По-русски

An Open House School

Designed by Archimatika, the gymnasium A+ on the territory of Kiev’s housing complex “Comfort Town” is remarkable not only for its architecture that can best be described as a “friendly fortress” but also for its openness: it is designed in such a way that both students and their parents can have a comfortable time here, and other children and adults as well.

Alyona Kuznetsova

Written by:
Alyona Kuznetsova
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov

12 October 2018
Object
mainImg

The gymnasium A+ opened its doors on the territory of the housing complex “Comfort Town”, also designed by Archimatika. This place also features yet another project designed by this firm: the complex of “Academy of Modern Education A+”, which consists of a kindergarten, a school of fine arts, and a junior high school. Gymnasium A+ will teach students from third to twelfth grade.

From a formal standpoint, a gymnasium or a high school is one of the “necessary evils” for the developers that you cannot avoid building in order to provide the required amount of student places for a residential area. Originally, it was planned that the place would get a regular state-run high school but it turned out that the city had no funds to enter it in its books – and then KAN Development invited a private school to be accommodated here. Ultimately, the housing complex ended up getting one of the best educational institutions in Kiev in all respects: in terms of architecture, educational program, and technical equipment.

Gymnasium A+, project © Archimatika
Gymnasium A+, project © Archimatika


The architects chose the location at the edge of “Comfort Town” – at the crossing of Berezneva and Vifleemskaya streets. Not far away, there is a railroad line that by default gave a 100-meter sanitary protection zone. Because of this, the construction could only be carried out on a small strip of land but on the other hand there was a large vacant territory around it, on which the architects made a park, playgrounds, sports fields, and a stadium. Calculating the insolation requirements, the architects came to the most efficient possible form – a square-plan building with a courtyard.

Gymnasium A+, project. The master plan © Archimatika


The architects wanted to make their gymnasium building look pristine – not only for the sake of contrast with the bright-colored houses of “Comfort Town” but also in order to highlight the fundamentality of education as such. At the same time, it was meant to look friendly and open. All of these tasks are solved by the form, color, and materials used.

The budget did not allow the architects to make the façades 100% stone, so they had to look for a compromise. According to the architects, the only suitable kind of stucco that could do the trick was Baumit: “because of the naturally chaotic inclusions of black and gray”. The stone was also selected to match the stucco: ultimately, they settled for the Armenian basalt – this material is not really widely spread and recognizable, and, therefore, as the authors say, it does not bring any associations with museums or memorials. As one of the chief architects of the project, Olga Chernova, put it, this stone is “soft and friendly, just like Armenians are who tend to treat everyone as part of their family”. Yet another shade of gray is given by the metallic gabled roof.

The first floor is executed of prominent chunks of basalt – the massive foundation, like the ruins of some ancient monastery, from which rock-face stuccoed tiles of varying thickness sprout upwards.

Gymnasium A+, construction, yard © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction, yard © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction, yard © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction, yard © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction, yard © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Making the building completely gray was something that the architects were unable to do – because they had to place on the main façade the marsala-colored A+ logo. It turned out that it looked quite harmonious, and then the architects added some color over the entire façade – they used the ultra-opaque paint of the same color to paint the window frames.

Gymnasium A+, project © Archimatika


The reserved and pristine image of the gymnasium that the architects came up with automatically set before them the task of “making the building look as unlike Château d’If as possible”, making it calm but not frowning, noble-looking but not gloomy. Rather, according to the authors’ idea, the outline of the gabled roof must bring associations with mountains, the arch must bring associations with a cave; maybe even evoke some romantic cinematic and literary pictures of meeting your mentor – like in Star Wars and in many other films and books.

Gymnasium A+, project © Archimatika


As for the main façade of the gymnasium, from an almost “blind” wall it switches over to a “crystal” stained glass window almost the entire height of the building, then it gets slit by the classroom windows, and then follows a 25-meter span of an unsupported arch – it invites and almost sucks you right into the yard with an amphitheater. It is planned that the yard will host school assemblies, concerts, performances by the student theater, and sometimes even lessons.

