​A New Unit

The housing city block within an IT park: Archimatika is combining innovative technologies with a human-friendly scale, and a cozy environment.

19 December 2019
The innovation park Unit.City – the first such project in Kiev – is being built on the territory of the former automotive factory, a 20 minutes’ drive away from the city center. This place is meant to become something like an ecosystem, in which the community of fellow colleagues works and lives, aided by special infrastructure. One venue unites companies that specialize, for example, in augmented reality, or in cyber safety, or in eco technologies, and these companies have at their disposal various schools and accelerators, laboratories, and conference halls, where you can organize professional events on a regular basis.

The master plan for Unit.City was prepared by the Polish company APA: the cluster is divided into zones called “business”, “innovation”, “education”, and “life”, which allows people to work and get involved in recreational activities without having to leave its confines. Currently, an IT school and three office buildings have been built, with 108 residents already working in them. More than half of them have already launched joint projects – the system has proven its feasibility.

By 2025, nearly half of the territory will be occupied by the residential blocks of Unit.Home complex: these are designed by Archimatika, a company that is very close in spirit to this location – parametric design, focus on energy supplies, and synergy are all part of everyday working process for it. For the housing sector, the same principles were applied as for the entire innovation park, yet the task was made slightly more complex by a seemingly different criterion: the housing had to be cozy above all. 

UNIT.Home housing complex
Copyright: Archimatika

Unit.Home consists of seven city blocks and two separately standing buildings. Their height is quite human-friendly, only six-eight floors, yet each of the blocks has a landmark tower of its own, 20-22 “serious” stories high. For solving the “cozy vs innovative” task, after considering about fifteen options, the architects stopped on a technique that was dramatic in its plastique: each room – and, in the case of Archimatika, no two rooms are exactly alike – is an individual unit, which can be easily read on the facade thanks to the projections and cavities of different size.

The irregular structure will also be emphasized by the light-colored decoration and panoramic windows reaching to the ceiling with slim dark imposts – everything you need, nothing you don’t – while extra brightness will be provided by abundant greenery on the balconies and terraces. This image, found by the architects, best conveys the vibes of the place: you see here a geometric pattern, some rebelliousness, individuality, and being open to the world, all rolled into one.

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    UNIT.Home housing complex
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Just as other Archimatika projects, Unit.Home will not have any standardized solutions in it: the height of the rooms may vary even within one apartment. The focus on the daytime or the nighttime zone, a large kitchen or a large bedroom – the future resident will be able to make his own choice of what better fits his lifestyle. Totally, UNIT.Home will have around 2500 apartments in it.

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    UNIT.Home housing complex
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The first floors of the buildings are given to commercial premises that are meant to save the residents’ time: they will not have to leave their block in order to have a bite to eat, go see a doctor, have their children taken care of, or simply have a rest. In addition to the generally expected infrastructure set, there is also a skate park here, a digital library, an art gallery, barbecue zones, an amphitheater, and a hotel. The environment is barrier-free, and is adapted to the needs of people of limited mobility – for example, the architects made sure that all the buttons are conveniently placed, and corridors and ramps are widened. The parking places are hidden underground, each tenth being equipped with an electric car charger; there are also electrical outlets for bikes.

UNIT.Home housing complex
Copyright: Archimatika

The houses are designed in such a way as to meet the BREEAM environmental criteria; Unit.Home will become Ukraine’s first housing complex with such “green” status – claims the founder of KAN Development Igor Nikonov. The set of technologies applied for that purpose puts one in an optimistic mood.

The SMART Lightening system adapts the lights to the time of the day and weather conditions. The greenery on the terraces is not just a beautiful concept: the sprinkling and drainage systems are installed in the infrastructure of the buildings. BMS - the automated building management system – tracks down the breakdowns: if somewhere a pipe is suddenly leaking, the water supply will be stopped, and this will eliminate the risk of overflowing. There is also the SMART Home monitoring system that shows to the tenants the expenditure of heat, water, and electricity through a smartphone application – one will be able to compare, for example, how much water he spends on a bath or on a shower, and draw his own conclusions. At the same time, the managing company also has an opportunity to quickly respond on the building’s nonstandard performance: if some place, for example, consumes too much energy, they send a droid to inspect the spot – well, just kidding, of course, but this idea does not nearly sound as sci-fi as it would have a few years ago. The smart technologies will help the residents save up to 25% on utility bills.

