The recently built housing complex designed by ADM architects vividly shows how to make a whole city block out of but three towers, how to turn something that’s virtually flat into something volumetric, make houses of the same height look like something diverse, houses of odd height – like something uniformed, and integrate a maximum amount of sky and verdure into the environment that you create.
Written by: Translated by: Anton Mizonov
17 October 2018
The new residential complex PerovSky built by MR Group developers is precisely the case when being located far away from the main transport arteries is definitely an advantage. Yes, you’ll have to walk a good 15 minutes to the Perovo metro station but the neighborhood literally swims in verdure: the Terletsky Park with its ponds and 300-year-old oaks is but a two-minutes’ walk away, on the other side lies the Izmailovsky Park, and on the third side lies the territory of the local clinic turned to this territory with its yard, which is essentially also a park.
At the same time, the yard and the street spaces are clearly separated – the ADM leaders Andrey Romanov and Ekaterina Kuznetsova are convinced that we as human beings are a lot more comfortable living in such a format. The Moscow government actively supports such city block division technique, meaning, the technique of building a closed-contour of houses of approximately equal height. However, the authors claim that if this height exceeds 13 floors, the feeling of comfort and proportion evaporates, the sky becomes scarce, and the houses oppressive. It’s a lot more honest in this case to build a composition of towers positioned in a freehand fashion – in this particular project there are three of them 23 stories each – and mark the border of the “private” and “public” spaces with a common podium.
This way, in the middle of the PerovSky land site, with its face to the Terletsky Park, appeared the first comparatively private yard that is also vehicle-free: leaving one’s car in the underground parking garage beneath this same yard, one will need to cross it in order to get from the central lobby into one of the two further towers. And as for the large public area, it is organized precisely next to the lobby: this is the point, to which the architects oriented the entrances of the podium’s premises designed to host shops, service centers and cafés. An individual entrance was also given to the inbuilt kindergarten. Its own playgrounds and sports fields on the other side of the complex form yet another functional block. And, if anything, the sky is something that PerovSky has in abundance: it can be seen both from the sunlit yard on the ground level and from the residential floors soaring above the trees. Even the towers proudly bear the names of constellations: Pegasus, Phoenix, and Aquarius.
By the way, the articulated height set a certain bar for the “fifth façade”, i.e. the podium. And, although the architects were ultimately unable to make its roof green as they had originally planned, the use of tiles and pebbles in the decoration, and, more importantly, camouflaging all of the utility lines with smart-looking semitransparent cylinders, turned the flat surface of the podium into a natural part of the landscape.
To a large extent, achieving this effect was possible thanks to the fact that the landscapes surrounding their housing complexes is something that ADM always design themselves, not trusting anyone else with this work. And the circles (we’ll mention in passing that this was the term that Plato used for all heavenly bodies) – sometimes forming complex molecular structures, sometimes running away in all directions from tree trunks like circles on the water from a thrown rock, sometimes covering the ventilation shafts, sometimes growing like green hills from the ground, and sometimes “cutting” into the podium line – turned out to be that simple, yet effective stylistic device that formed the harmonious living environment so pleasing to the eye (and all of the other human senses). As a bonus, the curvilinear “cuts” in the stylobate visually compensated for its length and generated apartments with unconventional floor plans: here, the second floor ultimately became the residential one. Generally, the apartments range from 32 square meter studios to 5-room apartments with an area of 172 square meters.
As for the vertical planes, the “diversity” – which has virtually already become one of the common decencies of modern architecture – is achieved by the architects by using quite different techniques. As a general rule, designing such middle-class complexes, architects settle for various types of decoration materials without changing the façade patterns. However, what made ADM one of the leading Moscow firms specializing in designing housing complexes, is the fact that it works with materials on a much subtler level, and even “flat” architecture takes on an extra dimension in their hands. In one of the light towers, at the expense of the gray inserts, the contours of the windows look unpredictable as if they were shifted off-center, even though all of the apartments feature the same ceilings 3 meters high.
The two other towers sport corner windows and specially designed metallic bars: at some places they stick to the wall like little decorative balconies, and at some places stand out like real balconies – but in reality they are essentially screens for the air conditioning units. The Klinker brick “makes a turn” going inside the windows – and this also makes the façade surface look deep and volumetric. And as for the façades of the stylobate, they are articulated by vertical wooden lamellae – all standing at a different distance from one another, like tree trunks in some wild-growing coppice – like in the Terletsky Park, for that matter. And all of this ostentatious lack of rhythm clearly shows the virtuoso art of executing architectural syncopated “jazz”, in which each seemingly improvised passage is carefully calculated and studiously rehearsed.
