The intersection of Mozhayskoye Highway and the Moscow Ring Road is well known in connection with another project - "Western Gate" by ABD architects: it is assumed that two business parks, designed by the architectural company of Boris Levyant, will flank the Mozhaisk Highway from the south and north, and the southern part is already under construction, and the northern one is only being projected. Directly behind the section of the second stage of the "Western Gate" passes, echoing the smooth lines of the road junction, Barvikhinskaya Street. Inside its bend there is a plot allocated for the construction of the SPeeCH complex. Now at this place is a flat square of a trade hangar, and further, towards the city, panel housing of different years, typical for the city outskirts, begins, varied, but sloppy. However, of course, it is not panel houses that determine the context of the future complex - it is set by the part of the Western Gate that has not yet been built. Realizing this, the architects SPeeCH and ABD agreed from the very beginning to treat their projects as a whole and work in the same vein as possible.
The SPeeCH complex supports and complements the future neighbor not only in urban planning and architectural-compositional terms, but also functionally. While the Western Gate mainly consists of offices, hotels prevail on Barvikhinskaya. The architects' calculation is simple and correct: people who come to the offices of companies located in the "Western gate" may need housing, including temporary. However, the SPeeCH complex will also include offices and retail, as well as a sports block and an exhibition center, so that it is configured to interact with the neighboring complex, but does not depend on it and, if necessary, may well function autonomously. Stylistically, the two neighboring complexes are also close, but this is consonance in the most common tonality - they are not alike, but both belong to the type of architecture that is easiest for a Moscow person to identify as “European”: low, calm, and qualitatively executed.
So, the site intended for the SPeeCH project is bounded by the arc of Barvikhinskaya Street and is close to a quarter of a circle in shape. The underground part of the building inherits the same outline, but slightly recedes from the edges of the site, which will allow in the future to plant an alley of trees in front of the complex. It should be noted that in this project, the issues of ecology and landscaping of the territory are generally paid unconventionally great attention for our latitudes. Needless to say, we are used to seeing the intersections of the Moscow Ring Road and the radial highways as a kind of epicenters of the technogenic life of the capital, and SPeeCH seriously intends to turn this gloomy, polluted area into a green oasis, for which it even attracted one of the world's leading bureaus Arup as the chief consultant on engineering.
The authors proposed two options for the architectural solution. In the first case, the complex is divided into four separate buildings, of which three at the level of the first floor are connected by shopping galleries and in the plan resemble an open fan repeating the bend of Barvikhinskaya. The hotel building also has the shape of a triangle, the rounded "top" of which faces the residential area. Office blocks have a variable number of storeys, and green terraces are arranged on their roofs. And the hotel roof, which is much larger in area, is turning into a real testing ground for "green" energy concepts. It has an unusual hilly structure that can significantly reduce heat loss, and some of the "bumps" seem to be "pierced" by wide glass tubes of ventilation hatches. In addition, for better insolation and internal microclimate, the hotel has a large atrium in which a winter garden will be arranged. The atrium is covered with a translucent polymer structure of the Texlon Foiltec system, and the membrane, in turn, is equipped with solar and temperature sensors of the solar energy system, which, if necessary, restricts the flow of light through the transparent surface.
The second variant of the planning of the complex provides for the construction of a single volume, in terms of similar to a comb or just an inverted letter Sh. With its main crossbeam, this “Sh” is facing Barvikhinskaya Street and repeats its flowing feminine outlines. The end facades face north, and the architects fill the space between the narrow long volumes with transparent atriums of the winter gardens. This is the same Texlon Foiltec, but in this case the membrane forms not only the roof, but also the wall.
Such different options for the layout of volumes on the site did not arise by chance. The main violin here was played by the already mentioned neighborhood with the project of Boris Levyant's workshop, who also interpreted his second “Western Gate” in two versions: both as a complex of detached buildings, and in the form of three zigzag buildings united by a common stylobate. As for the solution of facades, here SPeeCH are true to their laconic style. In both versions, they are calm, with large rectangular windows and thin stone walls. The first option is a little more strict and material, the second is a little lighter and more sophisticated due to the vertical proportions of all windows and the unification of tiers that conceals the scale.
Speaking about the advantages of business parks located at the outskirts of the city, we, as a rule, first of all mean their transport accessibility and equipment with all the necessary infrastructure. SPeeCH adds to these characteristics one more important quality - comfort and environmental friendliness of the environment. And, perhaps, thanks to the efforts of these architects, office complexes located close to the Moscow Ring Road and at the same time buried in greenery will cease to seem to us a utopia.