По-русски

​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.

Tatiana Shovskaya

Written by:
Tatiana Shovskaya
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov

19 May 2021
Object
mainImg
The diverse, to the point of chaotic, urban environment between Bolshaya Tulskaya Street and the waterfront of the Moskva River leaves the architect without a single contextual clue. The place includes low-rise buildings, well-maintained and dilapidated alike, which reflect the industrial history of this area in the 19 century, and huge high-end buildings of the brink of this day and age, the latter being designed more to be perceived from the nearby highways than to harmonize the surrounding side streets. At the same time one must note that these side streets do have their charm due to the human-friendly scale of the houses, as well as due to the tram tracks winding through them, and the bells ringing from the trams going by, which certainly puts you in the mood of “the good old days”.

PLAY apartment complex
Copyright: Photograph © Yaroslav Lukyanchenko / provided by ADM architects


In order to fulfill the task of improving the quality of this potentially livable environment, the authors of the project decided to first of all rely on professional urban planning solutions. The land site occupied by the apartment complex is rather small, and is sandwiched between two neighboring buildings; in addition, part of the territory is limited by the municipal heating network. Despite the high density of construction, inevitable in such a case, the architects paid special attention to designing convenient walking and driving entrances, and even found room for a tiny strip of parkland. In front of the entrance, there is a courtyard with decorative plants in the middle of it, and a drop-off area – a technique borrowed from classic architecture and testifying to the high status of the housing. The courtyard is hidden inside of the block, and its very existence became possible because the house has just one central entrance – the building has an “apartment” status, and, therefore, the layout featuring a central lobby turned out to be the most appropriate, two corridors running in two opposite directions from it.

The master plan. PLAY apartment complex
Copyright: © ADM


The yard and the little park belong to the residents of the house, creating the coveted “private” feel. For the other residents of this area, the architects created a passage running along the side of the house opposite to the courtyard – this in-block promenade can be accessed from the side-street because the first floor of the complex is designed to host the retail function; the whole composition creates a lit of “air” – something that turns city space into living environment. This way, the planning solution, developed in the circumstances of a very constrained jigsaw puzzle, allowed the architects to both take into account the interests of the residents and make the urban space even livelier and more convenient, enriching it with new possibilities.

  • zooming
    1 / 4
    PLAY apartment complex
    Copyright: Photograph © Yaroslav Lukyanchenko / provided by ADM architects
  • zooming
    2 / 4
    PLAY apartment complex
    Copyright: Photograph © Yaroslav Lukyanchenko / provided ADM architects
  • zooming
    3 / 4
    PLAY apartment complex
    Copyright: Photograph © Yaroslav Lukyanchenko / provided by ADM architects
  • zooming
    4 / 4
    PLAY apartment complex
    Copyright: Photograph © Yaroslav Lukyanchenko / provided ADM architects


Generally speaking, this master plan of a housing complex, where the outside contours of the construction are focused on the city, and the yard space is designed solely for the residents, is something that ADM architects consider to be the best solution, trying to stick to it in their every project.

PLAY apartment complex
Copyright: Photograph © Yaroslav Lukyanchenko / provided by ADM architects


Yet another means of enriching the environment, just as important, is the building of the apartment complex itself – according to the architect of the project, Andrey Romanov; a high-quality architecture will always make the city space better, whatever the context. As far as its volumetric and spatial composition is concerned, the complex is rather laconic: all its beauty lies in the facade development. The authors of the project intuitively tied in the facade with the genius loci: they gave it an industrial character, undaunted either by its conflict with the residential function or by the inevitable “coldness” of such allusions. The facade echoes the industrial past of Danilovskaya Sloboda, and this solution appears to be very appropriate, even if the architects themselves deny the reasoned rationale of their choice and even the presence of such methods in their work.

  • zooming
    PLAY apartment complex
    Copyright: Photograph © Yaroslav Lukyanchenko / provided by ADM architects
  • zooming
    PLAY apartment complex
    Copyright: Photograph © Yaroslav Lukyanchenko / provided by ADM architects


Shining with the contrast of black and white, the facade becomes the centerpiece of the city block – perception-wise, not in terms of mass or height. This black-and-white grid was created by the architects using the method of freehand drawing, when the author relies on his or her intuition and sense of beauty. The “disrupted” scale of the facade, visually uniting two floors into one, again refers to the techniques of classical architecture, and I must say that at the time of its design, this technique was super relevant – architecture is also subject to fashion. Here, however, the dual grid was not drawn in a mechanical way – its proportional structure is sophisticated and defies logical calculations, it is full of shimmering rhythms, sometimes overlapping, sometimes growing thinner. Thanks to it, the facade looks non-static and expresses an irrational understanding of proportions – one that cannot be explained, but is perceived by the observer. In its meaning, the rhythm of this grid is close to curvatures, and, even though this speculation is a bit far-fetched, it does reflect its intuitive and humanistic meaning.

