14.04.2011

Moscow`s Finest. Сергей Скуратов ARCHITECTS

  • Архитектура
  • Объект

В 3 номере архитектурного интернет-журнала Archilepsy (США) опубликована статья Moscow`s Finest («Лучший в Москве»), посвященная творчеству Сергея Скуратова и основанной им мастерской «Сергей Скуратов Architects».

Автор статьи – редактор журнала Доминик Дж. Галльегос (Dominick J. Gallegos) – отмечает филигранную работу архитектора с материалом,  виртуозное владение искусством композиции и трепетное отношение к городскому контексту, называя Скуратова едва ли не самым «московским» из всех современных российских проектировщиков.  В материале, занимающем 26 разворотов, подробно разобраны такие постройки Скуратова, как Copper house, дом в Бутиковском переулке, БЦ «Даниловский форт» и «Дом на Мосфильмовской», а также проект «Садовые кварталы».

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In an architectural world that increasingly leans toward international practices and flashy displays of design, it's not often that an architect remains rooted in and significantly informs the architectural landscape of the city he or she calls home. Within Moscow, the capital city of Russia, Sergey Skuratov is solidifying a local legacy few of his contemporaries will be able to achieve. With a passionate attention to detail Skuratov uses material and composition to bring an organic quality to architecture.

It can be said that the imperfections of a material generate its beauty, whether it be the subtle shades unique to each piece or its seemingly unfinished texture. In some ways Skuratov recognizes this and uses it to his advantage often incorporating
or simulating the inherent variation of nature. There is something timeless about that quality that often enhances a project
as it ages.

Another theme of Sergey Skuratov seems to be the logical, yet varied repetition of architectural components. Much of the architecture that surrounds us has an order or rhythm constrained with sort of regularity. Rather than follow such strict arrangments, Sergey establishes patterns and relationships that encourage variation in way that allows the composition to read as one harmonious field.

In the following pages you will see that the thoughtfully structured work of Skuratov breaks down the rigid formalism that proliferates manmade world around us and brings a softer and more elegant feel to architecture. To provide a better perspective of Skuratov's design sensibilities and general outlook on the architectural profession, we've chosen a few excerpts from recent interviews. His manner of speaking has clearly served him well during his career, as you can see by his articulate responses.

For a workaholic and perfectionist like myself, the financial crisis is a serious test of strength and loyalty to your  professional principles. I am a compulsive worker; this must have made both my personality and my fundamental professional principles tougher, perhaps. For me, the point of the architect's trade is implementation, complete buildings. I assert that, even though I am a drawing architect, I belong to a species that is now going extinct. I draw a lot when I work on a project. I try to grasp the future building's outlines. I love the beauty of the line that is set on paper. Yet I don't think that even the most beautiful design is the most important part of my trade,if left on paper. Even a project based on a unique idea can only become part of a virtual aesthetic space- but it cannot become your reality, or change your reality. I am sure that an architect must build things! I believe that an architect must practically prove that he has the right to invent shapes and space, material environment for the society. We can say that the architect's mission is to reconcile man with life, and to reconcile humanity with its environment.

For me, important concepts that are fundamental for the trade include knowledge, experience, duty and passion. Taken all together, they shape my self-confidence. I must bring forth and grow the fruit of my professional imagination. None knows better than me how to do it. I must persuade and unite people who are involved in it with me. They are entitled to doubt and distrust - and I have to address them. Professional reputation is your vital capital, without which you cannot succeed. I do not hesitate to admit that I measure my life with completed construction projects. For me, they are incredibly momentous.

I now like things that are simpler and less complicated, of singlematerial, like sculpture. You need not seek super-expressive forms. Such super-expressive forms are necessary in five percent of all cases, when a building is placed in a unique situation.In all other cases, architecture can be simple enough, but this simplicity still must have a flavor and an imaginative component.I would even reject this word "simplicity" and rather say "reasonable sufficiency" or "rationality". I have always believed that a building should have one main line, one subject matter.

