Preserving the “Fridge”
- contemporary architecture
A concept project that provides for preserving the non-protected cold-storage warehouse on the Dubininskaya Street, located in the very center of the rapidly growing Paveletskaya industrial zone.
Developed by Pavel Andreev architectural studio, the sketch concept of the “Fridge” technology park situated on the territory of “Moscow Cold Storage Facility ¹3” on the Dubininskaya Street is interesting because of its its unconventional approach to renovating a piece of non-protected legacy of the prewar architecture.
It is planned that on the territory of the former cold storage facility will host a large A-class office complex with a total area of about 75000 square meters – to replace the to-be-demolished brick building of a cold storage warehouse built, evidently, in the early 1920’s, just as the factory building looking very similar to it, located 400 meters to the east (Zhukov Proezd, 8), and dated 1924. Their architecture is interesting because it continues, albeit in a slightly simplified form, the traditions of the brick industrial romanticism of the 1910’s – in a later period, closer to the end of the period of the “New Economic Policy”, clearly showing the ambiguity of the 1920’s that we traditionally associate with constructivism. Besides, both buildings are strangely beautiful in their slightly wild brutalism, especially the second one, overgrown with yellow moss, which is (as some people claim) is the consequence of the presence of a chemical production facility that once occupied the building. In a word, the story of these buildings is rather fuzzy, and neither of them has a protected status – just as (and this does come as a surprise) the nearby constructivist club building named after A.I. Mikoyan. These buildings are not listed in the “Red Book” of the Preservation group Arkhnadzor either, and generally there is little information about them either in books or online. To be quite frank, it seems that the buildings of Cold Storage Facility #3 are very likely to disappear before anyone will ever want to study their history.
The Zhukov Drive, 8; the building of the chemical factory that later on belonged to Cold Storage Facility #3
However, currently we are speaking about the “Fridge”, the brick building standing at Dubininskaya Street, 41, Building 1. According to the brief of the A-Class office center and the technology park, it was due to be torn down. Meanwhile, seeing the luxurious – by the modern standards of heritage sites – building that looked like a temple of northern brick gothic, Pavel Andreev decided to propose to keep it or at least the memory about it and offered two options to the client: the first option consisted in preserving the “box” of the building, the second one consisted in keeping at least two walls (or at least regenerating the red-brick volume, even though such an idea is questionable, but still something like “coup de grâce” – the architect says. In this case, some part of the “Fridge” or at least the memory of it will be included in the composition of the grand-scale office buildings.
If the building of the warehouse is preserved in its entirety, its brick walls will be punctured with windows in order to provide the future offices with enough sunlight; the buttresses adjoining the walls will provide the framework that will visually “hold the building together” and will definitely indicate its relation to the brick industrial architecture; the decor, scarce but still impressive in its unique way, is also preserved. Currently, the building is divided into seven floors each four meters high; the project proposed to replace the old intermediate floors with new ones, at the same time keeping the original elevation marks. The first and the minus first floors are occupied by public functions, there is also an underground parking garage – in some versions, it appears directly underneath the “Fridge”, in some versions it skirts the foundation walls without losing its square footage.
The silhouette of the pitched roof of the “Fridge” is also preserved, there is a broad (yet still stepping back from the edge) glass lintel block growing up from it, which supports a horizontal “beam” that covers the brick hangar – in some options it stops like a cantilevered structure on the west end, in some – rests on a vertical unit on the side of the Dubininskaya Street. One way or another, although the modern building “embraces” its predecessor, it still does not devour the old building, rather serving as its frame, exposing the brick façades both from the side of the Zhukova Drive and from the side of the Dubininskaya Street, from where the side wall of the building can be seen, and where the architect is planning to make the main entrance between two buildings belonging to the same epoch, and also worthy of clearance, reconstruction and development.
Yet another new high-rise volume is situated west of the brick building with a maximum height mark of 75 meters. It was planned that its top floors from 14 to 17 would be occupied by apartments. In one of the versions, the tower shoots out an additional cantilevered structure on the level of the second floor – on the whole the modern part of the complex looks rather energetic and even flamboyant, as if making up for the idea of preserving the “undeserving” historical building, by sporting “barcode” black and white stripes, ostentatiously rectangular contours, an abundance of cantilevered structures, and “flying rectangles” in the spirit of Leonidov. In a word, this contrastive combination of modern and historical architecture yielded quite a European, and (to be sure) Dutch concept in terms of its approach.
The concept was developed by the architectural firm GrAn in July of this year at the commission of GALS development as a search for one of the possible options for the development of the land site, and, as became recently known, it will not be implemented.