Faster, Higher, Stronger
- contemporary architecture
The housing complex “You and Me” develops the aesthetic features of the previous high-rise complexes designed by Bureau of Architecture GREN., the architects placing their bets on two recreational scenarios: sports and nature.
Firm:Bureau of Architecture GREN.
The housing complex “You and Me" is situated in the Losinoostrovsky (“Elk Island”) district in the northeast of Moscow. The 6-hectare construction site of a rectangular shape is the territory of the former “Red Arrow” stadium, built in the early 1990’s, which had to be dismantled to make room for the new construction – this district has been included in the renovation program of Moscow’s old housing stock. From the side of the Shushenskaya Street, the land site borders on the Babushkinsky Park; on the other side – on the sports field of School ¹1381. Across the Yantarny Drive and the Kominterna Street from it, there are “Khrushchev” 4 and 5-story houses, standing freely among the trees, many of which will soon be replaced by modern houses. The immediate surroundings also include the Torfyanka Park, the Yaroslavl railroad line, and the Yaroslavl Highway, behind which spreads the Losinoostrovsky Park. The nearest metro station is Babushkinskaya.
As a consequence of such diversity of the surroundings, the architects subjugated their concept to several different themes: the sport past of this area, the surrounding green zones, and the architectural legacy of the 1960.
The structure of the complex consists of three city blocks united by galleries on the level of the second floor. The city blocks are interconnected by passages that together form pedestrian promenades. All the construction can be conditionally divided into three lines. The first line is a powerful front of sections maximum 20-22 stories high from the side of the Yantarny Drive. The second one is an array of high-rise and low-rise “dots”, from 18 to 6 floors. The third line consists of elongated mid-rise buildings 8-11 stories high, the response to the Soviet construction on the Kominterna Street, only on a larger scale. Such “terraced” design gives the complex a variable silhouette changing when viewed from different angles.
Thanks to such composition, a network of pedestrian routes is formed that pass through the city blocks and between them. Walking from the side-end section to the Babushkinsky Park, you will only have to cross one automobile road – the Shushenskaya Street. For the cars, there are parking spots on the perimeter of the complex, and an underground parking garage.
The city block from the side of the Shushenskaya Street is about half the size of all the other ones: a part of its land site was allotted for the construction of a football field and grass tennis courts that create a soft transition from housing construction to the Babushkinsky Park. The city block is “closed” by an elongated building of the sports and health complex with an area of 3800 square meters that will include two swimming pools (for children and for adults), gyms, and indoor tennis courts. Its public function is highlighted by the façade design, which is different from the housing sections – narrow windows and ribbed insets of white and brown colors forming a corrugated pattern.
The other city blocks are also filled with public functions. There is a bright highlight between two housing towers that overlook the school yard – a three-story kindergarten, decorated by panels of rich “berry” colors. Some of the bottom floors of the complex are commercial ones. In addition to its own yard, each block has its own thematic “arch”, that is, a roofed landscaped part – a playground, a yoga spot, and a skatepark.
For the façade coating, the architects used several types of materials: the Klinker tiles, copper-imitating composite panels HPL-panels that imitate wood and exposed concrete, and cementitious panels with shaping. The calm natural tones prevail but there are also bright red accents – possibly, a reference to the “Red Arrow” stadium. The gems of the composition are the openwork baskets for the air conditioning units and decorative panels that replicate their pattern on the façade coating. The stylized patterns on the façades are different from building to building and sometimes look like the treetops, or tree bark under a microscope or grass thicket. Totally, the architects developed for the complex eleven types of façades, achieving the diversity not only on a macro but also on a micro level.
Similar techniques – patchwork combination of materials of different texture, openwork gratings, and decorative panels - GREN also used in their other projects, such as the housing complex on the Mikhailova Street. However, the mood of “You and Me” is totally different. This is probably the most homely and cozy project in the company’s portfolio.
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