It is well known that a tree is the prototype of any column. The house of Alexei Bavykin in Bryusov Lane uses this theme to create a very spectacular, partly theatrical set. The main façade overlooking the alley is lined with giant stone images of tree trunks, each of which, according to the architect's plan, should be crowned with a real green tree, placed in a tub cleverly built into the top of the concrete support. It turns out that the conventional stylized “forest” literally “grows” into a real one, which immediately evokes a number of associations, of which the simplest is birch trees that easily take root on abandoned roofs - with the exception that the local garden is located at the level of penthouses. I must say that the turf on the roof of a country house is a common decoration of current country houses, but the idea of lifting trees from the sidewalk and placing them on the level of the sixth floor of a city house must be recognized as new.
And yet the comparison that most accurately reflects the architect's intention is the vegetable variety of the capital at the top of the stone "trunk" of the column. And here it becomes clear the main difference from ordinary columns, which, by definition, must carry something, support the cornice of a building or a statue: the branches of living trees stretch only to the sky, and cannot serve as a support for real or fictional weight, so the cornice recedes, rising higher, turning into a canopy over the open hanging garden.
We can say that the plant facade invented by Bavykin offers an extraordinary solution to the typical Moscow problem of combining new buildings with historical buildings. Usually this issue was solved in two ways: either by referring to the "classical" architectural styles, which can be understood as an attempt by new buildings to pretend to be old, or by building, as a rule, of higher quality, but abstract and politely indifferent to the environment of Europeanized volumes. The tree house of Alexei Bavykin offers a third way, one might say, a plot one: its facade is an architectural painting depicting a square - a small, planted with characteristic long-suffering poplars growing five from one root, with branches chopped off along the entire length, and still each spring stubbornly sprouting new bunches of greenery.
The result is partly reminiscent of the European method of disguising an architectural monument during its reconstruction, when a masterpiece is temporarily invisible, covered with a film with its schematic image. Here we also have a screen decoration, reconciling the main volume of the building with the neighboring houses, shining with glazing of curved planes, and at the same time playing out in front of us a static, but no less interesting performance on the theme of the capital's courtyard in its edition for the second half of the last, XX century.
But the amazing facade is only part of the architectural concept. The house continues to play the theme of a transitional link between two neighboring buildings - on the right side, adjacent to a typical apartment building, low and intricate, it timidly bows to an elderly ancestor by a pair of Atlanteans in front of the main entrance. The part adjacent to the elite pink-brick Brezhnev high-rise building is emphatically more modern, more geometric and higher, it even part, albeit reluctantly, with brick cladding, revealing a simple white smooth surface of the walls. As a good apartment building, it has a courtyard, according to the rules of modern elite construction, turned into an atrium. As a self-respecting work of modern architecture, the house finally has a plan consisting almost entirely of curves, the "woody" facade is its only straight line, "attached" to the main, glazed and very modern volume, as if it were the front wall of a reconstructed old building. Only this whole scene is entirely invented and played by the architect from the very beginning.