По-русски

​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.

Written by:
Alla Pavlikova
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov

25 December 2020
Object
mainImg
The apartment hotel will be built on the left bank of the Moscow Canal, alongside the Dosflot Drive. The land site is situated on the first line, with an access to the city beach, and is separated from the water only by a broad parkland strip. The L-shaped land site stretches along the bank. Formerly, it was occupied by a brick hotel building, long derelict, and now to be torn down.

The “Steamer” house
Copyright: © Mezonproekt


The surrounding context is of the “micro-district” kind: housing projects, two schools, and a kindergarten – all enshrouded in an abundance of deciduous trees. It is expected that all the construction will be done on the other side of the Dosflot Drive. The new house, however, will be least connected to it; what it will interact with is the Moscow Canal and opposite bank, upon which one can see the dominant-looking spire of the recently-renovated North River Port. From May to October, tens of cruise ships sail away from it – a mesmerizing sight. Probably, this what became the primary source of inspiration for the new project – a “ship” house.

The “Steamer” house. The simplified location plan
Copyright: © Mezonproekt


The project was developed by Mezonproekt at the commission of Capital Invest in 2017. One of the tasks that the architects set for themselves was to preserve the existing trees, tightly surrounding the site from all sides, but at the same time to maximize the view of the water and the opposite bank of the canal. Hence the clear and crisp composition that follows the outline of the land site and the house that stood here before. A small indent from the borders was made only from the side of the courtyard in order to organize a landscaped area in front of the entrance to the hotel lobby.

The “Steamer” house. Planning organization of the land plot
Copyright: © Mezonproekt


The complex consists of two individual buildings that stand perpendicular to one another and are connected by a single podium on the level of the first floor. As the leader of the company, Ilia Mashkov, shares, originally the architects considered the option that included a single building that traced the shape of the land site, but later on an idea appeared to divide the single whole into two independent sections in order to lighten up the visual perception. One building, elongated and five stories high, marks the boundary from the side of the Dosflot Drive, yet it overlooks the water area. It also creates the artistic and the conceptual image of the entire complex. 

The “Steamer” house
Copyright: © Mezonproekt


The outline of the complex – if we are to look at it en face – is rather simple, without a noticeable height difference, with a broad clearance between the two buildings. However, if we look at it at an angle, we will at once see a chamfers in the silhouette – the “decks” of the terraces, the masts, and the chimneys, the “ladders” of the staircases, which look as if sailors are about to climb them. The chimneys, large and tall, like on the very first steamers, are in fact the ventilation shafts; while commonly hidden in most projects, here they are accentuated as if ready to sport a “Jolly Roger”. The terraces, provided on every floor, are also quite functional – from them the guests of the hotel will be able to admire the sweeping views of the Khimki Lake.

  • zooming
    1 / 9
    The “Steamer” house
    Copyright: © Mezonproekt
  • zooming
    2 / 9
    The “Steamer” house
    Copyright: © Mezonproekt
  • zooming
    3 / 9
    The “Steamer” house
    Copyright: © Mezonproekt
  • zooming
    4 / 9
    The “Steamer” house.
    Copyright: © Mezonproekt
  • zooming
    5 / 9
    The “Steamer” house
    Copyright: © Mezonproekt
  • zooming
    6 / 9
    The “Steamer” house
    Copyright: © Mezonproekt
  • zooming
    7 / 9
    The “Steamer” house
    Copyright: © Mezonproekt
  • zooming
    8 / 9
    The “Steamer” house.
    Copyright: © Mezonproekt
  • zooming
    9 / 9
    The “Steamer” house
    Copyright: © Mezonproekt


Moreover, this is not quite a “ship” house in the sense of the modernist cliché – even though the chimneys of the ventilation system proceed from that idea – but in the sense that here the “ship” has been subjected to deconstruction: it can be a ship or it can be a pier. In any case, we do not see here any hint at an aerodynamic shape, stern and bow, or a feeling that the ship is about to sail: rather, the architects show us a set of elements of a steamboat, offering us to appreciate the somewhat brutal plastique of the deck terraces that look like shoreline sprouts of some wandering Titanic. But only in a fragment or a decoration, a claim for a discourse, and not direct likeness.

author photo

Ilia Mashkov, Mezonproekt

“The idea of a “steamer” house came about after we drew the terraces and the chimneys.
After that, we decided to enhance the emerging image, adding some recognizable element, and tried to make the pipes sculptural, making the terraces look like the decks of a sea vessel.”