Perhaps this is still absent from my early projects, but now I seek this in all my works. One building, one subject matter, one theme, one message. One line. Minor variations are possible, and so are pauses, but- nevertheless. I am convinced that architecture has to be modern, just as our medicine, science, roads, vehicles, power supplies, sewage at last- things that are the basis of human existence- have to be modern.

Architecture must speak for itself. But it is always very difficult to be engaged in dialogue with architecture: to feel the proportions, the composition, the style...One of myassumed missions is to protect modern architecture in the eyes of the public, her right to exist without hindrance in the historical city. Professionalism is a strange substance. It is a level to be achieved through a sort of conjecture or prediction. You know the way you have to talk, and you know how to walk it.

This is a methodology in a sense. A methodology supported by a wealth of knowledge and experience to save you time from futile searching. This is a correct feeling when you know your materials, and how to use them, and what the environment needs. It's a sort of a filter used to analyze and select options and to arise to conclusions of your own. An ability to rise above yourself and think on a citywide scale, and to find unmistakably your own form for the building to interact with the urban context.

Through form, material, and pattern , the Skuratov designed Copper House has added new energy to the contemporary architectural scene in Moscow. Situated only a block away from the Moscow River, a tributary of the Oka river that flows through the central city, the projects utilizes the surrounding context to generate form and create space on the long, narrow site.The 86,000 square foot project is comprised of three main components : parking garage, ground level passageway and lobby, and three residential towers.

Below grade lies the infrastructure for a 42 car parking garage. Fit neatly beside the north side of the building and set back from the street side of the building form, the entry fades into the background. It's a subtle move, but it does wondersto enhance the architectural quality of the project, making it more inviting to pedestrians, and enhancing the urban quality of the streetscape. As one approaches the building, they are greeted by a lobby in which the entry is defined spatially by the elevated and cantilevered form of the apartments above. Continuing into the space, the ground level provides circulation through the building that unifies the three residential towers while providing a strong connection to the adjacent landscape, effectively blurring the lines between inside and out. An architecture stronglyrooted in and enhanced by its context.

Emerging from the ground level passageway are three residential blocks containing 20 apartments. These blocks are arranged strategically to define space by taking what may otherwise be one big residential block and dividing it into three blocks. By pulling these blocks apart, interstitial space is generated, providing daylight, views, and fresh air. The rotation of the furthest block adds the necessary visual boundary to define the outdoor space which lies between the project and it's neighbor.

One if the mostAdjacent to the Copper House lies another elegant residential project in Butikovsky Lane. A bit more subtle visually, this project uses a combination of stone, brick, and wood to reduce the scale of the building form in a way that gives attention to the scale of the surrounding context. Grounding the building to the site is a base material of Jurassic marble. The varied beige hues of the stone cladding wrap the ground level of the building and extend up in various locations to break the building mass into smaller components and create a connection from ground to the upper levels. The level of gloss in the stone panels is a function of it mounting locations. Portions of the upper levels were then wrapped in a Belgian brick. The dark tones and smaller module of the brick are a nice compliment to the lighter color of the stone. The combinations of stone and brick give the building the durable aesthetic associated with the historical context.

The materials used for the facade are also used in the interior, blending the material palette from outdoor to indoor and creating a sense of cohesion upon entering the building. The beige Jurassic marble of the exterior cladding wraps its way inside where it is used strategically as floor, wall, and roof. With stone it can be easy to overuse the material as an interior finish and create an overly monolithic and sterile feel to the interior environment. Skuratov avoids this with the varied shades in applications of stone. The glossy stone is arranged in various proportions with differing levels of contrast. A grey stone with linear sawcuts adds a nice texture and cool tone to contrast the glossy beige marble. The imperfection of
sawcuts shows a sensitivity to the rawness of the material and is a nice compliment to the polished.Adding a more organic element to the material palette, wood was used as an accent and frame to the openings in the heavy masonry facade. The color of the wood goes well with the light, yet warm tones of the Jurassic stone.

