The houses are dedicated to brick - according to Sergei Skuratov, he considers this material to be the most "Moscow", best suited to the metropolitan environment. The well-known dullness of the masonry is overcome by color: the coloristics of the facades, calculated according to a special algorithm on a computer, uses smooth gradient transitions from one tone to another and combines three types of facing bricks, terracotta, slate gray and dark brown. At the same time, the overall color of the two buildings is slightly different - the smaller volume, standing in the depths of the site, got a darker combination of brown and gray. The color of the other body is lighter, here gray-terracotta with brown splashes prevails.
Such a refined approach to brick turns this, usually uncomplicated, material into a kind of starting point for the development of the theme of environment and context, understood by the author in such a complex and versatile way that the word "context" itself turns out to be somehow alien here, much more appropriate, loved by the author of the genius loci, "The spirit of the place". From the story of Sergei Skuratov, it becomes obvious that the buildings are the result of a deep and very personal experience of this, seemingly, for Moscow, long worn out and tortured theme.
The site, on which two elite houses will be built, is located on the Yauza embankment opposite the "humpbacked bridge", in the area of Ilyich Square. Except for the remote proximity of the Rublevsky Museum - the Andronikov Monastery, the rest of these places were once the ancestral lands of early industrial buildings, the rectangular brick buildings of which Skuratov considers the most interesting part of the immediate environment of the construction site. Now, of the old factory buildings, there is only one brick building nearby.
Here lies a curious plot twist: houses, remotely (!) Hinting at their resemblance to the factory brick style of the last century, stylize not so much the old factories, so much the current "lofts", which in recent decades have turned in the West from cheap into very prestigious housing. The result is pseudo-lofts that look like factory halls from the outside, but not quite - using an unexpected nostalgic note: where are you, the centers of the proletarian revolution? - the architect develops it exquisitely, bringing us back to the present day.
Tall, "factory" windows turn out to be luxurious "French" windows, from floor to ceiling, and even more - on one of the buildings the glass surface at the floor level does not end, but goes over the ceilings, confusing the observer and deconstructing the facade. There is a feeling that there is no floor at all inside, or it is impossibly thin, because the windows somewhere close in corners, and more often they merge with each other, forming fancy vertical garlands. Another "sign of the times" is a slight slope of the walls of the smaller of the two buildings: in the place where its corner goes to the intersection of two lanes, Tessinsky and Serebryanichesky, the walls "politely" deviate into the quarter, either letting someone through, or yielding to the spatial dynamics of the intersection.
Another feature is, as Sergei Skuratov aptly put it, the roofs of both houses that have moved down. “These are two insane asylums,” the author sneers. Indeed, the slight slope of the walls is echoed by the bevel of both roofs, which is especially noticeable on the front facades facing the river. In general, both houses seem to have survived a geological cataclysm, which “tore apart” one building in two and “pushed them apart” into different corners of the site - even the fault turned out to be uneven, on one side the stylobate protrusion, on the other - the console.The hypothetical shift of the earth's crust seemed to "tilt" the roofs and walls, made the windows "dance", and on one facade - "pushed" transparent-mirror prisms of the balconies out of the brick massif.
Unexpected roof slopes serve another purpose as well - they help the architect to confuse our everyday ideas about three-dimensional space. Observing the play of oblique lines, it is easy to notice that from some points of view, parallel straight lines, instead of converging in the distance, diverge, they meet somewhere near the viewer, who, passing by, involuntarily falls into the field of action of a non-direct, reverse perspective, which means, into the space of a traditional icon. Moreover, this feeling is also realized by the author, his task is to plunge us into the history of the place even deeper and older than the "factory" associations, but unobtrusively, a hint and only for those who want to understand and see. A pseudo-excavation created around the houses, similar to those that formed in Novgorod after the excavation of some temples from the "cultural layer", serves a similar purpose.
Obviously, with all the attention to the genius of the place, the houses do not try to merge with the historical context that is already almost lost in this area, they do not pretend to be invisible and do not pretend to be "their" local brownies, but they do not fence themselves off from neighbors with mirrored glass. These are some London aristocrats - with an industrial past, impeccably polite, luxurious, but restrained, with quirks, but within limits. In Moscow, such are still rare.