По-русски

​Lions on Glass

While reconstructing the facades of Building 4 of Moscow Hospital #23, SPEECH architects applied a technique, already known from Saint Petersburg projects by Sergey Tchoban – cassettes with elements of classical architecture printed on glass. The project was developed gratis, as a help to the hospital.

Julia Tarabarina

Written by:
Julia Tarabarina
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov

29 September 2020
Object
mainImg
At the beginning of the XIX century, the manor house of Ivan Batashev, the owner of iron-making factories in the town of Vyksa (situated near Nizhny Novgorod) was the most luxurious palace on the left bank of the Yauza River, featuring sightseeing platforms and exquisite relief adornments teetering on the verge of early and mature classicism. Although the architect is unknown, the palace is sometimes ascribed to Vasiliy Bazhenov, sometimes to Charles De Wailly (this assumption being pretty groundless), and sometimes to his student Rodion Kazakov (which is more probable). The work was supervised by Mikhail Kiselnikov, the alumni and boarder of the Academy of Arts – according to some sources, he was a serf of the Batashev family, according to other sources, he was a merchant’s son; he is also believed to have designed the façade reliefs (more about reliefs here).

The restored wing of the Batashev manor house, a fragment
Copyright: Photograph © Archi.ru


The palace is well preserved, even though it survived the fire of 1812. In the 1870’s, the Batashev estate was sold to the city and was reconstructed as the Yauza Hospital; in the early XX century, it got a few new buildings in the neo-empire style of the Silver Age, one of them authored by Illarion Ivanov-Shiz. In the Soviet time, the hospital was renamed into “Medsantrud”; in the 1920’s it belonged to “State Political Directorate”, and then to various medical institutes. Today, the hospital is named after one of the professors who worked in it in the 1930’s, Ippolit Vasilyevich Davydkovsky, a pathologist; during the Great Patriotic War he was the organizer of the field surgery system.

In other words, this hospital, which specializes in surgery and neurology, is more than well-known, and the palace itself is a popular example of Moscow classicism. Its restoration began in 2019 together with the integrated reconstruction of the hospital, the Building #4 in question being a part of the reconstruction project. The six-story building was constructed in 1972 according to the standard design of the 2MG-05-5 series, on the eastern border of the hospital territory, along the Zemlyansky Lane. A laconic white panel building, a functional structure on the former palace grounds.

Building 4 before the reconstruction. The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky
Copyright: Photograph © SPEECH


Building 4 before the reconstruction. The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky
Copyright: Photograph © SPEECH


In Moscow, reconstruction of such buildings usually consists, in addition to engineering and interior work, in the insulation of facades, which are covered, over mineral wool, with plaster, porcelain stoneware or, at best, with aluminum cassettes.

However, the SPEECH architects came up with a more sophisticated proposal, which responds to the proximity of the famous palace. As part of this charity project, they developed a project of façade reconstruction, based on the idea implemented by Sergey Tchoban 10 or 15 years ago in Saint Petersburg’s business centers “LangenZipen”, “Benoit”, and “Vremena Goda” – glass cassettes with photographs of historical decoration, applied to the inner side of the cassette.

The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4
Copyright: Photograph © Dmitry Chistoprudov


The main entrance to Building 4 is situated on the inner side from the territory of the hospital. On either side of the entrance group, accessed by a gently sloping ramp, the authors placed two unique prints – enlarged photographs of the reliefs from the main staircase of the Batashev palace, redecorated after the fire of 1812 under the supervision of Domenico Gilardi:  “Farewell to the Warrior” and “The Return of Odysseus”.

Farewell to the Warrior (a possible alternative interpretation is the sign of Aeneas to leave Troy. See the thesis by SM Tsareva). The relief of the main staircase of the house of Ivan Batashev. The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky
Copyright: Photograph © Dmitry Chistoprudov


Return of Odysseus. The relief of the main staircase of the house of Ivan Batashev. The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky
Copyright: Photograph © Dmitry Chistoprudov


These reliefs were created a little bit later than the façade décor of the main house, as they refer to the empire-style of the post-fire period. Specifically because of that, the modeling, slender and full of details, including faces and costumes, easily withstood the enlargement. The genuine reliefs on the staircase are smaller in size, are farther away from the viewer, and are meant to be viewed from below. In the printed pattern, these are enlarged, even though they stay slightly less than human height and are moved to the foreground as much as possible: whoever will walk past them on the way to the entrance, will be able to examine the details, and even compare themselves to these figures scale-wise.

