По-русски

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.

author pht

Written by:
Lara Kopylova
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov

02 July 2020
Object
mainImg
This is already the second house that Stepan Liphart designed on the Vasilyevsky Island and the third that he designed in St. Petersburg (the “Renaissance” residential complex is already complete), all them designed for the AAG development company. “Little France”, the house that is currently being built on the 20th line, is an attempt to revive the beauty of the Kamennostrovsky Avenue, and revisit the tenement of the Silver Age as the ideal of modern housing. The hotel-and-housing complex “Amo” on the 12th line continues and develops this idea. 

It will be constructed in the center of the Vasilyevsky Island, between the Maly and Sredny Avenues, surrounded by houses built during the historicism period: with bay windows in the dress circles, abundance of fine plastique, and with characteristic colors of St. Petersburg, alternating with inclusions of Soviet and post-Soviet times. 

The Bremme house as symbolic capital

The “Amo” residential complex fills in the lacuna left after the demolition of several buildings that belonged to the factory of essential oils and paints, built by the Bremme brothers in 1897–1898. During the entire XX century, the factory produced vitamins and all sorts of medications; the factory was torn down only in 2006. The wooden mansion is older - it was built in the early XIX century, and reconstructed twice - in 1851 and 1906 - then its facades got ceramic panels, which are now kept in the museum belonging to the ceramics studio “Keramax”. During the siege of Leningrad, there was a city-famous vitamin store working in this mansion. 

A few years ago, there was a lot of public concern about the prospects of demolishing the wooden house and making up for it by recreating its facade as a part of the residential complex. Then the project got a new investor and a new architect, while the mansion, which by the beginning of the XXI century fell into decay, got a status of a monument of architecture of federal importance. Currently, there are plans for restoring it and making it a part of the local identity. The future function of the building is still to be defined - expectedly, it will house a private school or will be rented out for an office. The new house embraces the mansion with its wings, not really coming close to it. Just like “Little France”, the new house will get a courtyard, yet here it is interpreted differently - the central place on the redline is occupied by the restored mansion.

The birds-eye view from the south. “Amo” residential complex
Copyright: © Liphart Architects


The master plan of the plot. “Amo” residential complex
Copyright: © Liphart Architects


Infrastructure of happiness 

The second difference from the project on the 20th line is the fact that the southern unit of “Amo” is a hotel. The land owner already has a “Nash Otel” (“Our Hotel”) property nearby, on the 11th line, and this same operator will run the new hotel. The hotel is also allotted a portion of the yard; it will have a restaurant on the first floor and a fitness club on the top floor, which will also be accessible to the permanent residents. This way, in addition to the unique mansion, the residents will get the “infrastructure of happiness” - sports, food, and a place for rendezvous (not mentioning the French windows reaching to the floors and such “New York” housing formats as two-floor city-houses with individual entrances; patios and mansards - in a word, this is a great place to live in).

The hotel adjoins the existing building of the hospital with its southern wall, its windows facing the western and northern sides. On the other side of the complex, there is a green yard with a separately standing two-story Stalin building that once used to be a kindergarten.

  • zooming
    1 / 5
    The perspective view on the 12th line form the south. The hotel is in the foreground. “Amo” residential complex
    Copyright: © Liphart Architects
  • zooming
    2 / 5
    The overview of the yard facade of the hotel. “Amo” residential complex
    Copyright: © Liphart Architects
  • zooming
    3 / 5
    The first floor of the hotel. “Amo” residential complex
    Copyright: © Liphart Architects
  • zooming
    4 / 5
    The standard floor of the hotel. “Amo” residential complex
    Copyright: © Liphart Architects
  • zooming
    5 / 5
    The section view of the hotel. “Amo” residential complex
    Copyright: © Liphart Architects


The style of the new building can be defined as Art Deco, the street-side five-story facades being closer to the scale of the historical surroundings - they are meticulously drawn, decorated with cornices above the hotel entrance and above the pilastered frontons above the restaurant entrance, the line of the cornices continuing the cornices of the existing hospital building.

The organic St. Petersburg: a combination of natural and man-made

  • zooming
    1 / 3
    The "Organic St. Petersburg" concept, proposed by Aleksey Levchuk and Stepan Liphart within the framework of their curator project for the "Ottepel« (»Thaw") workshop, organized by the “Project Baltia” magazine, supported by the Committee for Ci
    Copyright: © Stepan Liphart, Aleksey Levchuk
  • zooming
    2 / 3
    The "Organic St. Petersburg" concept, proposed by Aleksey Levchuk and Stepan Liphart within the framework of their curator project for the "Ottepel« (»Thaw") workshop, organized by the “Project Baltia” magazine, supported by the Committee for Ci
    Copyright: © Stepan Liphart, Aleksey Levchuk
  • zooming
    3 / 3
    The "Organic St. Petersburg" concept, proposed by Aleksey Levchuk and Stepan Liphart within the framework of their curator project for the "Ottepel« (»Thaw") workshop, organized by the “Project Baltia” magazine, supported by the Committee for Ci
    Copyright: © Stepan Liphart, Aleksey Levchuk


Houses on the medieval square 

The yards of St. Petersburg have rather wayward shapes. Although a part of the city’s mythology, the famous well courtyards are not particularly beautiful, for the rare exception of some of them, such as the Lidval Tauria House on the Rubinsheina Street. The “Amo” house is by no means of the “well courtyard” type - it is rather spacious, but the inside walls stand in a zigzag pattern. Which, among other things, makes it possible to better expose the southern wall to the sunlight, providing sufficient insolation. On the other hand, the jagged contour of the yard-side facades serves to diversify the rhythm and the composition: each fragment is subjected to the common concept, yet has a face of its own - as if what we are seeing is a group of small houses with narrow facades, structured by moldings and cornices, bay windows, and tiers with shifted axes. In addition, each of the volumes has its painting pattern, which makes navigation easier, making the perception of the housing anything but trivial: instead of the number of the hallway entrance, one will be able to speak about the facade with a floral or maritime pattern.

