The project of a shopping mall with a food court and a market to be built in the district of Barvikha, developed by the architectural firm “Mezonproject”, combines a soft ecological image and modernist molding of the architectural volume. The “rays” on the façade accentuate the contours of the building and show the directions of the roads as well.
Written by: Lara Kopylova Translated by: Anton Mizonov
On the Staroe Rublyovo Highway, next to the entrance to Barvikha, the road makes a sharp turn and goes down. At the crossroads of the terrain drop between the high and the low riverbank, there is an L-shaped land site, allotted for the construction of the future complex. “This place is really beautiful; it is like a pivotal point. Back in the old days, they used to build churches at such places” – says the architect Ilia Mashkov. This will be the first public building on the way from Moscow, it must set a certain standard, at the same time fitting in with the surrounding context.
The Rublyovo Highway area is essentially a mix of private residences built in the Soviet and post-Soviet times, which can hardly be considered to be a well-balanced kind of environment. To a certain extent, the architects were facing mutually exclusive tasks. “The so-called “Rublyovka” is a fashionable district. It’s important to remember here that you are dealing with a consumer group that is hard to impress: these people saw it all. Plus, this area is pretty special in terms of rules and regulations: you’ve got private mansions all over the place, and you need to comply with the height restrictions. That is, you need to be reserved but at the same time find some hook to attract the attention of the local residents and the motorists driving down the highway as well”.
The company conducted an internal competition for the idea sketch of the building. Ultimately, the architects settled on a rather soft ecological image proposed by Andrey Kolpikov and Nikolai Vozvyshaev, adjusting it for a large public building. The client liked the concept.
As for the function of the building, the final decision has not been arrived at as yet. Most likely, this place will be a food court – a market in the historical sense of this word, where you can taste and buy food, as well as have it cooked and then have it on the spot. “People tend to think that a food court is a recent invention but in fact this is not quite the case – Ilia Mashkov says – If you take a walk in Pompeii, for example, you will see the tabletops, on which they would sell food, and even pieces of cutlery where they cooked it. As centuries went by, it was only the name that changed”.
One of the project’s tasks was to highlight the function by literally demonstrating it. For this reason, the façades, especially the ones that face the crossroads and the highways, are opened up in glass surfaces: in the lower tier – by fine facets, and higher upwards – by lamellas, spaced widely apart.
The lamellas leave the façade surface transparent, at the same time setting the rhythm and forming a special dynamic pattern: because of it, the building will be visually changing when viewed from the cars driving down the highway. The façade outlines respond both to the terrain and to the broad turn of the highway. One “ray of light” on the façade repeats the line of the road that is going down, while another follows the profile of the road going upwards. When you are able to catch the “ray” of the road, this looks really beautiful. On the west façade, the architects made the side end wall of the second tier completely made of glass, making use of the well-known modernist device that could be termed as a “television frame” technique. For people who are inside, it looks as if it shows the stream of traffic in motion: you sit in a restaurant, and you watch cars coming up to you from a distant perspective. This design is also reminiscent of Italian “Autogrills”. This technique will be readable both from the outside and from the car windows as well. The lamellas will be made not from wood but either from corten steel or from some HLP wood-imitating material.
The shapes of the elongated buildings clearly display the fashionable modernist plastique in the vein of a Moebius strip, at the same time showing allusions to the Soviet movie theaters with their inevitable cantilevered structure overhanging above the glass. The lamellas make It possible to achieve this effect as well – they are generally a great tool for shape molding, in spite of the fact that behind them remains a transparent glass surface that reflects the pine trees with their vertical rhythm, mixed with the verticals of the lamellas. This way, it turns out that the building, on the one hand, has a bold shape, and, on the other hand, it is almost dissolved in its natural surroundings. In my opinion, it already belongs with the paradigm of the 2010’s – the kind of self-effacing eco-friendly architecture that came to replace the “stunt” architecture of the 2000’s. In this context, the building can be put in the same rank with the Skolkovo University designed by Herzog and de Meuron – a large shape with wooden coating and a hint at gable roofs – as well as with the Yury Grigorian Wooden Theater in the Luxury Village in Barvikha.