But then again, we cannot entirely rule out the possibility that the main melody was overheard from the Perovo skies.
Buyan and the Court Quarter
The news about cancellation of the Tuchkov Buyan park has been stirring the minds of people of St. Petersburg for a week already. In the absence of any verified specific information, we discussed the situation with the architects of the park and the Court Quarter: Nikita Yavein and Evgeny Gerasimov.
The Possibility of Flight
The project of the airport, which ASADOV Architects developed for the city of Tobolsk, and which won in the architectural competition, was not implemented. However, it is interesting as an example of designing an airport building of a very small scale, where the main challenge is the optimal organization of space and infrastructure without compromising the imagery component.
Built in the town of Pushkino in the Moscow area, the “Turgeneva 13” housing complex, while fitting in with the surrounding context, differs from it with the rhythmic austerity of its dual composition, a slight wave of the façade, and the color design, in which one can see two images, winter and summer, both “growing” from the specifics of the place.
A Shell by the Sea
Designing the Sports Palace that will determine the development of the entire northern part of Derbent, ASADOV Architects turned to the architectural legacy of Dagestan, local lore, and ancient layers of history.
Karen Saprichyan is wishing everyone a merry Christmas, presenting a series of letter-shaped skyscrapers. The architect has long since been working on this theme, and has calendars of various years in stock. His latest development is a group of towers designed for the city of NEOM, which will be built in Saudi Arabia.
The three brick blocks of the “River Park” housing complex gaze at the water with their terraces. Each block forms a backdrop and two wings, while the residents-only yards turn into “stages” perceived from the river. The landscaped embankment, accessible to all the city people, complements the hierarchy of private, semi-private and public city life that is formed here.
Pompidou Inside Out
Renzo Piano and his GES-2 have already been compared to Ridolfo Aristotele Fioravanti and his Cathedral of the Assumption. And for a good reason: GES-2 also stuns you with its grace and loftiness, but ultimately turns out to be the richest collection of recognizable motifs from an early masterpiece by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, the George Pompidou Center in Paris. These motifs are fused into the grid of Shukhov-esque structures, painted white, and they create a dialogue between 1910, 1971, and 2021, built on references (not devoid of a poster-like quality) to the main masterpiece. The basilica-shaped space of the former power station is taken apart virtually just like the museum, in accordance with the concept by Teresa Mavica.
Next to Lidval and Nobel
The housing complex designed by Anatoly Stolyarchuk in Neishlotsky Alley: tactful change of scale, tribute to the memory of the place, Finnish additions to the functional typology – specifically, saunas in the apartments – and plans for receiving a BREEAM certificate.
And stabbed it with a knife
The leader of Coop Himmelb(l)au, Wolf D. Prix, presented three projects that he is currently doing in Russia: a complex in Sevastopol, Crimea, which, as it turned out, a western architect could build bypassing the sanctions, because this is a cultural project; a museum and theater center in Kemerovo, and the “SKA Arena”, which is built in the stead of the destroyed Sports and Concert Complex in St. Petersburg – during the presentation the latter was symbolized by a round cake that the architect eventually cut.
The Thin Matter
The house named “Medny 3.14” (“Copper 3.14”) is composed of two textures, each of which resembles in its own way some kind of precious fabric, and of three units, each of which is oriented towards one cardinal point. The architecture of the house absorbs the nuances of the context, summing them up and turning them into a single rhythmic structure. In this article, we are examining the new, just-completed, house designed by Sergey Skuratov in Donskaya Street.
The new business center built in Moscow’s district of Presnya in the 1st Zemelny Lane is all about technology and sustainability. Its streamlined shapes and white facade grid are combined with a new version of vertical greenery: the green of wild grapes, placed at a distance from the facade, instead of arguing with the “pergola” grid, sets it off by contrast.
Lightness of Being
Blooming Sakura, a campfire party, kids splashing in a swimming pool – no, these are not pictures from a vacation, but everyday life going on in the yards of Kiev’s housing complex “Fayna Town”. In this issue, we are examining how the utopia designed by the architects is wired, and what they did to make it a reality.
A Triangular Folded Structure
The project of the new terminal of the Muraviev-Amursky airport in Blagoveshchensk offers architecture based on a modular form – endowed with a special imagery, it becomes the basis both for the carrying structures of the building and the plastique of the facade, at the same time reverberating in the interior design.
The Breath of the East
Designing a residential complex for Tashkent, GENPRO is turning to traditional architecture and modern trends, aiming at emotionality and efficiency: the panjar window lattices and mishrabias are neighboring on vertical greenery and parametric ornaments, while the theme buildings do on a cotton alley and an oriental bazaar.
