По-русски

​The Towers of “Sputnik”

Six towers, which make up a large housing complex standing on the bank of the Moskva River at the very start of the Novorizhskoe Highway, provide the answers to a whole number of marketing requirements and meets a whole number of restrictions, offering a simple rhythm and a laconic formula for the houses that the developer preferred to see as “flashy”.

Julia Tarabarina

Written by:
Julia Tarabarina
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov

02 November 2020
Object
mainImg
The apartment complex “Sputnik” – an extensive high-rise housing development of comfort class – is built by Samolet Group in the stead of a former sand quarry lying between the Moscow Ring Road and the Zhivopisnaya Bay, at the border of the Lipovy Les parkland. The complex is situated not far away from the bank of the Moskva River bank; there is a paid-entrance riverside beach a 10 minutes’ walk away, and the surroundings are quite in the spirit of the Rublev Highway – all around you can see a whole congregation of luxury-class villas that somehow seem to peacefully coexist with giant suburban shopping malls. There are also villa settlements that feature modern architecture: in the east, the Sputnik territory borders on the “Rublevo Residences”, build in 2012 by the project of the British PRP Architecture; a little further north, right next to the building of the Government of the Moscow Region, designed by Mikhail Khazanov, there is a low-rise six-story residential complex called “Rublevo Park”, designed by Alexander Tsimailo and Nikolai Lyashenko.

Meanwhile, large-scale development is also represented here not just by “Sputnik” alone – specifically, a kilometer and a half away in a straight line, on a peninsula that cuts into the Moskva River, PIK Development is building the “Myakinino Park” housing complex. Therefore, the context is busy and contrastive, not to say mottled, which is generally expectable outside the Moscow Ring Road. And, although the city environment has not yet fully formed on the pedestrian level, the views of the Moskva River, which one can admire from the windows of the 30-story houses, are already beautiful, which is rather an advantage for the residents of the high-rises. Originally, the concept for developing this land was developed by a Dutch architectural company, but later on the construction scale rose to 30-33 stories, and the developer distributed the tasks of designing individual land sites between a few reputed Moscow architectural companies.

The two first parts, each one consisting of three towers standing on a podium, have already been built by the projects of Ostozhenka and Reserve Union; these are situated closer to the Moscow Ring Road, about 160 meters away from the highway. In the central part of the complex, there is a school building, currently designed by Atrium Architects.

The houses of the next two stages – complexes B3 and A5 – were designed by Sergey Kiselev and Partners. The landscape design was done by Ilia Mochalov; the interiors of public spaces – by the company Haast.

zooming


Six towers stand in a line along the Lipovaya Coppice, forming the southwest border of the complex. This is the most advantageous location here, next to the parkland. Currently, the realization of the project is underway; all of the houses are built as monoliths, and are rapidly being covered with facade fiber cement panels.

One of the main challenges of this project was not so much the scale, generally habitual for this area, as the economy of construction and lots of preset parameters that were not to be discussed. The chief architect of the project Aleksey Medvedev shares:

author photo

Alexey Medvedev, Sergey Kisselev & Partners

The typology of the towers, as well as the apartment design, was predetermined by the marketers in this case – we worked with preset parameters, rather rigid, down to the size of the fenestration. The recommendations also included colored facades. Initially, more austere and monochrome facades acquired a red-yellow “autumn” look and highlights very much like “sun glare”. Flat facades without bay windows were also part of the assignment. In such cramped conditions, however, we tried to design the volumes using a contrasting pattern, to build the rhythm of the facades at the expense of colored spots and baskets for air conditioners. We thought over the structure of the bottom floors, entrances, and double-height spaces, open to the light.


The elongated land site B3, whose construction blueprint is fully occupied by two tiers of an underground parking garage, was originally to get three houses, just like the preceding stages. The architects of Sergey Kiselev and Partners rearranged these volumes, proposing to build four towers instead of three, two of them with always perfectly square bases. Two of them are joined by a common podium that hosts a kindergarten, the others two, which are situated above the zero elevation, standing separately. On the whole, the towers are almost identical; the architects positioned them in a zigzag staggered order, which allowed them to avoid window-to-window views, and to achieve rather convenient caesuras that ensure extra transparency. We will note that the laconic repeating pattern of the square towers gives the entire group an exquisitely simple look, crowned with a 3-meter high attic floor, which neatly masks the mechanical rooms, while the 100-meter height of the towers makes them moderately slender.