UNIT.Home housing complex
Copyright: Archimatika

The security system is yet another stunner. There will be no fences on the territory of the cluster, just innovative technologies: a face scanner, a license plate recognition system, and an aberrant behavior detection system, as well as patrol drones and emergency buttons. The high-speed internet will be protected from cyberattacks and the vagaries of nature.

Unit.Home looks like a utopia one feels like immediately being in: a beautiful green-and-white town, where people live and meet to invent new things, securely protected by friendly technologies. And the solid reputation of Archimatika leaves no doubt that this is how it is eventually going to be. And this new type of environment will perhaps foster a new type of human beings.

19 December 2019

Headlines now
The Mirror of Your Soul
We continue to publish projects from the competition for the design of the Russian Pavilion at EXPO in Osaka 2025. We are reminding you that the results of the competition have not been announced, and hardly will ever be. The pavilion designed by ASADOV Architects combines a forest log cabin, the image of a hyper transition, and sculptures made of glowing threads – it focuses primarily on the scenography of the exhibition, which the pavilion builds sequentially like a string of impressions, dedicating it to the paradoxes of the Russian soul.
Part of the Ideal
In 2025, another World Expo will take place in Osaka, Japan, in which Russia will not participate. However, a competition for the Russian pavilion was indeed held, with six projects participating. The results were never announced as Russia’s participation was canceled; the competition has no winners. Nevertheless, Expo pavilion projects are typically designed for a bold and interesting architectural statement, so we’ve gathered all the six projects and will be publishing articles about them in random order. The first one is the project by Vladimir Plotkin and Reserve Union, which is distinguished by the clarity of its stereometric shape, the boldness of its structure, and the multiplicity of possible interpretations.
The Fortress by the River
ASADOV Architects have developed a concept for a new residential district in the center of Kemerovo. To combat the harsh climate and monotonous everyday life, the architects proposed a block type of development with dominant towers, good insolation, facades detailed at eye level, and event programming.
In the Rhombus Grid
Construction has begun on the building of the OMK (United Metallurgical Company) Corporate University in Nizhny Novgorod’s town of Vyksa, designed by Ostozhenka Architects. The most interesting aspect of the project is how the architects immersed it in the context: “extracting” a diagonal motif from the planning grid of Vyksa, they aligned the building, the square, and the park to match it. A truly masterful work with urban planning context on several different levels of perception has long since become the signature technique of Ostozhenka.
​Generational Connection
Another modern estate, designed by Roman Leonidov, is located in the Moscow region and brings together three generations of one family under one roof. To fit on a narrow plot without depriving anyone of personal space, the architects opted for a zigzag plan. The main volume in the house structure is accentuated by mezzanines with a reverse-sloped roof and ceilings featuring exposed beams.
Three Dimensions of the City
We began to delve into the project by Sergey Skuratov, the residential complex “Depo” in Minsk, located at Victory Square, and it fascinated us completely. The project has at least several dimensions to it: historical – at some point, the developer decided to discontinue further collaboration with Sergey Skuratov Architects, but the concept was approved, and its implementation continues, mostly in accordance with the proposed ideas. The spatial and urban planning dimension – the architects both argue with the city and play along with it, deciphering nuances, and finding axes. And, finally, the tactile dimension – the constructed buildings also have their own intriguing features. Thus, this article also has two parts: it dwells on what has been built and what was conceived
New “Flight”
Architects from “Mezonproject” have developed a project for the reconstruction of the regional youth center “Polyot”(“Flight”) in the city of Oryol. The summer youth center, built back in the late 1970s, will now become year-round and acquire many additional functions.
The Yauza Towers
In Moscow, there aren’t that many buildings or projects designed by Nikita Yavein and Studio 44. In this article, we present to you the concept of a large multifunctional complex on the Yauza River, located between two parks, featuring a promenade, a crossroads of two pedestrian streets, a highly developed public space, and an original architectural solution. This solution combines a sophisticated, asymmetric façade grid, reminiscent of a game of fifteen puzzle, and bold protrusions of the upper parts of the buildings, completely masking the technical floors and sculpting the complex’s silhouette.