PLAY apartment complex
Copyright: Photograph © Yaroslav Lukyanchenko / provided by ADM architects


PLAY apartment complex
Copyright: Photograph © Yaroslav Lukyanchenko / provided ADM architects


The image of the building also determined the decoration of the facade – the architects selected volumetric porcelain slabs for it. According to the authors of the project, this sturdy and durable material is more appropriate for public buildings, and it is a little bit too pristine for a housing complex. However, the “industrial” image of the building required precisely this kind of decoration – a luminous satin cool sheen and a grid emphasizing the contrast. The industrial image of the building is further enhanced by the large glass surfaces – these are not openable, and, therefore, are not fractured with imposts. The contrast is also softened by openwork panels of the air conditioning unit baskets. The presence of these baskets is considered to be a compromise by the architects because they normally prefer to install central heating and air conditioning systems in the buildings that they design.

PLAY apartment complex
Copyright: Photograph © Yaroslav Lukyanchenko / provided by ADM architects


The tall first floor, as was already mentioned, is meant to be rented out to shops and other local businesses: on the facade, this part is visually turned into a gallery – again, with a reference to the classic examples and just to tradition, because this is how, with a covered loggia on supports, it was customary to decorate trading rows with shops in all eras, from antiquity to Russian classicism.

Summarizing the impression of the new housing complex, we can say that through its intuitive references to patterns lying in the subconscious, references that barely denote the original source and are reproduced within the framework of completely modern forms and approaches, ADM architects deliver an architecture from which anyone who is exposed to it -be that a resident or a casual passer-by – get satisfaction. And when a space becomes attractive to the public, a high-quality environment is drawn to it automatically.



PLAY apartment complex
Copyright: Photograph © Yaroslav Lukyanchenko / provided by ADM architects
  • zooming
    Plan of the 1st floor. PLAY apartment complex
    Copyright: © ADM
  • zooming
    Plan of the 2-8 floor. PLAY apartment complex
    Copyright: © ADM


19 May 2021

Tatiana Shovskaya

Written by:

Tatiana Shovskaya
Translated by:
Anton Mizonov
Headlines now
​The Strategy of Transformation
In this article, we are publishing eight projects of reconstructing postwar Modernist buildings that have been implemented by Tchoban Voss Architekten and showcased in the AEDES gallery at the recent Re-Use exhibition. Parallel to that, we are meditating on the demonstrated approaches and the preservation of things that architectural legislation does not require to preserve.
In the Rhythm of Block Construction
Last week, the housing complex “Ty i Ya” (“You and Me”) was presented, built in the northwest of Moscow. By a number of parameters, it exceeds the originally stated comfort-class format, and, on the other hand, fully meeting the city block construction paradigm, popular in Moscow, demonstrates a few interesting features, such as a new kind of public spaces for the residents, and high-ceilinged apartments on the first floors.
​Five Nonlinear Ones
Recently, at the Moscow Urban Forum, they announced a large-scale project that Zaha Hadid Architects would do for Moscow – the multifunctional housing complex Union Towers designed for Quarter 82 of Khoroshevo-Mnevniki at the commission of KROST development.
​Etudes in Glass
The housing complex, located not far away from the Paveletskaya Railway Station, as a symbol of a sweeping transformation of this area: a composition of towers of different height, ingenious detailing of stained glass windows, and a green lawn in the yard.
A Flyover in Watercolor
For the 100th anniversary of Vladimir Vasilkovsky, the architectural office of Evgeny Gerasimov is reflecting on the Ushakov Flyover, which was designed with input from this artist and architect. In this article, we are showing its watercolors and sketches, including the preliminary ones that were not included in the final project, as well as speaking about the importance of architectural drawing.
​Walking on Clouds
A restaurant in the Khibiny skiing complex: 820 meters above the sea level, sweeping views, a levitation effect, and ingenious engineering solutions.
​Transformation with Multiplication
The Palace of Water Sports in Luzhniki is one of the high-profile and nontrivial reconstructions of recent years, and a project that won one of the first competitions, initiated by Sergey Kuznetsov as the main architect of Moscow. The complex opened 2 years ago; this article about it comes out at the start of the bathing season.
​Sergey Tchoban: “I believe it’s very important to preserve this city as a record...
Although originally we planned to speak in this interview with Sergey Tchoban about high-rise construction, the conversation turned out to be 70% about meditation on the ways of regenerating the historical city and about the role of the city fabric as the most objective and unbiased historical record. And, as for the towers, which manifest social contrasts and leave a lot of junk when torn down, the conversation was about the expected construction norms and regulations. We took this interview one day before the Lakhta-2 project was announced, and this is why this newsbreak is not commented upon in any way in this article.
​Courtyards and Constructivism
In this issue, we are examining the second major block of the “city within a city” Ligovsky City complex, designed and built by A-Len, and combining several trends characteristic of modern urban architecture.
​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.
​Headquarters of the Future
The project by “Arena Group”, which won in an open competition of ideas for the headquarters of the Italian company FITT, combines futuristic forms, an interesting set of functions, energy efficiency, and subtle references to the archetypes of Italian architecture. Particularly beautiful is the “continuous” fountain. In this issue, we are sharing about the three winners of the competition.
​A Tiered Composition
A little bit of New York in Odessa: an apartment complex designed and built by “Archimatika” with towers, townhouses, a square, and swimming pools.
​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.