What is curious is the illusion of volume: the contrasting chiaroscuro of the photographs emphasizes the relief, and at some point it seems that the figures are only placed under glass, as in a museum showcase; but on the other hand, they are drawn on glass, and look a little like a hologram.

The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4
Copyright: Photograph © Dmitry Chistoprudov


The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4
Copyright: Photograph © Archi.ru


All the other reliefs, represented on the glass panels, belong to the outside decoration of the palace, evidently executed by the boarder of the Academy of Fine Arts, Mikhail Kiselnikov, still in the pre-fire period. Historians note the originality of these details, probably inspired by the Italian experience of this serf artist. Indeed, the facial expressions of the mascarons are completely atypical and may resemble the grimace in the Santa Maria Formosa bell tower in Venice; no less interesting are the compositions with tritons, tridents and a “dog” in the center – from the molded decorations of the main facade of the Batashev palace.

  • zooming
    1 / 8
    The Ivan Batashev palace. The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Details of the building′s facade of the early XIX century
    Copyright: Photograph © Dmitry Chistoprudov
  • zooming
    2 / 8
    The batashev palace. The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4
    Copyright: Photograph © Dmitry Chistoprudov
  • zooming
    3 / 8
    The Ivan Batashev palace. The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Details of the building′s facade of the early XIX century
    Copyright: Photograph © Dmitry Chistoprudov
  • zooming
    4 / 8
    The batashev palace. The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4
    Copyright: Photograph © Dmitry Chistoprudov
  • zooming
    5 / 8
    The Ivan Batashev palace. The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Details of the building′s facade of the early XIX century
    Copyright: Photograph © Dmitry Chistoprudov
  • zooming
    6 / 8
    The Ivan Batashev palace. The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Details of the building′s facade of the early XIX century
    Copyright: Photograph © Dmitry Chistoprudov
  • zooming
    7 / 8
    The Ivan Batashev palace. The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Details of the building′s facade of the early XIX century
    Copyright: Photograph © Dmitry Chistoprudov
  • zooming
    8 / 8
    The batashev palace. The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4
    Copyright: Photograph © Dmitry Chistoprudov


Plus the rosettes, decorative balustrades, and cantilevered structures with a rich leafy ornament. All of these elements became the basis for the décor, applied to the glass panels, and they all are dramatically increased in their scale, largely losing their places in the logic of a classicist façade, at the same time getting a new meaning.

The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4
Copyright: Photograph © Dmitry Chistoprudov


The overall logic of placing these elements is also decorative, akin to a carpet. But then again, it has a classical basis as well: the white parallelepiped with windows got verticals and horizontals, top and bottom, an attic with rosettes, and a basement tier with cantilevers. The horizontals of the balustrades cut through the verticals of the “pilasters” across their entire height; they start from the cantilevers, and end in the “lion” column caps. The dolphins that are depicted on the main façade of the palace, which overlooks the lane, are now represented on the street façade of the building.

The pitch of enlargement also varies: the miniature rosettes, placed in the original relief underneath the windows, and a fragment of the wavy pattern, are enlarged significantly, rolled over in respect to their basic horizontal position, and serve to decorate the “pilasters”. However, there is no deliberate “juggling” with the elements and fragments – rather, the motifs, justified by the proximity of the classicist palace, form some new large pattern with an inner logic of its own.

The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4
Copyright: Photograph © Dmitry Chistoprudov


This pattern looks like grisailles, drowned in the travertine-imitating golden-and-beige tone, which refers us more to the stone of classical architecture in its common meaning than to the yellow paint of the classicist façades. The new façade is not an attempt to turn the 1972 building into a semblance of a palace wing – rather, it becomes some reminder about the monument of architecture, a giant engraved picture of it being displayed at an exhibition. An attempt to revive the valuable reliefs, bringing them to the attention of a passer-by or a patient. And, of course, an attempt to embellish and fill with emotion the building and its surroundings.