Architecture and Leisure Park
For the suburban hotel complex, which envisages various formats of leisure, the architectural company T+T Architects proposed several types of accommodation, ranging from the classic “standard” in a common building to a “cave in the hill” and a “house in a tree”. An additional challenge consisted in integrating a few classic-style residences already existing on this territory into the “architectural forest park”.
The U-House
The Jois complex combines height with terraces, bringing the most expensive apartments from penthouses down to the bottom floors. The powerful iconic image of the U-shaped building is the result of the creative search for a new standard of living in high-rise buildings by the architects of “Genpro”.
Black and White
In this article, we specifically discuss the interiors of the ATOM Pavilion at VDNKh. Interior design is a crucial component of the overall concept in this case, and precision and meticulous execution were highly important for the architects. Julia Tryaskina, head of UNK interiors, shares some of the developments.
The “Snake” Mountain
The competition project for the seaside resort complex “Serpentine” combines several typologies: apartments of different classes, villas, and hotel rooms. For each of these typologies, the KPLN architects employ one of the images that are drawn from the natural environment – a serpentine road, a mountain stream, and rolling waves.
Opal from Anna Mons’ Ring
The project of a small business center located near Tupolev Plaza and Radio Street proclaims the necessity of modern architecture in a specific area of Moscow commonly known as “Nemetskaya Sloboda” or “German settlement”. It substantiates its thesis with the thoroughness of details, a multitude of proposed and rejected form variants, and even a detailed description of the surrounding area. The project is interesting indeed, and it is even more interesting to see what will come of it.
Feed ’Em All
A “House of Russian Cuisine” was designed and built by KROST Group at VDNKh for the “Rossiya” exhibition in record-breaking time. The pavilion is masterfully constructed in terms of the standards of modern public catering industry multiplied by the bustling cultural program of the exhibition, and it interprets the stylistically diverse character of VDNKh just as successfully. At the same time, much of its interior design can be traced back to the prototypes of the 1960s – so much so that even scenes from iconic Soviet movies of those years persistently come to mind.
The Ensemble at the Mosque
OSA prepared a master plan for a district in the southern part of Derbent. The main task of the master plan is to initiate the formation of a modern comfortable environment in this city. The organization of residential areas is subordinated to the city’s spiritual center: depending on the location relative to the cathedral mosque, the houses are distinguished by façade and plastique solutions. The program also includes a “hospitality center”, administrative buildings, an educational cluster, and even an air bridge.
Pargolovo Protestantism
A Protestant church is being built in St. Petersburg by the project of SLOI architects. One of the main features of the building is a wooden roof with 25-meter spans, which, among other things, forms the interior of the prayer hall. Also, there are other interesting details – we are telling you more about them.
The Shape of the Inconceivable
The ATOM Pavilion at VDNKh brings to mind a famous maxim of all architects and critics: “You’ve come up with it? Now build it!” You rarely see such a selfless immersion in implementation of the project, and the formidable structural and engineering tasks set by UNK architects to themselves are presented here as an integral and important part of the architectural idea. The challenge matches the obliging status of the place – after all, it is an “exhibition of achievements”, and the pavilion is dedicated to the nuclear energy industry. Let’s take a closer look: from the outside, from the inside, and from the underside too.
​Rays of the Desert
A school for 1750 students is going to be built in Dubai, designed by IND Architects. The architects took into account the local specifics, and proposed a radial layout and spaces, in which the children will be comfortable throughout the day.
The Dairy Theme
The concept of an office of a cheese-making company, designed for the enclosed area of a dairy factory, at least partially refers to industrial architecture. Perhaps that is why this concept is very simple, which seems the appropriate thing to do here. The building is enlivened by literally a couple of “master strokes”: the turning of the corner accentuates the entrance, and the shade of glass responds to the theme of “milk rivers” from Russian fairy tales.
The Road to the Temple
