Is “Marfino” a development of a whole new microdistrict? Please tell us about the features of the project
D. Alexandrov: We received this project in November, and therefore the project is now at the stage of developing an architectural ideology. The customer held a competition in which we were the last to participate, the previous participants did not manage to reflect the wishes of the client, then they called us.
The area allocated for construction is located on the northeastern outskirts of Moscow, behind the Botanical Garden, between the future 4th transport ring and the ring road. The plot is large, about 25 hectares, 350 by 700 meters; it is a former agro-industrial economy, so there is no urban environment here; to the side, far enough away, there is the Ostankino estate security zone and a huge green area, it does not entail any encumbrances, although we still take this neighborhood into account.
The English planning firm "John Thompson" took part in the initial design stages. Then the idea arose to create an "ideal city" here, with a geometric plan. According to the customer, the best form for business and business + class housing, which is planned to be built here, is a house-quarter with a large courtyard, multiplied taking into account the geometry of the site.
We corrected the master plan, bringing it to a simple grid system, and developed several options for solving the houses-quarters themselves. We decided to abandon the principle “my home is my castle”, originally proposed by the customer, and went the following way, dividing the work of the entire workshop into brigades. The author of one of the concepts will tell you more about his work.
A. Ivanov: The customer expressed the wish that the perimeter of the building be a closed square, but this approach did not seem entirely correct to us, especially if we imagine that you are in the courtyard, where you are surrounded by a solid nine-story wall. So the idea arose to make some cracks, gaps in this square and divide the whole house into separate blocks, united by a common stylobate at the level of two or three floors. Due to the gaps, more light gets inside the house, the courtyard is better ventilated and insulated. It seemed to us that this idea is more human, and just more interesting.
The solution is based on contrast: the combination of the emotional and the rational, the dark and the light. The rhythm of white-stone facades is knocked down and resembles swallow's nests scattered along the slope. The dark façade, on the other hand, adheres to a regular pattern. It also introduces a bevel element for the upper part of the house, reminiscent of a roof slope, although this is a normal sectional house. Terraces with landscaping will be located on the roof.
At the request of the customer, townhouses with a separate entrance from the courtyard and public premises with outside entrances will be placed in the stylobate - this move preserves the idea of the private space of the house being closed.
D. Alexandrov: It can also be added that the idea of a vertical city appeared here. After we shattered the volume and made light gaps, we got a kind of teeth of a giant "crown" - and the proportions between the house and the square of the courtyard became more balanced. If it were a single closed front, half of the courtyard, regardless of the time of day, would be in the shade, for us it seemed unacceptable.
You said that you have developed several options. What are their differences?
Another option is based on the same principles, but it is more contrastive - the light is lighter, the dark is darker, and the theme of the "fortress wall" develops higher - up to the level of 5-7 floors. This is a more "apartment" building.
Thus, the customer, who is now making a decision on the percentage of certain building elements, has received in his hands a semblance of a designer, consisting of a set of elements interconnected on the basis of one planning structure. This approach allows you to change the facades, silhouettes and scale of buildings, instead of depersonalizing the reproduction of typical buildings. It allows the entire gigantic territory to be built up to somehow humanize.
Were there any special requirements from the customer for your work?
The unexpected moment was the customer's approach. As a rule, in the Moscow practice of recent years, development companies first of all set the marketing task - the composition of apartments, the floor plan, the number of bathrooms, etc. Here everything was almost exactly the opposite, in general, we faced this in practice for the first time and we welcomed it internally. The customer said, they say, you have many completed residential projects, both in the center and outside it, and we perfectly understand that you have a huge number of developments - take them as a basis.
And we applied the developments, in particular, from another large residential facility, the so-called Rublevo-Arkhangelskoye, “the city of millionaires”.
Since this is a kind of city, does it involve the construction of schools, hospitals - that is, the arrangement of the territory?
Yes, of course, it will have all the necessary social infrastructure, as well as commercial space, but this is no longer our activity. Our main task here is quite local - to make the central "body" of residential elements. At the next stage, when the customer determines which option he will take as a basis, this discussion is underway now, let's see how it will be transformed.
And when should this issue be decided?
I think that over the next year it will be interesting to see what has moved from the original architectural idea to the actual design stage.