Such a solution with broad stairs of the terraces ascending from the water to the shore is more characteristic of the southern resort architecture. However, even here, in the northwest of Moscow, due to the proximity of water and the picturesque surroundings it looks appropriate. One must say that the association with a seaside resort is fleeting, and is gone completely once you examine the facades in detail. The choice of materials, the proportions of the windows, and the height of the floors – everything refers to industrial architecture. Even the chimneys, which originally reminded us about the steamer, easily become part of the narrative about a factory of the early XX century.

The “Steamer” house
Copyright: © Mezonproekt


Connecting the two seemingly totally different narratives – the steamer and the factory – was something that the architects decided to do in order to “calm down” the facades and make them look more austere and reserved. “The first versions were more “ship-like” – Ilia Mashkov shares – with white buildings and colorful chimneys. Then we decided to depart from such direct interpretation towards the image of a factory. This is how the red brick, tall windows, and metallic decoration elements came about”.

The “Steamer” house
Copyright: © Mezonproekt


As for the main coating material, the architects chose ceramic tiles with a red-brick texture. Brick surfaces are combined with metallic ones. Metal was also used to make the grates of the air conditioning units, decorative panels near the windows, railings of the French balconies, the coating of the ventilation chimneys, as well as the emergency staircases, painted black and running on the facade. The latter technique makes you remember not just the Russian factories of the early XX century but also the residential blocks of New York, for which the steel fire escape stairs became one of the main characteristic features. Oh, and by the way, the brownstone walls and the large windows coupled with openwork stair spans are also the classic of New York architecture.

The “Steamer” house
Copyright: © Mezonproekt


While turning to recognizable and traditional images of the past, the house remembers to pay tribute to modern stylistic devices: hence the syncopated rhythm of the facade grid, which is created by the differently sized windows, and colored inserts from a profiled sheet. As for the latter, the authors form real artistic panels with it, boasting a rainbow of colors, from dark earthy to lavender. All this is spiced with plastique – volumetric and concave vertical panels give rise to an additional play of light and shadows. It looks as though this way the house responds to the sunset colors of the Khimki Lake, because only the facades overlooking the water have these inclusions. 

The “Steamer” house
Copyright: © Mezonproekt


The Dosflot Drive is a quiet and green place; it follows the trajectory of the canal bend, and could easily pass for a path in the wilderness, if it weren’t for the asphalt pavement. The facade of the complex, calm and reserved plastique-wise, also overlooks this place. It maintains the character of the surroundings and matches the context in terms of its gradually lowering towards the water. The biggest highlight of the complex, when viewed from this angle, is the decorative metallic pergola on the roof, painted in the tone of the facade tiles. It is expected that in this part the roof will be an operated one. This landscaped zone with an awning will become yet another recreational place for the residents, which is relevant, considering the lack of yard space. 

The pergola top of the building is echoed by the stylobate part, designed in the same “lattice” style. The bottom floors will host a large lobby for the residents, offices, and cafes. The cafes will overlook the street with large stained glass windows, inviting the residents of the neighboring blocks to look in. There will be a green alley stretching along the entire street facade.

The “Steamer” house
Copyright: © Mezonproekt


On the level of the yard and the river, on the first floor, there are apartments with glazed terraces framed light-colored slender frames.

The building, with an overall area of about 6,000 square meters will offer apartments of various configurations and sizes – from single-room to four-room apartments. Each of the apartments will have a fully-fledged kitchen. The underground floor will be occupied by a 27-place parking garage.

  • zooming
    1 / 9
    The “Steamer” house. Plan of the -1st floor
    Copyright: © Mezonproekt
  • zooming
    2 / 9
    The “Steamer” house. Plan of the 1st floor
    Copyright: © Mezonproekt
  • zooming
    3 / 9
    The “Steamer” house. Plan of the 2nd floor
    Copyright: © Mezonproekt
  • zooming
    4 / 9
    The “Steamer” house. Plan of the 3rd floor
    Copyright: © Mezonproekt
  • zooming
    5 / 9
    The “Steamer” house. Plan of the 4th floor
    Copyright: © Mezonproekt
  • zooming
    6 / 9
    The “Steamer” house. Plan of the 5th floor
    Copyright: © Mezonproekt
  • zooming
    7 / 9
    The “Steamer” house. Plan of the 6th floor
    Copyright: © Mezonproekt
  • zooming
    8 / 9
    The “Steamer” house. Section view 1-1
    Copyright: © Mezonproekt
  • zooming
    9 / 9
    The “Steamer” house. Section views 2-2 and 3-3
    Copyright: © Mezonproekt


In 2020, the apartment hotel project made the shortlist of the Moscow prize in the field of architecture and urban planning. Previously, it received the approval of the state examination and is now waiting to be implemented.

