​Sky. Circles. Syncopes.

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.
PerovSky housing complex © ADM
Multifunctional building with residential and other kinds of premises on the Shosse Entuziastov. Master plan. Project, 2015 © ADM
PerovSky housing complex © ADM
PerovSky housing complex © ADM
PerovSky housing complex © ADM
PerovSky housing complex © ADM
PerovSky housing complex © ADM
PerovSky housing complex © ADM
PerovSky housing complex © ADM
PerovSky housing complex © ADM
PerovSky housing complex © ADM
PerovSky housing complex © ADM
PerovSky housing complex © ADM
PerovSky housing complex © ADM
PerovSky housing complex © ADM
PerovSky housing complex © ADM
Multifunctional building with residential and other kinds of premises on the Shosse Entuziastov. Plan of the first floor. Project, 2015 © ADM
Multifunctional building with residential and other kinds of premises on the Shosse Entuziastov. Plan of the typical floor Project, 2015 © ADM

17 October 2018

Written by:

Translated by:
Anton Mizonov
Headlines now
​Streamline for City Canyons
Stepan Liphart has designed two houses for two small land sites situated in the area surrounding the Varshavsky Railway Station, which is being intensively developed now. The sites are situated close but not next to each other, and they are different, yet similar: the theme is the same but it is interpreted in different ways. In this issue, we are examining and comparing both projects.
​The Eastern Frontier
“The Eastern Arc” is one of the main land resources of Kazan’s development, concentrated in the hands of a single owner. The Genplan Institute of Moscow has developed a concept for the integrated development of this territory based on an analytical transport model that will create a comfortable living environment, new centers of attraction, and new workplaces as well.
A School of Our Time
On the eve of the presentation of the new book by ATRIUM, dedicated to the design of schools and other educational facilities, based on the architects’ considerable experience, as well as expert judgments, we are examining the Quantum STEM school building, constructed according to their project in Astana. Furthermore, this building is planned to be the first one to start a new chain. The architects designed it in full accordance with modern standards but sometimes they did break away from them – only to confirm the general development rules. For example, there are two amphitheaters in the atrium, and there is an artificial hill in the yard that is meant to make the flat terrain of the Kazakhstan steppe more eventful.
The Fluffy Space
Designing the passenger terminal of the Orenburg airport, ASADOV architects continue to explore the space theme that they first introduced in Saratov and Kemerovo airports. At the same time, the architects again combine the global and the local, reflecting topics inspired by the local conceptual context. In this case, the building is “covered” by an Orenburg downy shawl – an analogy that is recognizable enough, yet not literal; some will see the reference and some won’t.
The White Fitness Center
The white health and fitness center, designed by Futura Architects at the entrance to St. Petersburg’s New Piter residential complex, provides the developing area not only with functional but also with sculptural diversity, livening up the rows of the brick city blocks with the whiteness of its seamless facades, cantilevered structures, and dynamic inclined lines.
The New Dawn
In their project of a technology park to be built on the grounds of “Integrated Home-Building Factory 500” in Tyumen Oblast – the biggest in Russia – the HADAA architects preserve not just the industrial function of the giant hangar built in the late 1980s and 90% of its structures, but also respond to its imagery. They also propose a “gradient” approach to developing the available areas: from open public ones to staff-only professional spaces. The goal of this approach is to turn the technology park into the driver for developing the business function between the industrial zones and the future residential area in accordance with the Integrated Land Development program.
​Tame Hills for New Residents
T+T Architects have reported that they have completed the landscaping project for the yard of the first stage of Alexandrovsky Garden housing complex in Ekaterinburg – the landscape complements the contextual architecture, tailored for the buyers’ preferences and downtown standards, with bold neo modernist master strokes and lush and diverse vegetation.
The Crystal of the City Block
The typology and plastique of large housing complexes move with the times, and you can sometimes find new subtleties in the scope of seemingly familiar solutions. The Sky Garden complex combines two well-known themes, forming a giant residential area consisting of tall slender towers, placed at the perimeter of a large yard, in which a crossroads of two pedestrian promenades is “dissolved”.
Sunshine, Air, and Water
The construction of the “Solnechny” (“Sunny”) summer camp, designed by ARENA project institute, has been completed, the largest summer camp within the legendary Artek seaside resort for children. It was conceived still in Soviet time, but it was not implemented. The modern version surprises you with sophisticated engineering solutions that are combined with a clear-cut structure: together, they generate Asher-esque spaces.
​Art Deco at the Edge of Space
The competition project by Stepan Liphart – a high-end residential complex executed in a reserved classicist style in close proximity to the Kaluga Space Museum – responds equally well to the context and to the client’s brief. It is moderately respectable, moderately mobile and transparent, and it even digs a little into the ground to comply with strict height restrictions, without losing proportions and scale.
Going, Going, Gone!
The housing complex “Composers’ Residences” has been built in accordance with the project by Sergey Skuratov, who won the international competition back in 2011. It all began from the image search and “cutting off all spare”, and then implementing the recognizable Skuratov architecture. It all ended, however, in tearing down the buildings of the Schlichterman factory, whose conservation was stipulated by all the appropriate agencies prior to approving Skuratov’s project. This story seems to be educational and important for understanding the history of all the eleven years, during which the complex was designed and built.
The Life of Iron
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​And the Brook is Flowing
ASADOV Architects have designed a master plan for developing a residential area at the outskirts of Kaliningrad: a regular grid of housing blocks is enriched by large-scale public facilities, the main “artery” of the new area being the fortification channel that regains its original function.
Off We Go!
The new terminal of the Tomsk airport is being designed by ASADOV bureau. The architects keep on developing its identity, building the imagery upon the inventions of Nikolai Kamov, whose name the airport bears. The result is laconic, light, and, as always, levitating.
Maximum Flexibility
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The Savelovsky Axis
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Parametric Waves
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The Multitone
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Refinement No Longer Relevant
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The Comb of Strelna
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A Tectonic Shift
For several years now, Futura Architects have been working with the “New Peter” residential area in the south of St. Petersburg. In this article, we are covering their most recent project – a house, in which the architects’ architectural ideas peacefully coexist with the limitations of comfort-class housing, producing a “multilayered” effect that looks very attractive for this typology.
Three “Green” Stories
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​The Slabs of Bagration
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​Preserving the History of Clean Ponds
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​Living in a Forest
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A Laboratory for Life
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The Logic of Life
The light installation, designed by Andrey Perlach in the atrium of Moscow's Federation Tower, balances on the edge between a mathematical order of construction and the diversity of perception when viewed from different angles.
An Architect in a Metaverse
In this interview, we talked to the participants of the festival of creative industries G8 about why metaverses are our tomorrow’s everyday routine, and how architects can already influence it today.