When asked about the main idea of the building, Ilia Mashkov replies: “The roof slopes have a lot in common with the tradition of countryside construction, while the natural context dictates a reserved image, that is completely alien to the intention of getting noticed no matter what. What we were after was the variability of the perception of the volume coupled with harmony and integrity”.
On the inside, the architects proposed a structure of narrow two-story market counters. The first floor will host shops selling food, while the second will contain a food court where one will be able to order a dish made from the ingredients that he just bought. Within one floor, there are different levels as well: the architects designed staircases in order to make the most of every square inch of the available floor space. The rigid rhythm of the lamellas is also needed to cover the mottled insides of the building and bring it to one common denominator. The restaurant on the terrace will also command a river view; in fact, the river is not really visible but the feeling of the distance of the land will be there. The mansions, of course, will not be visible from the restaurant.
One can get to the shopping center from the Rublyovo Highway via the perpendicular exit with an extra lane that leads the traffic into the underground parking garage. The garage is designed to accommodate for 100 cars; there are two underground levels; the class of the cars has also been addressed, so, a Bentley can drive through here as well. The entrance group is accentuated but it is almost invisible from the Rublyovo highway. At the point of entrance, the rhythm of the lamellas is broken, and the façade is drawn like a curtain before the visitors. The building is not designed to cater for pedestrians who are just not meant to be there; it is designed to be perceived by motorists. And when you drive down the highway, the “rays” truly catch the eye.
As a result, the architects got a very conextual, yet at the same time noticeable, image: it matches not only the natural surroundings, but also the Rublyovka traditions, which will make it noticed and recognized by the visitors.
Renovation: the Far East Style
The competition project of renovating two central city blocks of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, developed by UNK project, won the nomination “Architectural and planning solutions of city construction”.
Park of Sentiments
The project of “Romantic Park Tuchkov Buyan”, which was developed by the consortium of Studio 44 and WEST 8, and has won an international competition, combines sculptural landscape design and wooden structures, variety of spatial features and an eventful agenda, designed for diverse audience, with a beautiful and complex passeist idea of a palace park, meant to evoke thoughts and feelings.
Architecture as an Educational Tool
The concept of a charity school “Tochka Budushchego” (“Point of the Future”) in Irkutsk is based on cutting-edge educational programs, and is designed, among other things, for adapting orphaned children for independent life. An important role is played by the architecture of the building: its structure and different types of interconnected spaces.
The Gallery Approach
In this article, we are covering the concept of a Central District Clinic for 240 patients, designed by Ginzburg Architects, which won at a competition organized by the Architects Union and the Healthcare Ministry.
In this issue, we are publishing the concept of a standard clinic designed by UNK Project, which took second place in the competition organized by the Union of Architects of Russia in collaboration with the Healthcare Ministry.
From Foundation to Teaspoon
Based on the taste of their friendly clients, the architects Olga Budennaya and Roman Leonidov designed and built a house in the Moscow metropolitan area playing Art Nouveau. At the same time, they enriched the typology of a private house with modern functions of a garage loft and a children’s art studio.
Continuation and Development
The second “office” stage of Comcity, the most popular business park of the “New Moscow” area, continues the underground street of the already existing part of the complex, responding to its architectural identity.
A Comfortable City in Itself
The project that we are about to cover is seemingly impossible amidst human anthills, chaotically interspersed with old semi-neglected dachas. Meanwhile, the housing complex built on the Comcity business part does offer a comfortable environment of decent city: not excessively high-rise and moderately private as a version of the perfect modern urbanist solution.
Moving on the Edge
The housing complex “Litsa” (“Faces”) on Moscow’s Khodynka Field is one of the new grand-scale buildings that complement the construction around it. This particular building skillfully tackles the scale, subjugating it to the silhouette and the pattern; it also makes the most of the combination of a challenging land site and formidable square footage requirements, packing a whole number of features within one volume, so the house becomes an analogue of a city. And, to cap it all, it looks like a family that securely protects the children playing in the yard from... well, from everything, really.