Just as the material composition was used to created a smaller, more local sense of scale to the building, the building form was arranged in a way that creates smaller spaces. The building is punctured along the streetside creating a portal to an interior courtyard. The building also utilized the surrounding context to enhance the space between itself and its neighbors, most notably, the space between Butikovsky Lane and The Copper House.Standing in stark contrast to prototypical business centers, Skuratov explores the plasticity of brick to combat the often banal designs that make up our commercial landscape. The building sits along the Moscow River in the southern part of the city.

The form is a composition of three business towers at varying heights of 6, 10 and 12 stories. The towers are linked by a continuous and transparent ground level, below which, lies a level of parking. Like some of the other projects by Skuratov, the ground level generates a strong connection with the surrounding context through extensive use of glass. This
sense of connection is used extensively as a way to unify the programmes of the three towers, allowing them to act as one
complete design move.Soaring above the ground level is the body of the business towers, composed of a vibrant red brick. The assorted shades of red in the brick strengthen the earthy, handmade character inherent in the many brick structures of old. Rather than articulate the composition of the building through brick pattern, the material is left wrap the tower forms as one continuousfield of brick, devoid of any garish detail.

Formally, the three towers pay compliment to each other. The six story tower takes on a weighted, horizontal character, grounding the form solidly along the street front. From the bottom of the six story extends a band of brick, unifying the forms materially. Connected at the bottom, there is a tension betweenthe six story tower and 12 story tower that works well to balance the building form by adding a vertical element to contrast the horizontal. A structure cantilevers from
each side as if the towers are reaching out to each other, effectively drawing a relationship between the two. The third
tower is set back from the street and helps to frame the outdoor undulating roof thatcontains skylights to the main level below.

Through a subtle curvature of the facade and a diverse pattern of windows, a visual dynamic is added to the otherwise
logical and rigidly rectilinear form the plan generates. The result of the curving brick facade gives a material as hard as
brick, a bit of plasticity, softening the form.In what is one of Sergey Skuratov's largest commissions to date, the Mosfilmovskaya projects seeks to breath new life into an area surrounded by open space and greenery. The surrounding area includes such open spaces as the Setun River to the west, the Park Vorob'evy Gory and the Luzhniki sports complex to the east along the Moscow River, and the green landscapes of Moscow State University to the south. Made up of fairly spread out buildings, the project will add density and a diverse array of uses to the culturally rich area which is also home to Mosfilm, often described as one of the largest and oldest film studios in Europe, "Russian Hollywood."In what is one of Sergey Skuratov's largest commissions to date, the Mosfilmovskaya projects seeks to breath new life into an area surrounded by open space and greenery. The surrounding area includes such open spaces as the Setun River to the
west, the Park Vorob'evy Gory and the Luzhniki sports complex to the east along the Moscow River, and the green landscapes of Moscow State University to the south. Made up of fairly spread out buildings, the project will add density and a diverse array of uses to the culturally rich area which is also home to Mosfilm, often described as one of the largest and oldest film studios in Europe, "Russian Hollywood."The building that was designed for the site is made up of three primary components, a monumental tower of 213 meters, a second tower of 130 meters, and two 8 story parallel structures which connects the two.

Housed within the components of this multiuse project is a combinations of commercial, cultural, and residential programs. Careful attention was paid to each program, strategically separating various functions based on the concept of private and public, allowing for a level of autonomy between residents, workers, and visitors, making for a more economical and efficient plan. The resulting footprint played off of the exiting urban context, infilling only those lots that were vacant, and preserving all of the existing building in the adjacent lots.

Still under construction, the main tower rises high above the surrounding neighborhood, standing as a new landmark to the area. The rectilinear form was folded on two sides, adding a dynamic profile to the building shape. This fold results in a bend on two sides of the plan which shifts in locations from floor to floor moving up the building. It is a simple move, but the effect is very powerful. Of course, the strength of this move is also dependent on the richness in the pattern and use of material in cladding the tower.

The horizontal bands of glazing are made of various widths of openings shifted and staggered as one moves up the tower. By varying the pattern of windows, Skuratov is able to blend the formal composition of windows into the mosaic quality of the façade. The primary cladding for the tower is a rich mix of metal panels. With eight different shades, the design gives the metal panels an organic quality with a visual texture and combinations that fade from dark at the base to light at the top. The gradient effect emphasizes the vertical nature of the building as it reaches up toward the sky, standing high above the surrounding area.