Under a grant from the Small Towns Competition, the main street and temple area of the village of Nikolo-Berezovka near Neftekamsk has been improved. A consortium of APRELarchitects and Novaya Zemlya is turning the village into an open-air museum and integrating ruined buildings into public life.
​Towers Leaning Towards the Sun
The three towers of the residential complex “Novodanilovskaya 8” are new and the tallest neighbors of the Danilovsky Manufactory, “Fort”, and “Plaza”, complementing a whole cluster of modern buildings designed by renowned masters. At the same time, the towers are unique for this setting – they are residential, they are the tallest ones here, and they are located on a challenging site. In this article, we explore how architects Andrey Romanov and Ekaterina Kuznetsova tackled this far-from-trivial task.
In the spirit of ROSTA posters
The new Rostselmash tractor factory, conceptualized by ASADOV Architects, is currently being completed in Rostov-on-Don. References to the Soviet architecture of the 1920’s and 1960’s resonate with the mission and strategic importance of the enterprise, and are also in line with the client’s wish: to pay homage to Rostov’s constructivism.
The Northern Thebaid
The central part of Ferapontovo village, adjacent to the famous monastery with frescoes by Dionisy, has been improved according to the project by APRELarchitects. Now the place offers basic services for tourists, as well as a place for the villagers’ leisure.
Brilliant Production
The architects from London-based MOST Architecture have designed the space for the high-tech production of Charge Cars, a high-performance production facility for high-speed electric cars that are assembled in the shell of legendary Ford Mustangs. The founders of both the company and the car assembly startup are Russians who were educated in their home country.
Three-Part Task: St. Petersburg’s Mytny Dvor
The so-called “Mytny Dvor” area lying just behind Moscow Railway Station – the market rows with a complex history – will be transformed into a premium residential complex by Studio 44. The project consists of three parts: the restoration of historical buildings, the reconstruction of the lost part of the historical contour, and new houses. All of them are harmonized with each other and with the city; axes and “beams of light” were found, cozy corners and scenic viewpoints were carefully thought out. We had a chat with the authors of the historical buildings’ restoration project, and we are telling you about all the different tasks that have been solved here.
The Color of the City, or Reflections on the Slope of an Urban Settlement
In 2022, Ostozhenka Architects won a competition, and in 2023, they developed and received all the necessary approvals for a master plan for the development of Chernigovskaya Street for the developer GloraX. The project takes into account a 10-year history of previous developments; it was done in collaboration with architects from Nizhny Novgorod, and it continues to evolve now. We carefully examined it, talked to everyone, and learned a lot of interesting things.
A Single-Industry Town
Kola MMC and Nornickel are building a residential neighborhood in Monchegorsk for their future employees. It is based on a project by an international team that won the 2021 competition. The project offers a number of solutions meant to combat the main “demons” of any northern city: wind, grayness and boredom.
A New Age Portico
At the beginning of the year, Novosibirsk Tolmachevo Airport opened Terminal C. The large-scale and transparent entrance hall with luminous columns inside successfully combines laconism with a bright and photogenic WOW-effect. The terminal is both the new façade of the whole complex and the starting point of the planned reconstruction, upon completion of which Tolmachevo will become the largest regional airport in Russia. In this article, we are examining the building in the context of modernist prototypes of both Novosibirsk and Leningrad: like puzzle pieces, they come together to form their individual history, not devoid of curious nuances and details.
A New Starting Point
We’ve been wanting to examine the RuArts Foundation space, designed by ATRIUM for quite a long time, and we finally got round to it. This building looks appropriate and impressive; it amazingly combines tradition – represented in our case by galleries – and innovation. In this article, we delve into details and study the building’s historical background as well.
Molding Perspectives
Stepan Liphart introduces “schematic Art Deco” on the outskirts of Kazan – his houses are executed in green color, with a glassy “iced” finish on the facades. The main merits of the project lie in his meticulous arrangement of viewing angles – the architect is striving to create in a challenging environment the embryo of a city not only in terms of pedestrian accessibility but also in a sculptural sense. He works with silhouettes, proposing intriguing triangular terraces. The entire project is structured like a crystal, following two grids, orthogonal and diagonal. In this article, we are examining what worked, and what eventually didn’t.