Designing “P-house” on the Dmitrovskoye Highway, the architects of “Fourth Dimension” embellished the small-house genre with a few themes of big architecture. The client and builder granted the authors Vsevolod Medvedev and Mikhail Kanunnikov absolute freedom of action and implemented their plan to the maximum quality.
Written by: Lara Kopylova Translated by: Anton Mizonov
This is rarely the case when a client trusts the architect one hundred percent and does not try to turn the construction of the house into a form of psychotherapy. But “Fourth Dimension” was lucky. “The customer himself is a very good builder –Mikhail Kanunnikov says – We discussed the layout and defined the general direction. We were told that the house should be simple in shape, orthogonal, of high-quality materials, with brick veneer. As an example, the client cited the brick factory “Stanislavsky”. After which the customer withdrew”.
The house turned out to be strict, orthogonal, but far from simple. The Mix Stanislavsky, consisting of eight types of bricks of different colors and shapes, among which there was even a curvilinear shape, was taken as a sample for wall facing. The architects offered their mix of German Klinker bricks. They also employed a special type of brickwork: the brick is suspended and stitched – the owner of the house himself took an active part in perfecting this technology and achieved a high quality of craft. The same quality is read throughout the whole house: in the glass fences of balconies and terraces, metal structures, stone cladding, furniture and other equipment custom-designed by architects.
The house is intended for permanent residence of three generations of the family. The land is located near the village of Slavino, founded by the renowned eye surgeon Fedorov, near the ski slope on Dmitrovka, where the authors would ski and snowboard during their college years. The plot is sloping towards a ravine, a stream flowing below. The house essentially consists of three parts – the main building, the guard house with a garage on the first floor, and a bath. On the master plan, the buildings form an “L”, creating a natural boundary for a courtyard. The main building stands at the top, on the western edge of the site, the recreational part with a bathhouse hangs over the stream, with magnificent views that one can admire from the height of the slope. The upper part of the yard is a lawn designed for outdoor activities, the lower part is a vegetable garden for the older folks.
The layout of the main house is built as a suite of rooms located along the courtyard and having exits to it. There is a front kitchen with a wine room, a double-height dining room, a fireplace and an office. A corridor separates the front suite from the older generation and guest bedrooms; access to the bedroom part can be blocked if it is necessary for someone to relax. The corridor ends on two sides with windows, i.e., the house gets light from north to south here. The central double-height dining room with a huge stained glass window overlooks the courtyard, and there a staircase with a window across from it. Thus, the sunlight “pierces” the house crosswise: from north to south and from west to east. Another west-east light axis is located opposite the glass entrance, on the right side of the house, that is, the entrance is “to the light”. So the spaces do not just flow into each other – a whole dedicated “light” scenario has been written here.
On the second floor there are master and children’s bedrooms, a master’s office, a gym, opening onto a double-height living room with a balcony. All the bedrooms are facing the courtyard with their windows to the floor and stanzas with glass fencing. And from one of the bedrooms you can go to a cantilevered balcony, which hangs over the main entrance suspended on cables. The cantilevered structure with a glass enclosure and a glass canopy is a very dramatic element in the composition of the house. In addition to underlining the entrance, it is an energetic gesture, an exclamation mark: not for the sake of function, but for the sake of aesthetics. There is a glass rectangle in the floor of the balcony. Again, not only to let in the light, but also for adrenaline: walking on the glass is invigorating.
In general, the composition of the house is quite curious. Despite the orthogonality and seeming simplicity, the house turned out to be very rich plastically, multilayered and even dramatic. Due to the selected building materials – dark brick, light limestone and ferrous metal, as well as glass, which is more likely to be responsible for dematerialization, for “pauses”, there are feelings of contrasting and mutual penetration of red and white volumes. This “war of red and white” creates a special intrigue. The surface itself is also interesting. The main courtyard facade reflects the internal structure, it has brick “projections” and glass gaps, the division corresponding to the rooms. The projections, in turn, are deepened with stanza balconies trimmed with black metal, as well as a black metal balcony-accent above the entrance.
To the right of the main building there is a guard house (of a slightly smaller height) lined with limestone. This is a conditional name because most of the second floor is essentially a billiard room with a bar and a balcony. It is facing the garden, just like the other rooms of the owners of the house, and the security room looks outward in accordance with its function. The space between the main building and the guard house is a kind of architectural feast for one’s eyes; it is complex, the authors admire the dialectic of mass and space, heavy and light, material and transparent, and flawless connection of different units. There is a feeling that the temperament of architects does not fit into the scale of a country house, and the same plastic themes could just as well be developed in a larger form.