Standing beside the monumental tower is the shorter, and more elongated form of the second tower. From some views the shorter tower has a lot of visual weight as the longer side of the façade takes emphasis off of the vertical nature of
the tower. In contrast to the fine textural quality of the first tower, this tower is composed of a staggered composition of
panels with sharp bends. The effect is a course grained basket weave-like texture to the building form, enhanced by the
varying angles of reflection on the facets of the panels.

The two towers are connected through two parallel structures which form an elevated base that ties the project together. By separating the connector into two structures, an atrium is formed in between, allowing natural daylight to reach the area below. This opening also creates framed views of the towers that minimizes the sometimes overbearing scale of the skyscrapers. Although a good portion of the project has been constructed, it has been places on hold due to some political disputes with local government. Recently, the project did make some breakthroughs and will be starting up again soon as it reaches a final approval for it's height, which it was never in violation of in the first place.

It's long been debated in the architectural community on how to top off a skyscraper. Sergey Skuratov went through great lengths to generate and develop the material pattern that generated the gradient that faded along the vertical axis of the tower. The patterns that were developed were critcal to the vertical progression of the design and very specific to the height originally established. With 95% of the structure built, Skuratov stood firm defending that vision, and hopefully the people moscow get to see it realized.

As the lead designer for Garden Neighborhoods, Sergey Skuratov Architects dives into the world of master planning and mixed-use development. Taking into account the current context, the project will create a new development with future prospects of revitalizing adjacent buildings and neighborhoods. The design is made up of four zones, or garden neighborhoods, along with a business center and school. The intent is to create a community in such a way that the uniqueness of place that will attract new people to the area, creating an alternative option to what it means to dwell in Moscow.

The four garden neighborhoods are made up primarily of residential units, most of which will be elevated above ground level. At grade will be shopping and service functions to meet the needs of the residents. Some of the uses will include: social centers, restaurants, fitness centers, Spa, daycare, and other cultural institutions. With a diverse set of uses, the buildings populate the site in a way that is both dense and urban, yet open and green. Each neighborhood utilizes the arrangement of tall structures to frame garden, or public space. This gives the architecture room to breath, all while providing the diversity of functions to activate the open space.
Жилой комплекс Copper House. © Сергей Скуратов ARCHITECTSЖилой комплекс Copper House. © Сергей Скуратов ARCHITECTS
Жилой комплекс в Бутиковском пер. © Сергей Скуратов ARCHITECTSЖилой комплекс в Бутиковском пер. © Сергей Скуратов ARCHITECTS
Жилой комплекс в Бутиковском пер. © Сергей Скуратов ARCHITECTSЖилой комплекс в Бутиковском пер. © Сергей Скуратов ARCHITECTS
Многофункциональный офисный центр на Новоданиловской набережной вл. 8. «Даниловский форт». © Сергей Скуратов ARCHITECTSМногофункциональный офисный центр на Новоданиловской набережной вл. 8. «Даниловский форт». © Сергей Скуратов ARCHITECTS
Жилой комплекс на ул. Пырьева, вл. 2 (Дом на Мосфильмовской). © Сергей Скуратов ARCHITECTSЖилой комплекс на ул. Пырьева, вл. 2 (Дом на Мосфильмовской). © Сергей Скуратов ARCHITECTS
Проект «Садовые кварталы». © Сергей Скуратов ARCHITECTSПроект «Садовые кварталы». © Сергей Скуратов ARCHITECTS
Жилой комплекс на ул. Пырьева, вл. 2 (Дом на Мосфильмовской) - фрагмент фасада.Жилой комплекс на ул. Пырьева, вл. 2 (Дом на Мосфильмовской) - фрагмент фасада.
Проект «Садовые кварталы». © Сергей Скуратов ARCHITECTSПроект «Садовые кварталы». © Сергей Скуратов ARCHITECTS
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