It’s hard for a person to perceive a monotonous facade with a length of one hundred meters, the ideal length being 20-30 m, as in a historical city. This, specifically, was mentioned by Allan Jacobs in his book “Great Streets”.  Back in his time, Mikhail Filippov used in his “Italian Quarter” the technique of designing the composition of a big house as consisting of several constructions of various epochs, with facades of three to five axes, thus recreating the humanistic principle of historical construction. In the case of “Amo”, however, a slightly different principle is proposed: placing a few several houses around a small square, yet the purpose is, by and large, the same.

  • zooming
    1 / 2
    The overview of the south yard facade of the residential section. “Amo” residential complex
  • zooming
    2 / 2
    The perspective of the west yard facade of the residentil section. “Amo” residential complex
    Copyright: © Liphart Architects


Unlike the grand courtyard of “Little France”, the in-block square of “Amo” has an irregular shape. Generally speaking, landscaping the yard is a virtue nowadays. Therefore, the type of the yard is important. The Moscow yards, in which the Russian village can still be discerned, no longer satisfy us because they tend to eventually turn into a wasteland. Neither do the well courtyards of St. Petersburg - dramatic, yet pretty somber. As for the yard as a medieval square, however, which makes it possible to single out private, semi-private, and public spaces - this is quite a different matter. In his book “City Planning According to Artistic Principles”, Camillo Sitte claims that the irregular character of medieval squares makes them look all the more picturesque, and full of harmony. However irregular, they still look very tidy because of the main “hero” - the cathedral. And in the complex on the Vasilyevsky Island, the role of the “cathedral” is played by the Bremme mansion.

The ornamental style: a union of art and technology

The ornamental facades - a few types of patterns for panels with paradise flowers and trees, drawn by the graduate of the St. Petersburg Academy or Fine Arts, Anastasia Direktorenko - are essentially a reference to the “Openwork” house designed by Andrey Burov on the Leningrad Avenue and another house of his, Tverskaya, 25, with scratch-work decor executed by Favorsky’s design. He had an ability to combine technology and art, and was actually going to mass-produce his “Openwork House”, which we are now considering to be unique.

  • zooming
    1 / 5
    The perspective view on the 12th line form the north. “Amo” residential complex
    Copyright: © Liphart Architects
  • zooming
    2 / 5
    Fragment of the southwest part of the residential section, view from the yard. “Amo” residential complex
    Copyright: © Liphart Architects
  • zooming
    3 / 5
    The first floor of the residential section. “Amo” residential complex
    Copyright: © Liphart Architects
  • zooming
    4 / 5
    The third floor of the residential section. “Amo” residential complex
    Copyright: © Liphart Architects
  • zooming
    5 / 5
    The section view of the resdidential section. “Amo” residential complex
    Copyright: © Liphart Architects


As for the colors, Stepan Liphart proposed the reserved and modern kind, suitable for a house that is already rich in decor: emerald, ashen, chocolate, and milk-and-coffee.

Yet another task was implementing the scratch-work technique, so loved by the architects of Renaissance and their devotees of the mid-XX century and the present day. From the XV to XX century, scratch-work was done on several layers of stucco. In “Amo”, the architects decided to simulate the renaissance technique by using volumetric threaded ceramic panels, where the first layer of paint conceals another one, more contrastive, which is more durable and more dependable than stucco, and, therefore, better meets the requirements for the modern facade. The cornices will be fully made of fibrous concrete. Chances are, this technology has a brilliant future. Dissected into rectangles, the walls refer us not only to the Art Deco and Art Nouveau painted panels, but also to quattrocento marble intarsia. The degree of flatness and relief of the facades is observed due to the cornices designed by the architects. What is also important is the small scale of the yard facades - small and private, literally two panels wide - often coinciding with the size of the apartments. Another this that is aligned with the scale of the apartments is the street facades, which means that the building has human-friendly proportions - the main prerequisite for a long and happy life in a historical city.

02 July 2020

author pht

Written by:

Lara Kopylova
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov
Headlines now
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.
Health Constructor
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.
​The Aperture Effect
For a housing complex built in the town of Pushkino in the Moscow metropolitan area, KPLN Architects designed facades that adjust the stream of light by using the wall geometry.
​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.
Color and Line
The new successful techniques developed by A.Len for designing a kindergarten under budget constraints: the mosaic of irregular windows and working with color.
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 Countdown
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.
White Town
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.
Pedagogical Architecture
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.
​Rational Arrangement
In this article, we are examining a complex of buildings and interiors of the first stage of the project that has recently become extremely popular – the Kommunarka clinic.
​Parallel Universe
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.
​Breakwater
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.
​Waves of Sound
The conceptual design of a music school: proximity to an Alvar Aalto building, expressive organics, and an attempt to draw public attention to a “low-profile” competition.
​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.
​Wicker Vitality
Next to the Dubrovka metro station, ADM has designed a Vitality housing complex with a polychrome mixture of Klinker brick on its ridged facades.
​Freedom Factory
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.
The Theater and Music Circles
The contest-winning ambitious grand-scale project of the main theater and concert complex of the Moscow area includes three auditoriums, a yard – a public area – a higher school of music, and a few hotels. It promises to become a high-profile center for the classical music festivals on a national scale.