The Openwork XX-Construction Set
The yard of the Architecture Museum on Moscow’s Vozdvizhenka hosts an installation by DNK ag. It is timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the company, and was originally presented at Arch Moscow. The art object is expected to stay in the yard of the museum for one year and set a new tradition – a regularly renewed exhibition project called “Modern Architecture in the yard of MUAR”.
The Spinning Vibe
The pavilion designed by Sergey Tchoban for the World EXPO 2020 in Dubai is a bright and integral architectural statement, whose imagery can be traced back to avant-garde graphic experiments by Jacob Chernikhov, but allows for multiple interpretations. The pavilion looks both like a dome temple, a spinning “Planet Russia”, and the head of a matryoshka doll. Still more interestingly, the core of the exposition is a “brain”. In this article, we take a closer look at the interpretations and the subtleties of the implementation.
Tolerant Aesthetics of Terraforming
The World Expo is a gigantic event; it is difficult to give it one definition or cover it at a glance. All the more so – such an ambitious and record-breaking fair as the one that is now open in Dubai despite all the pandemic restrictions. By no means claiming to present an all-rounded review, we are making an attempt to examine Expo 2020, where signs of aesthetic tolerance of a developer project begin to loom behind the imposing-looking “wings” of “star” architects and delights from space exploration.
The Town in the Snuff-box
The new academic building of Cooperation School in Moscow’s Taganka, designed and built by ASADOV Architects, is a compact volume, at the same time filled with functions and impressions. It easily combines classrooms, a theater, a cafeteria, a gym, and a double-height atrium with an open library and an exit to the terrace – virtually everything that you expect to see in a modern school.
The Northern Versailles
On the bank of the magnificent Vychegda River, in a picturesque location six kilometers away from Syktyvkar, the capital of the Komi republic, the renowned neoclassical architect Mikhail Filippov has designed the town of Yugyd-Choi in the traditional aesthetics inspired by the center of St. Petersburg. The customer Elena Soboleva, the head of the Syktyvkar Housing Construction Fund, sees her mission in making Yugyd-Choi the hallmark of the republic.
Analysis and Synthesis
The project of the housing complex “Krasin”, designed for the historical center of St. Petersburg, and situated in a very obliging place – next to the Mining University designed by Voronikhin, yet bordering on an industrial area – became the result of a thorough analysis of the specifics of historical construction on the Vasilyevsky Island, and a subsequent synthesis with avoidance of direct stylization, yet forming a recognizable silhouette, resonant with the “old town”.
Tatiana Guk: “A document that determines the development of the city has to be flexible”
In this issue, we are talking to the director of the Genplan Institute of Moscow about trends that determine the future, about the 70-year history of the Institute, which is celebrating an anniversary this year, about electronic computing in the field of urban planning and about international experience accumulated in this area, as well as about how the Institute is involved with other cities, and about the perfect document for the city development, which has to be flexible and strategic.
The high-rise housing complex MOD, whose construction has begun in Moscow’s district of Maryina Roshcha next to the site, on which the new Russian Railways headquarters will be built, is responding to the “central” context of the future city surroundings, and at the same time is positioned by the architects as a “manifesto of Modernist minimalist principles in architecture”.
A project by DNK ag won in a competition for the science campus of the National Center for Physics and Mathematics in the city of Sarov, conducted by ROSATOM corporation in collaboration with the Moscow State University, Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Kurchatov Institute.
The new terminal of the Leonov Airport in Kemerovo was built in record-breaking time, despite the pandemic. It became one of the important factors for the rapid development of the city, visually reflecting its dedication to the first spacewalk, both in the interiors and on the facades. Its main features are the “starry sky” effect and overall openness.
The Spiral Approach
The school building in the city of Nur-Sultan, designed by Vera Budko and Anton Nadtochiy from beginning to end – from concept to working documentation – became the embodiment of the architects’ method for creating a modern educational environment, which the ATRIUM architects have been developing for years. Its fundamentals include creating an inspiring environment that motivates you to create. This is why the new school received a shape of an ornamental golden spiral that symbolizes ascension to knowledge; on the inside, the building is a compound and multifunctional “city within a city” with multilevel atriums, amphitheaters, and varying routes.
Stream and Lines
Stepan Liphart’s projects of Art Deco villas demonstrate technical symbolism in combination with a subtle reference to the 1930s. One of the projects is a “paper” one; the others are designed for real customers: a top manager, an art collector, and a developer.
On the Bank of a Very Quiet River
The project of landscaping the territory of the residential complex NOW in Moscow’s Nagatinskaya Valley goes beyond the limits of its task and looks more like a modern park: with viewing platforms, an embankment, spaces different in their moods, and thought-out scenarios for visitors aged between 0 and 80.