The photographs of the façade reliefs are beautiful as they are, especially zoomed in in a slanted light. The sculptural surface, conceived by the author, in real relief is combined with irregularities, paint drips, and urban grime – these two drawings, conceived and real, are superimposed on each other and in such a combination are endowed with a special appeal. One feels like taking their pictures and examining them. Admiring them. Essentially, this is what the authors of the project of the facades of Building 4 are trying to get us to do – admire the zoomed-in reliefs, just passing by. To be surprised to see a huge cantilever behind the thickets of American maples, either embossed or “painted”, but similar to a part of some park grotto from Italy, where the serf architect Kiselnikov studied architecture.

  • zooming
    1 / 5
    The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4
    Copyright: Photograph © Dmitry Chistoprudov
  • zooming
    2 / 5
    The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4
    Copyright: Photograph © Dmitry Chistoprudov
  • zooming
    3 / 5
    The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4
    Copyright: Photograph © Dmitry Chistoprudov
  • zooming
    4 / 5
    The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4
    Copyright: Photograph © Dmitry Chistoprudov
  • zooming
    5 / 5
    The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4
    Copyright: Photograph © Archi.ru


The glass cassettes have yet another special feature: in addition to the fact that the drawing is elaborate and precise, the glass surface reflects the surroundings. Shadows, reflections of neighboring buildings, the palace wings, the nearby church, and the outlines of the trees are superimposed on the pictures taken out of context and enlarged – a technique that further embellishes and enriches the drawing when it is directly perceived.

The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4
Copyright: Photograph © Archi.ru


The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4
Copyright: Photograph © Archi.ru


Of course, the façade reconstruction is limited in its possibilities, and in this case the glass cassettes only helped to “collect” the volume of the building and immerse it into ornamentation. The windows retained their small sizes and recognizable proportions, even though the chamfers did give them some extra depth.

  • zooming
    1 / 7
    The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4
    Copyright: Photograph © Dmitry Chistoprudov
  • zooming
    2 / 7
    The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4
    Copyright: Photograph © Dmitry Chistoprudov
  • zooming
    3 / 7
    The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4. Facade 1. View from the Yauzskaya Street
    Copyright: Project © SPEECH
  • zooming
    4 / 7
    The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4. Facade 2. View from the Zemlyansky Lane
    Copyright: Project © SPEECH
  • zooming
    5 / 7
    The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4. Facades 3 and 4. View from the Teterinsky Lane and the Nikoloyamskaya Street
    Copyright: Project © SPEECH
  • zooming
    6 / 7
    The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4. The main facade
    Copyright: Project © SPEECH
  • zooming
    7 / 7
    The city clinic #23 named after Ippolit Davydovsky. Reconstruction of Building 4. The facade along the Zemlyansky Lane
    Copyright: Project © SPEECH


However, one must keep in mind that essentially the whole project was about insulating the façades – and grew into an interesting experiment of working with reliefs, which, being turned into graphics, retain some of the characteristic traits of sculpture because, when viewed from a certain angle, the illusion of volume suggests itself. On the one hand, the repetition and mass production are obvious; on the other hand, there is no direct copying because these motifs are transferred over to a different material and are interpreted as a part of a different system. Rather, it is a collage with magnification, akin to the approach of a collector who is examining interesting details under a magnifying glass – and inviting the passersby to do the same.

29 September 2020

Julia Tarabarina

Written by:

Julia Tarabarina
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov
Headlines now
​Inside of a Drawn Grid
Designing the apartment complex PLAY in Danilovskaya Sloboda, ADM architects placed their bet on the imagery of construction. The area where it manifested itself the most vividly was the sophisticated grid of the facades.
​The Yard Aesthetics
Organizing the yard of a premium-class housing complex, GAFA architects took care not just about the image that matches the project’s high status, but also about simple human joys, masterfully overcoming the construction regulations.
​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.
This Beetle Has Flown
The story of designing a business center in the Zhukov (“Beetle”) Drive: a number of attempts to preserve a hundred-year-old cold storage facility, at the same time introducing modern buildings interpreting the industrial theme. The project remained on paper, but the story behind it seems to be worth our attention.
​The Childhood Territory
The project of the educational complex within the second stage of “Spanish Quarters” was developed by ASADOV Architects. The project is all about creating a friendly and transparent environment that in itself educates and forms the personality of a child.
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.
​Binary Opposition
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.
​Semantic Shift
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.
​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.