the economic crises, and currently it is the nation’s leader in the field of software development. Coming a while ago to the idea of a necessity of creating its own cluster where it could gather in one place all of its structural divisions currently scattered all over the town, the company started developing a large-size land site located in a new district of Ekaterinburg named “Shirokaya Rechka” (“Broad River”). The first stage of construction of the complex, a ten-story office building, was finished two years ago but the growth of the company significantly exceeded the construction tempo, and by the time the building was completed it became it became obvious that the company was out of room again. It was for this reason that a competition was announced for developing the 16.8-hectare adjacent land site. The competition was won by Moscow’s T+T Architects.

Kontur-Park © T+T Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects
Copyright: © T+T architects
Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects
Copyright: © T+T architects


According to the client’s brief, the almost-trapeze-shaped territory was to host from three to five office buildings meant to provide about 5000 workplaces, as well as an educational center, an apart-hotel, a corporate kindergarten, a shopping center, and a roofed rock-climbing wall. Of course, a parking garage was also designed, the number of car stalls being calculated as one car per two employees, which means that if one is to imagine buildings of similar volume, the parking garage would be half again as tall as the main building.

Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects


T+T Architects solved this problem by “spreading” the parking garages over the ground, i.e. making a lot of two-level podiums of irregular shape with usable roofs, above which the new buildings are towering. The garages that trace the terrain in this way are practically unseen to a casual observer, which was the designers’ end goal – the last thing they wanted to get was rows of cars apologetically covered by lamellae meeting the visitors of the complex.

Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects


Unlike the other competitors, T+T Architects proposed to place the four office buildings around the rounded base of the trapeze, where a segment of the city’s peripheral transport ring will be built. This, of course, will be done in a remote future but the Shirokaya Rechka district is rapidly developing now, and the architects took care about the compositional rhythm and harmony of their project well in advance.

Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects


In the quieter corner of the trapeze, closer to the residential area, the architects are placing an apartment hotel, in another – an educational center and a kindergarten between them. From the side of the road that separates the complex from the first stage of construction, there is an imposing volume of the rock-climbing facility. And, as for the central part of the territory, a whopping 10-hectare chunk out of the 16.8 – it must be occupied by a spacious park, the arrangement of whose promenades will enhance the diagonal compositional axis of the complex – from the educational center to the rock-climbing facility, both of which tower above the overall compositional framework.

Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects
Copyright: © T+T architects


Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects
Copyright: © T+T architects


Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects


In the center of the park, the architects have designed a pond – an advantageous landscape element by default – which in this specific instance is supported by the practical considerations as well: the land site in question is pretty swampy, and the artificial pond will also perform the drainage function. And in the spaces between the office building the “tentacles” of the green vegetation will reach out towards the future highway, breaking the rhythm of the city verticals in a green punctured line.

Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects
Copyright: © T+T architects


Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects


The Moscow architects came up with a solution that is logical, convincing, and functional – which definitely impressed the organizers of the competition. However, in addition to that – as is always the case with T+T Architects – this proposal also has a philosophy of its own. The very notion of “IT-company” is all about something modern, communicative, creative and dynamic; all the more so with SKB Kontur with its rapid development rate and unprecedented care for its employees, whose value the leadership of the company unflaggingly stresses! That’s why the architects designed the complex as a huge space for communication that develops on several levels simultaneously. The park, with its radial trails that stream from every building towards the pond, became the largest one here but, in addition to it, there are at least two other minor ones. All the buildings are connected by a common underpass that stretches along the second level of the parking garage, so one will not have to go outside in order to get from one building to another. And the most interesting, from the architectural standpoint, communicative space is the atriums that form the nuclei of each of the buildings of the complex.

Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects


The plans of the four buildings are anything but standard rectangles. The façades do not repeat the bionic forms, rhyming with the silhouettes of the garage-containing podiums instead. The absence of any straight corners is also some sort of a tribute to the company’s philosophy, one of whose main corporate values is freedom: the employees have a non-standardized workday, and they are not chained to their desks, it’s not a problem if an employee spends his whole workday in the park one on one with his laptop. As an option, the employees can also sit working in the atrium where the connection between the floors, divisions and departments is expressed in a particularly vivid way. 

Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects
Copyright: © T+T architects


Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects


It was important for the architects that the original list of corporate values stipulated for the contest – these being dynamics, creativity, and respect for the employees – should be augmented with an element of prestige. And such a flashy architectural device as an atrium, in spite of all the difficulties that it presents for the developers due to the fact that it inevitably leads to significant losses of useful floor space and an increase in the building’s power consumption, goes a long way to enhance this particular quality. It is planned that the volumes, which are going to be “taken out” of each of the buildings, will be different in shape, and the resulting space will also be designed in different ways: at some places this may be a spiral ramp, at some places – crossing overpasses, at some places – a broad staircase, or skylights in the meeting rooms. “In a usual building, the employees are usually locked up in their office, or in their corridor or on their floor – explains the chief architect of the project, Nikolai Makarov – and such an atrium is conducive to communication. This is some sort of an offline version of a social network that encourages people to plug in to the social pipeline”.

Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects


Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects


Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects


Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects


While in the competition stage, designing the façades was out of the scope of the architects’ task – but they took care of that part as well. The façade design solution of the office buildings is based on the total glazing alternating with non-translucent piers. At some places, the floors get a horizontal shift, the combination of dark and light tones of the façade panels on the piers’ facets enhancing the textured effect.
The design of the façade of the rock-climbing center is based on the imposing silhouette of the Manaraga mountain that is commonly known as the most beautiful peak of the Urals ridge. The building is coated with perforated panels that repeat the famous shape of the famous Manaraga mountain ridge (which translates from one of the local languages as “a bear’s paw”): in the daylight, the silhouette of the mountain is formed at the expense of the black dots set against the white background, while in the evening, when the lights are on inside, the network becomes sort of translucent, and one can see from the outside everything that goes on inside. The rock-climbing complex in the Kontur Park is designed not only for the physical training or the employees alone: this will be quite a serious facility even capable of hosting international competitions.

“We tried to create not just a research and development center but a creative space, a home for talents, and make it as effective, as monumental, and as imposing as possible” – concludes Nikolai Makarov. It is this kind of project that most adequately answers to the atmosphere and the needs of Russia’s largest international software company, in whose walls creative juices flow, and the main asset is the people that work here.
Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects
Copyright: © T+T architects
Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects
Copyright: © T+T architects
Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects
Copyright: © T+T architects
Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects
Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects
Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects
Kontur Park, Ekaterinburg © Т+Т Architects
None


25 July 2018

Written by:

Lilya Aronova
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov
Headlines now
​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.
​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.
Color and Line
The new successful techniques developed by A.Len for designing a kindergarten under budget constraints: the mosaic of irregular windows and working with color.
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 Countdown
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.
White Town
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.
Pedagogical Architecture
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.
​Rational Arrangement
In this article, we are examining a complex of buildings and interiors of the first stage of the project that has recently become extremely popular – the Kommunarka clinic.
​Parallel Universe
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.
​Breakwater
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.
​Waves of Sound
The conceptual design of a music school: proximity to an Alvar Aalto building, expressive organics, and an attempt to draw public attention to a “low-profile” competition.
​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.
​Wicker Vitality
Next to the Dubrovka metro station, ADM has designed a Vitality housing complex with a polychrome mixture of Klinker brick on its ridged facades.
​Freedom Factory
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.
​A New Unit
The housing city block within an IT park: Archimatika is combining innovative technologies with a human-friendly scale, and a cozy environment.
​Next to the Theater
On the Zemlyanoi Val Street, left of the entrance to the automotive tunnel underneath the Taganskaya Square, in front of the Taganka Theater, and next to the side end of Chocolate housing complex, the eight-story Novotel building, designed by Pavel Andreev, is being completed.