In addition to the two-tire kindergarten, hosted in the podium that joins the bases of the two western towers belonging to Group B3, the bottom floors will also include public premises and stores. The bottom floors are higher than the residential ones, but in the original project they were high as well, as a consequence of which some of the spaces were also used for construction in order to achieve the proverbial “square footage output”, Aleksey Medvedev shares. However, the entrance groups retained their visual transparency and two-story height, being some of the flashiest elements of the complex, looking like a “joint cell of a spreadsheet”, designed for pedestrian perception, and looking particularly good when seen from end to end.



The facades of all the four square towers and the podium are subjected to a white grid: it outlines the volumes (including in the top part), enhancing their integrity, yet on the inside it constantly changes the thickness of the lines, from confidently wide, which dissect the houses from top to bottom, to exquisitely slender, which highlight the pixel pattern of the color spots – asymmetric, yet still captured in the grid and working in accordance with the same rules. The pattern consists of dark-gray, yellow, and red spots, no more than one floor tall and no more than one pier wide. Changing the width, getting sometimes thicker and sometimes sparser, supported by air conditioning units, they form a rhythm, which is, on the one hand, rather predictable, and, on the other hand, slightly quivering, like autumn leaves in the wind; the color of the inserts perfectly fits the metaphor, finding a few reflections in the already-complete towers.

In the attic tier, the pixels turn into broad and bright stripes, blending together into some kind of two-dimensional “fringe” – as we remember, it masks the mechanical rooms. The volume of the kindergarten is dominated by black; the pixel colors give way to slender stripes, which makes it look elegant and collected.



The second group – A5 – consists of two towers, one of them (on the outer corner of the complex) being square on the plan and looking much like the “four sisters” from B3. The plan of the other tower is elongated and trapeze-shaped, one of the longer walls being chamfered and designed as a volumetric “saw” – this technique was already tested by Sergey Kiselev and Partners in the housing complex MainStreet (currently under construction) on the Ivana Franko Street, which allowed the architects to give the maximum number of bay windows to the apartments, providing a lot of natural light and beautiful views. The two towers in A5 are joined by a podium that hosts stores, and, if you look at it from above, you may notice that their outlines can be described into an outline of a right triangle with a zigzagged hypotenuse. Its line is continued by a park promenade – a landscaped territory that unites all the six towers.





The towers of the second complex, by contrast, are not mottled but monochrome: the outside one is red, the trapeze-shaped one is gray, black and white. The grids of their facades are generally akin to their predecessors, yet they develop in a more flexible war: for example, the facade of the red tower, which faces the river, has more windows, including corner ones. While the black-and-white house, which marks the inner border of the group of towers A5, is more like a “wall”, the red one becomes a “point” or a corner highlight – and it is not by accident that the volume of the podium, extended into the depth of the site, is also red; this house either starts or finishes the movement, depending on how you look at it. 





The range of apartments in A5, situated closer to the river, is more diverse, and the square footage of an average apartment is larger than it is in B3 0 Aleksey Medvedev explains.

  • zooming
    1 / 4
  • zooming
    2 / 4
  • zooming
    3 / 4
  • zooming
    4 / 4


Thus, the houses that form the southern, “forest” edge of the complex are arranged in a simple rhythmic manner. On the one hand, you could assume that the laconic character of the solution has to do with the rigid constraints that the architects had to face, yet, on the other hand, one must admit that it is quite a task creating something convincing and recognizable enough, at the same time complying with all of the requirements: not “stoop down” to some garish mottled pattern trying to fulfill the request to create something “flashy”, and not come up with some dull monotonous thing, but set a clear leitmotif and stick to it. As a rule, working with such large-scale complexes is a challenge for the architects. What we are seeing here is one of the possible responses, and quite decent, too.

P.S. In 2019, Sergey Kiselev and Partners also developed a project of an office complex for a triangular land site in the eastern part of the territory that borders on the Myakinino Highway. It has a greater number of floors and demonstrates a version of a monochrome solution, from which the architects had to refrain in the residential towers, but, obviously, it is going to remain on paper.

02 November 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.