In the sauna house, besides the sauna itself, there is a recreation room, changing rooms, summer and winter terraces. Its interior, in contrast with the dark brick of the façade, is dominated by light wood (oak and walnut). The stairs, doors, fireplace, and storage systems were designed by architects specifically for this house. Many elements of the interior are lined with oak panels. The floors are finished with solid wood and natural stone. This is a “masculine” interior: the emphasis is laid on the architectural elements, and not on draperies and decorations. According to Mikhail Kanunnikov, the client was very tactful of the architects’ work, and introduced his things into the house very delicately, so that even after a year of his life the architectural concept was preserved almost in its original form.
MasterMind: a Neural Network for Developers and Architects
Created by Genpro, this software allows you to generate within half an hour dozens of development and construction options in accordance with the set parameters. At the same time, however, being more focused on the technical aspects, the program does not exclude creative work, and can be used by architects for preparing projects with a subsequent data export to AutoCAD, Revit, and ArchiCAD.
Man and the City
Designing this large-scale housing complex, GAFA architects accentuated two types of public spaces: bustling streets with shops and cafes – and a totally natural yard, visually separated as much as possible from the city. Making the most out of the contrast, both work together to make the life of the residents of EVER housing complex eventful and diverse.
Andy Snow: “I aim for an architecture which is rational and poetic”
The British architect Andy Snow has recently become the chief architect at GENPRO Architects & Engineers. Projects, which Andy Snow did in the UK in collaboration with world-famous architectural firms, scored numerous international awards. In Russia, the architect took part in designing Moscow’s Stanislavsky Factory business center, iLove housing complex, and AFI2B business center on the 2nd Brestskaya Street. In our interview, Andy Snow compared the construction realities in Russia and the UK, and also shared his vision of architectural prospects in Russia.
The Living Growth
The grand-scale housing complex AFI PARK Vorontsovsky in Moscow’s southwest consists of four towers, a “slab” house, and a kindergarten building. Interestingly, the plastique of the residential buildings is quite active – they seem to be growing before your eyes, responding to the natural context, and first of all opening the views of the nearby park. As for the kindergarten building, it is cute and lyrical, like a little sugar house.
Sergey Skuratov: “A skyscraper is a balance of technology, economic performance, and aesthetic...
In March, two buildings of the Capital Towers complex were built up to a 300-meter elevation mark. In this issue, we are speaking to the creator of Moscow’s cutting-edge skyscrapers: about heights and proportions, technologies and economics, laconicism and beauty of superslim houses, and about the boldest architectural proposal of recent years – the Le Corbusier Tower above the Tsentrosoyuz building.
The Red Building
The area of Novoslobodskaya has received Maison Rouge – an apartment complex designed by ADM, which continues the wave of renovation, started by the Atmosphere business center, from the side of the Palikha Street.
The Uplifting Effect
The project of Ostankino Business Park was developed for the land site lying between two metro stations (one operating and the other in construction), and because of that its public space is designed to equally cater for the city people and the office workers. The complex stands every chance of becoming the catalyst for development of the Butyrsky area.
In this article, we are examining a rather rare and interesting case – two projects by Evgeny Gerasimov situated on one street and completed with a five years’ difference, presenting the perfect example of example for analyzing the overall trends and approaches practiced by the architectural company.
Raising the Yard
The housing complex Renome consists of two buildings: a modern stone house and a red-brick factory building of the end of the XIX century, reconstructed by measurements and original drafts. The two buildings are connected by an “inclined” yard – a rare, by Moscow standards, version of geoplastics that smoothly ascends to the roof of the stores lined up along a pedestrian street.
Hearing the Tune of the Past
The Church of the Beheading of John the Baptist in the park near the Novodevichy Convent was conceived in 2012 in honor of the 200th anniversary of the victory over Napoleon. However, instead of declamatory grandeur and “fanfare”, the architect Ilia Utkin presented a concentrated and prayerful mood, combined with a respectful attitude of this tent-shaped church, which also includes some elements of architecture of orders. The basement floor hosts a museum of excavations found on the site of the church.
The high-end residential complex STORY, situated near the Avtozavodskaya metro station and the former ZIL factory, is delicately inscribed in the contrastive context, while its shape, which combines a regular grid and a stunning “shift” of the main facade, seems to respond to the dramatic history of the place, at the same time, however, allowing for multiple interpretations.
Yards and Towers: the Samara Experiment
The project of “Samara Arena Park”, proposed by Sergey Skuratov, scored second place in the competition. The project is essentially based on experimenting with typology of residential buildings and gallery/corridor-type city blocks combined with towers – as well as on sensitive response to the context and the urge to turn the complex into a full-fledged urban space providing a wide range of functions and experiences.