Visual Stability Agent
A comparatively small house standing on the border of the Bolshevik Factory combines two diametrically opposite features: expensive materials and decorative character of Art Deco, and a wide-spaced, even somewhat brutal, facade grid that highlights a laminated attic.
The Faraday Cage
The project of the boutique apartment complex in the 1st Truzhenikov Lane is the architects’ attempt to squeeze a considerable volume into a tiny spot of land, at the same time making it look graceful and respectable. What came to their rescue was metal, stone, and curvilinear glass.
The Union of Art and Technology
His interest for architecture of the 1930’s is pretty much the guiding star for Stepan Liphart. In his project of the “Amo” house on St. Petersburg’s Vasilyevsky Island, the architect based himself on Moscow Art Deco - aesthetically intricate and decorated in scratch-work technique. As a bonus, he developed the city block typology as an organic structure.
The project that Evgeniy Gerasimov and Partners developed for Moscow’s Leningrad Avenue: the tallest building in the company’s portfolio, continuing the tradition of Moscow’s Stalin architecture.
In the project that they developed for a southern region of Russia, OSA Architects use multilayered facades that create an image of seaside resort architecture, and, in the vein of the latest trends of today, mix up different social groups that the residents belong to.
Just a Mirror for the Sun
The house that Sergey Skuratov designed in Nikolovorobinsky Alley is thought out down to the last detail. It adapts three historical facades, interprets a feeling of a complex city, is composed of many layers, and catches plenty of sunlight, from sunrises to sunsets. The architect himself believes that the main role of this house is creating a background for another nearby project of his, Art House in the Tessinsky Alley.
Part of the Whole
On June 5, the winners of Moscow Architectural Award were announced. The winners list includes the project of a school in Troitsk for 2,100 students, with its own astronomy dome, IT testing ground, museum, and a greenhouse on the roof.
Yet another project of a private school, in which Archimatika realizes the concept of aesthetic education and introduces a new tradition: combining Scandinavian and Soviet experience, turning to works of art, and implementing sustainable technologies.
In the “Parallel House” residence that he designed in the Moscow metropolitan area, the architect Roman Leonidov created a dramatic sculptural composition from totally basic shapes – parallelepipeds, whose collision turned into an exciting show.
In the Istra district of Moscow metropolitan area, the tandem of 4izmerenie and ARS-ST designed a sports complex – a monovolume that has the shape of a chamfered parallelepiped with a pointed “nose” like a ship’s bow.
Stairway to Heaven
The project of a hotel in the settlement of Yantarny is an example of a new recreational complex typology, and a new format that unites the hotel, the business, and the cultural functions. All of this is complemented by 100% integration with nature.
Cape of Good Hope
In this issue, we are showing all the seven projects that participated in a closed-door competition to create a concept for the headquarters of Gazprom Neft, as well as provide expert opinions on those projects.
The Outer Space
Honoring the 300th anniversary of the Kuznetsk coal fields in 2021, a new passenger terminal of the Aleksey Leonov Airport in the city of Kemerovo will be built, designed by GK Spectrum and ASADOV Architectural Bureau.
The Pivot of Narkomfin Building
Ginzburg Architects finished the restoration of the Narkomfin Building’s laundry unit – one of the most important elements of the famous monument of Soviet avant-garde architecture.
The housing complex “Respublika” is so large that it can be arguably called a micro-town, yet, at the same time, it easily overcomes most of the problems that usually arise with mass housing construction. How could Archimatika achieve that? We are examining that on the example of the first stage of the complex.
The Flowing Lines
The five houses of the “Svoboda” block belonging to the “Simvol” residential complex present a vivid example of all-rounded work performed by the architects on an integral fragment of the city, which became the embodiment of the approach to architecture that hitherto was not to be seen anywhere in Moscow: everything is subjected to the flow of lines – something like a stream, enhanced by the powerful pattern of the facades akin to “super-graphics”.
