This house is really very small, a little over a thousand square meters. It consists of two parts of different times and characteristics. On the lane line there are windows surrounded by small stucco molding, in which you can easily recognize the middle-class house of a merchant, provincial Moscow in the middle of the 19th century, hiding, as is often the case, "pre-fire" cellars - for all together the building was recently recognized as a monument of cultural heritage. Its appearance will practically not be changed, but big changes await the courtyard part. The place of the annex, depersonalized by repairs, will be taken by a translucent building of neo-constructivist forms.
The new, courtyard part will be composed of two volumes: the main, four-storey and adjoining three-storey ledge. The height difference was conceived as a refrain of the cascade of glass volumes of the neighboring building, designed and recently built by Dmitry Alexandrov (which we have already written about earlier - https://agency.archi.ru/news_current.html?nid=1298). Two houses line up in a dynamic composition that captivates with its rhythm. Usually courtyards are more boring than facades, but here the space is transformed, gets an internal intrigue, without losing its main historical elements.
The new building "grows" out of the old one, extends from it into the courtyard and, with its opposite end, "grows" to the neighboring building. It turns out not one, as usual, but two courtyard facades, almost completely glazed. The reception, usual for office skyscrapers, where transparency does not mean defenseless due to its gigantic size, seems surprising for a small, literally miniature house, which, when viewed from the side, appears almost completely permeable - it seems that it can be "viewed" through the outside. However, the courtyard is closed, the passage to it is limited, which means that the walls of the surrounding buildings protect from "prying eyes". For “insiders”, this is a place of rest, where it is always pleasant to cast a glance. Opening outward with transparent walls, the offices become illusoryly spacious and "more human", acquiring a distant but recognizable resemblance to a park pavilion inside an old Moscow estate. Or with a summer cottage terrace, which feels just as at ease inside a fenced garden space - freedom and openness of which is ensured by isolation from random guests. Feelings rarely found in the office, the "machine for work." And they are very pleasant. One might even say, consonant with the Western tendency to take care of the mood and well-being of a clerk who spends all day at his workplace.
The weightlessness of the glass walls helps the new, completely modern building to organically fit into the dense building of the quarter. As you can see, our lady is very flirtatious: on the one hand, she feels great among her experienced neighbors in Bolshaya Dmitrovka, and on the other, she manages to flirt with young, completely new, "gentlemen", being in no way inferior to either one or the other.