The Fili Duo
The second phase of the Filicity housing complex, designed by ADM architects, is based on the contrast between a 57-story skyscraper 200 meters high and an 11-story brick house. The high-rise building sets a futuristic vector in Moscow housing architecture.
The Wall and the Tower
The OSA architects have been searching for solutions that could be opposed to the low-rise construction in the center of Khabarovsk, as well as an opportunity to say a new word in the discourse about mass housing.
An Office for Concentrating Ideas
T+T Architects have designed an office for a French IT company, where the employees in any point of the premises can discuss with their colleagues new ideas or even write them on the wall.
The Energy Family
The housing complex Symphony 34 will be built in Moscow’s Savelovsky district; it will consist of four towers from 36 to 54 stories high. Each of the towers has an image of its own, but they all are gathered into a single architectural ensemble – a fragment of a new high-rise urban space lying outside the Third Transport Ring.
The Fifth Element
The high-end residential development in the Vsevolozhsky Lane features a combination of expensive stone and metal textures, immersing them into a feast of ornaments. The house looks like a fantasy inspired by the theater of the Art Nouveau and Symbolism era; a kind of oriental fairy tale, which paradoxically allows it to avoid direct stylization and become a reflection of one of the aspects of modern Moscow life.
Springboards and Patios
The central element of the manor house in the village of Antonovka, designed by Roman Leonidov, is the inner yard with pergolas, meant to remind its owner about his vacations in exotic countries. The exposed wooden structures emphasize the soaring diagonals of single-pitched roofs.
Adding Up a Growing City
The housing quarter “1147” is located at the border between the old “Stalin” district in the north and the actively developing territories in the south. Its image responds to a difficult task: the compound brick facades of the neighboring sections are different, their height varying from 9 to 22 floors, and, if we are look from the street, it seems as though the front of the city development, consisting from long narrow elements, is forming some sophisticated array at this very moment in front of our eyes.
Agility of the Modular
In the Discovery housing complex that they designed, ADM architects proposed a modern version of structuralism: the form is based on modular cells, which, smoothly protruding and deepening, make the volumes display a kind of restrained flexibility, differentiated element by element. The lamellar and ledged facades are “stitched” with golden threads – they unite the volumes, emphasizing the textured character of the architectural solution.
Polyphony of a Strict Style
The “ID Moskovskiy” housing project on St. Petersburg’s Moscow Avenue was designed by the team of Stepan Liphart in the past 2020. The ensemble of two buildings, joined by a colonnade, is executed in a generalized neoclassical style with elements of Art Deco.
In Three Voices
The high-rise – 41 stories high – housing complex HIDE is being built on the bank of the Setun River, near the Poklonnaya Mountain. It consists of three towers of equal height, yet interpreted in three different ways. One of the towers, the most conspicuous one looks as if it was twisted in a spiral, composed of a multitude of golden bay windows.
In the Space of Pobedy Park
In the project of a housing complex designed by Sergey Skuratov, which is now being built near the park of the Poklonnaya Hill, a multifunctional stylobate is turned into a compound city space with intriguing “access” slopes that also take on the role of mini-plazas. The architecture of the residential buildings responds to the proximity of the Pobedy Park, on the one hand, “dissolving in the air”, and, on the other hand, supporting the memorial complex rhythmically and color-wise.
Dynamics of the Avenue
On Leningrad Avenue, not far away from the Sokol metro station, the construction of the A-Class business center Alcon II has been completed. ADM architects designed the main façade as three volumetric ribbons, as if the busy traffic of the avenue “shook” the matter sending large waves through it.
Steamer at the Pier
An apartment hotel that looks like a ship with wide decks has been designed for a land plot on a lake shore in Moscow’s South Tushino. This “steamer” house, overlooking the lake and the river port, does indeed look as if it were ready to sail away.
The Magic of Rhythm or Ornament as a Theme
Designed by Sergey Tchoban, the housing complex Veren Place in St. Petersburg is the perfect example of inserting a new building into a historical city, and one the cases of implementing the strategy that the architect presented a few years ago in the book, which he coauthored with Vladimir Sedov, called “30:70. Architecture as a Balance of Forces”.
Walking on Water
In the nearest future, the Marc Chagall Embankment will be turned into Moscow’s largest riverside park with green promenades, cycling and jogging trails, a spa center on water, a water garden, and sculptural pavilions designed in the spirit of the Russian avant-garde artists of the 1920, and, first of all, Chagall himself. In this issue, we are covering the second-stage project.
A-Len has developed and patented the “Perfect Apartments” program, which totally eliminates “bad” apartment layouts. In this article, we are sharing how this program came around, what it is about, who can benefit from it, and how.