A City by the Water
The concept of a large-scale housing development at the edge of Voronezh, near the city reservoir, or “the sea”, as it is locally called, uses the waterside height difference to create a sophisticated public space, paying a lot of attention to the distribution of masses that determine the look of the future complex if viewed from the opposite bank of the river.
A Journey to the Country of Art Deco
The “Little France” residential complex on the 20th line of the Vasilyevsky Island presents an interesting make-believe dialogue between its architect, Stepan Liphart, the architect of the New Hermitage, masters of the Silver Age, and Soviet Art Deco, about interesting professional topics, such as a house with a courtyard in the historical center of Saint Petersburg, and the balance between the wall and the stained glass in the architectonics of the facade. Here are the results of this make-believe conversation.
A House in a Port
This housing complex on the Dvinskaya Street is the first case of modern architecture on the Gutuevsky Island. The architectural bureau “A-Len” thoroughly explores the context and creates a landmark for further transformations of this area of Saint Petersburg.
Balance of Infill Development
Anatoly Stolyarchuk Architectural Studio is designing a house that inadvertently prevails over the surrounding buildings, yet still tries to peacefully coexist with the surrounding environment, taking it to a next level.
The Precious Space
Evolution Design and T+T Architects reported about the completion of the interior design project of Sberbank headquarters on the Kutuzovsky Avenue. In the center of the atrium, hovers the “Diamant” meeting room; everything looks like a chest full of treasures, including the ones of a hi-tech kind.
Big Little Victory
In a small-sized school located in Domodedovo in Moscow metropolitan area, ASADOV_ architects did a skillful job of tackling the constraints presented by the modest budget and strict spatial limitations – they designed sunlit classrooms, comfortable lounges, and even a multi-height atrium with an amphitheater, which became the center of school life.
The Social Biology of Landscape
The list of new typologies of public spaces and public projects has been expanded yet again — thanks to Wowhaus. This time around, this company came up with a groundbreaking by Russian standards approach to creating a place where people and animals can communicate.
Watched by the Angels from up Above
Held in the General Staff building of the Hermitage Museum, the anniversary exhibition of “Studio 44” is ambitious and diverse. The exhibition was designed to give a comprehensive showcase of the company’s architecture in a whole number of ways: through video, models, drawings, installations, and finally, through a real-life project, the Enfilade, which the exhibition opens up, intensifies, and makes work the way it was originally intended.
A New Version of the Old City
The house at Malaya Ordynka, 19, fits in perfectly with the lineup of the street, looking even as if it straightened the street up a little, setting a new tone for it – a tone of texture, glitter, “sunny” warmth, and, at the same time, reserved balance of everything that makes the architecture of an expensive modern house.
Stepan Liphart: “Standing your ground is the right thing to do”
A descendant of German industrialists, “Jophan’s son”, and an architect, speaks about how studying architectural orders tempers one’s character, and how a team of just a few people can design grand-scale housing projects to be built in the center of Saint Petersburg. Also: Santa Claus appearing in a Stalin high-rise, an arch portal to the outer space, mannerism painting, and the palaces of Paris – all covered in an interview with Stepan Liphart.
Honey and Copper
In the Moscow area, the architect Roman Leonidov designed the “Cool House” residence, very much in the spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright, spreading it parallel to the ground, and accentuating the horizontal lines in it. The color composition is based on juxtaposition of warm wood of a honey hue and cold copper blue.
The Ring on the Saisara Lake
The building of the Philharmonic Hall and the Theater of Yakut Epos, standing on the shore of the sacred lake, is inscribed into an epic circle and contains three volumes, reminiscent of the traditional national housing. The roof is akin to the Alaas – a Yakut village standing around a lake. In spite of its rich conceptual agenda, the project remains volumetrically abstract, and keeps up a light form, making the most of its transparency, multiple layers, and reflections.
Architecture of Evanescence
On the Vernadskogo Avenue, next to the metro station, appeared a high-rise landmark that transformed the entire area: designed by UNK Project, the “Academic” business center uncovered, in the form of its architecture, the meanings of the local place names.