We wrote about the project of the Western Gate business center by ABD architects (Boris Levyant, Boris Stuchebryukov) some time ago. Its first stage is already under construction - in the southeastern corner of the Moscow Ring Road and Mozhaiskoye Highway. The second stage, which was shown to the architectural council on April 29, should be located on the opposite corner of the junction, at the site of the gas station on the other side of the highway. As conceived by the authors, two relatively symmetrically located on the sides of the highway and close in volumetric-spatial composition of the complex should become a kind of pylons flanking the entrance to the city - hence the name "Western Gate".
At the same time, the multifunctional complex ‘SPeeCH’ (Sergey Choban, Sergey Kuznetsov), intended for a neighboring site in the same (northeast) corner of the interchange, but a little further away, behind the line of Barvikhinskaya Street, was considered. The ‘SPeeCH’ and ABD designs were shown in two coordinated versions. In the first version, ABD architects proposed a project similar to the first stage of the "Western Gate": three zigzag buildings, set on a common stylobate. The ‘SPeeCH’ responds with a one-piece E-style body, rounded along the street. Boris Levyant's second version consists of three separate buildings; the 'SPeeCH' building here also turns into a triangle open into several buildings.
Both projects generated lively discussion. They talked about the ownership of the plots; about the transport scheme; about how the proposed volumes cope with the declared role of urban "propyls", how they will be perceived when viewed from a car and how - to be combined with a high-rise building that Alexey Vorontsov is designing a little further off the Mozhaisk highway. The members of the Council did not see and did not feel the whole town-planning ensemble, which gives the ceremonial character of the entrance to the capital from one of the main thoroughfares of the country. For this reason, the project was aimed at a variant study.
Ultimately, despite the fact that more than half of the board members, including the referents, were inclined to approve the project, it was still rejected.
The second in a row was considered the business center "Minaevsky" on Suschevsky Val ("SP-Project", TD Kuznetsova, VN Zubov), removed from the Arch Council in early April for poorly prepared materials.
The site is located on the inner side of the Suschevsky Val between Tikhvinskaya, Novosuschevskaya streets and Minaevsky proezd, next to the famous new building of Boris Shabunin. Once this place was occupied by the Minaevsky market, now there are two buildings here; one of them will be demolished, the other, built in 2005, is planned to be preserved, although during the discussion at the council it turned out that this is a poor-quality and crumbling "squatter" (according to Alexander Tsivyan, already now it is collapsing like the Leaning Tower of Pisa).
The council members recognized the town-planning situation in this territory as critical. The site is surrounded by monuments of constructivism. Nearby (east of the proposed construction site) is a 1920s quarter, a constructivist workers' settlement. Two hundred meters from it is the Maryinsky department store, on the opposite side of the Suschevsky Val - the motor depot of Konstantin Melnikov; also relatively nearby is the Bakhmetyevsky garage.
There is no city plan for this territory. There is some information that some dominants may appear in the area of the Savelovsky railway station, as well as the reconstruction of the neighboring factory "Russian knitwear".
From the side of the city center, according to Vladimir Kruglikov, head of the UGR of the North-East Administrative District, the site under consideration is adjoined by a quarter "with a very dark fate", which is being built without documents.
The presented project drew widespread criticism. First of all, those present were in doubt about the declared function of the building. It is intended for four public organizations, including the Research Institute of Culture and Art; however, the layouts shown are purely office layouts and have nothing to do with the declared function. Visits to the building by unauthorized persons are not provided - those present recognized this as strange for a public building. There was even speculation that the functional identity was falsified, and the building is intended for offices.
Further, the height and area of the building turned out to be significantly overestimated. It even seemed to the chairman of the council, Yuri Grigoriev, that with each new show this house was growing: now it again turned out to be almost equal in height to the building of Boris Shabunin. Project assistant Vladimir Yudintsev recalled that when designing the building, Boris Boris Shabunin was strongly recommended to make a "light facade" to provide insolation - now the new building can close this facade from the sun and nullify the already implemented expensive solution. Vladimir Yudintsev advised the authors to "accept the game of Shabunin's house" and make their building half the size. According to Sergei Kiselev, "A third of the declared volumes is possible here, well, in extreme cases, half."
Vladimir Yudintsev also pointed out obvious gaps in the transport scheme. He recalled that the above-mentioned “non-documentary” neighborhood adjacent to the site in the depths of the territory has neither underground parking nor infrastructure; that the residents of the nearest constructivist quarter suffer from the invasion of office cars in the courtyards, and also that the parking lot of the Boris Shabunin building is loaded to the limit.
At the same time, only 200 parking spaces with a small parking space in 3 levels are planned in the new complex, while at least 5 levels are required - said Vladimir Yudintsev.
The project generated many emotional performances. Alexander Tsivyan saw in it an attempt by the customer to "push through" an office building with significantly inflated areas (the estimated density is more than 60 thousand square meters on 0.5 hectares), as well as to "cover" the neighboring samostroi. According to Alexander Kudryavtsev, nothing new should be built on this site. Summing up the results of the discussion, Yuri Grigoriev praised the referents for a careful analysis of the situation, characterized the project as unqualified and sent it for cardinal revision.