The windows of the first floor on the main façade belong to the parents’ cafeteria, separated from the school premises by an access system. Next to it, there is a library that has its own individual exit into the courtyard – should such need arise, the library can also be shut out from the rest of the school for conducting public events, coaching seminars, book presentations and open readings in it. According to the architects and the school administration’s plans, the library must become the cultural “hub” of the entire neighborhood. Also, on the first floor, there is a FIFA-certified gym, a cafeteria, an open-space teachers’ common room, a cloakroom, a first-aid station, and a few rooms of computer science and technology.

Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


The second floor has an auditorium for 200 people in it, a gym, classrooms of mathematics, chemistry, physics and biology. One of the wings is occupied by the junior high – the third and fourth grade students will have a recreation area of their own – they will be able to roll about on the grass, hide in a “cabin” or swing from the lianas.

Gymnasium A+, construction. The interior of the playroom © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


On the third floor, there is an art studio, a multifunctional black box rehearsal hall, and a lecture hall with 150 seats that can be easily turned into a movie theater. On all of the floors, the corridors create a closed-circuit quadrant around the classrooms and rehearsal halls. The interior design was developed in collaboration between Archimatika and Svoya Studio.

Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


The school has an autonomous system of heating and air conditioning: underneath the football field, there are 170 wells for a geothermal heat pump. The street lights work on photovoltaic batteries; the parking lot has sockets for EV’s. There is also a small greenhouse and a vegetable garden on the territory of the gymnasium. According to the leader of the creative team Alexander Popov, the energy efficient solutions are not just a tribute to fashion. Since Ukraine raised the utility tariffs, such things have started bringing return on investment, and the demand for them is on the rise.

Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky


Gymnasium A+, construction © Archimatika. Photograph © Alexander Angelovsky




One of the main features of A+ that was implemented, among other things, by architectural means, is its openness. The lecture hall designed for a round of two or three classes hosts presentations by TV anchors, statesmen, artists, and athletes who lead lectures or do seminars. The auditorium, which, should such need arise, can be shut off from the other premises and used as a chamber theater, its sound and lighting systems conforming to the applicable standards. It is planned that this will be the place for performances given by the students and by the artist of the theater laboratory “Review”. The 60x40 meters football field will be used as the home arena by the youth football club “Vulkan”. In summer, the school will be turned into a summer camp full of various creative studios from the kids. The parents will be able to make use of the cafeteria, in the evenings – of the sports fields and the coach’s services; they can also sign up for the theater studio. The school also invites them to other activities and events – like the Vienna Opera Ball, for which you need to learn how to waltz and come up with costumes of your own design. The residents of “Comfort Town”, incidentally, get a little discount for their kids’ education.

***

Designing school buildings seem to become the by-specialty of Archimatika. This, although it makes perfect sense, is a rather rare case: like it was said above, schools and kindergartens are often designed by the architects simply because they have to be there, without getting the attention that they deserve. But then again, comparing private educational institutions and state-run ones is not quite a correct thing to do, the educational program of the latter still lagging behind the modern pedagogy.

In Kiev, Archimatika has designed and built the корпус Печерской международной школы and the already-mentioned Academy of Modern Education A+ for younger kids. The company is planning to build its next school in “Fayna Town” residential area, then there will be a sports school in the housing complex “Respublika”, both under the brand of A+.
Gymnasium A+, construction. Crosswise sectioin view © Archimatika
Gymnasium A+, construction. Longitudinal sectioin view © Archimatika
Gymnasium A+, construction. Plan of the 1st floor © Archimatika
Gymnasium A+, construction. Plan of the 2nd floor © Archimatika
Gymnasium A+, construction. Plan of the 3rd floor © Archimatika
Gymnasium A+, construction. Layout of the 1st floor © Archimatika
Gymnasium A+, construction. Layout of the 2nd floor © Archimatika
None


12 October 2018

Alyona Kuznetsova

Written by:

Alyona Kuznetsova
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov
comments powered by HyperComments
Headlines now
​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.
​The Wavelength
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.
​Christmas Skyscrapers
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.
​Parade Order
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.
​Super Pergola
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.
​Dialectical Manifesto
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”.
​Asimov’s Dream
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.
​Near-Earth Space
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.
​The Ecological Bend
A story about how plans for laying a road on the border of a park turned into plans for saving the ecosystem and improving the walking trails.
​Kasimir from Kemerovo
The project of the branch of the Russian Museum for the Siberian Art Cluster is based on the ideas of Suprematism: basic shapes, and dynamism of color and form.
​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.