25 December 2020

Written by:

Alla Pavlikova
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov
Headlines now
​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 Chaste 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.
The Magic of Rhythm or Ornament as a Theme
Designed by Sergey Tchoban, the housing complex Veren Place in St. Petersburg is the perfect example of inserting a new building into a historical city, and one the cases of implementing the strategy that the architect presented a few years ago in the book, which he coauthored with Vladimir Sedov, called “30:70. Architecture as a Balance of Forces”.
​Walking on Water
In the nearest future, the Marc Chagall Embankment will be turned into Moscow’s largest riverside park with green promenades, cycling and jogging trails, a spa center on water, a water garden, and sculptural pavilions designed in the spirit of the Russian avant-garde artists of the 1920, and, first of all, Chagall himself. In this issue, we are covering the second-stage project.
​Architectural Laboratory
A-Len has developed and patented the “Perfect Apartments” program, which totally eliminates “bad” apartment layouts. In this article, we are sharing how this program came around, what it is about, who can benefit from it, and how.
​“Architectural Archaeology of the Narkomfin Building”: the Recap
One of the most important events of 2020 has been the completion of the long-awaited restoration of the monument of Soviet avant-garde architecture – the Narkomfin Building, the progenitor of the typology of social housing in this country. The house retained its residential function as the main one, alongside with a number of artifacts and restoration clearances turned into living museum exhibits.
​LIFE on the Setun River
The area in the valley of the Setun River near the Vereiskaya Street got two new blocks of the “LIFE-Kutuzovsky” housing complex, designed by ADM architects. The two new blocks have a retail boulevard of their own, and a small riverside park.
​Celestial Tectonics
Three towers on a podium over the Ramenka River are the new dominant elements on the edge of a Soviet “microdistrict”. Their scale is quite modern: the height is 176 m – almost a skyscraper; the facades are made of glass and steel. Their graceful proportions are emphasized by a strict white grid, and the volumetric composition picks up the diagonal “grid of coordinates” that was once outlined in the southwest of Moscow by the architects of the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Clouds over the Railroad
In the stead of former warehouses near “Lyubertsy-1” station, a new housing complex has been built, which peacefully coexists with the railroad, with the flyover bridge, and with the diverse surrounding scenery, not only dominating over the latter, but improving it.
​Towers in a Forest
The authors of the housing complex “In the Heart of Pushkino” were faced with a difficult task: to preserve the already existing urban forest, at the same time building on it a compound of rather high density. This is how three towers at the edge of the forest appeared with highly developed public spaces in their podiums and graceful “tucks” in the crowning part of the 18-story volumes.
​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”.
​The Starting Point
In this article, we are reviewing two retro projects: one is 20 years old, the other is 25. One of them is Saint Petersburg’s first-ever townhouse complex; the other became the first example of a high-end residential complex on Krestovsky Island. Both were designed and built by Evgeny Gerasimov and Partners.
The Path to New Ornamentation
The high-end residential complex “Aristocrat” situated next to a pine park at the start of the Rublev Highway presents a new stage of development of Moscow’s decorative historicist architecture: expensively decorated, yet largely based on light-colored tones, and masterfully using the romantic veneer of majolica inserts.
​Renovation: the Far East Style
The competition project of renovating two central city blocks of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, developed by UNK project, won the nomination “Architectural and planning solutions of city construction”.
​The Contact
The Istituto Centrale per la Grafica in Rome presents Sergei Tchoban’s exhibition “Imprint of the future. Destiny of Piranesi’s City”. The exhibition includes four etchings, based on Roman architectural views of the XVIII century complemented by futuristic insertions, as well as a lot of drawings that investigate the same topic, at times quite expressively. The exhibition poses questions, but does not seem to give any answers. Since going to Rome is pretty problematic now, let’s at least examine the pictures.
​In Search of Visual Clarity
In this article, we are reviewing a discussion devoted to the question of designing city space elements, which is quite complicated for the Russian expanses of land. The discussion was organized by the Genplan Institute of Moscow at the ArchMoscow convention in Gostiny Dvor.
​The City of the Sun
Jointly designed by Sergey Tchoban and Vladimir Plotkin, the VTB Arena Park complex can arguably be considered the perfect experiment on solving the centuries-old controversy between traditional architecture and modernism. The framework of the design code, combined with the creative character of the plastique-based dialogue between the buildings, formed an all-but-perfect fragment of the city fabric.
​...The Other Was Just Railroad Gin*
In their project of the third stage of “Ligovsky City” housing complex, located in the industrial “gray” belt of Saint Petersburg, the KCAP & Orange Architects & A-Len consortium set before themselves a task of keeping up the genius loci by preserving the contours of the railroad and likening the volumes of residential buildings to railroad containers, stacked up at the goods unloading station.
​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.