The new building of UniCredit bank was built at the intersection of Korobeinikov and Butikovsky lane. For those who are at least somewhat interested in modern Moscow architecture, the designation of a place means a lot: by the mid-2000s, all professional publications were enthusiastically discussing this particular part of the Ostozhenka district, and to be honest, we are primarily about this place we remember hearing the notorious definition of "golden mile". To the left, to the right and diagonally opposite here are the buildings of the Project Meganom bureau, a little further away are two houses of Sergei Skuratov. Nearby, in the depths of the site, on the embankment of the Moskva River, is the first building of UniCredit Bank (at that time it was called the International Moscow Bank), built by the Ostozhenka bureau in 1995 and also fairly famous for magazines and professional awards. Actually, the new building became a continuation of the 1995 building: it housed the offices of the bank's administration. The old and new buildings are connected by a passage on the second floor level and they have a common parking lot, with one entrance - the buildings function as a single organism.
“Unicredit Bank, formerly International Moscow Bank, is the first private bank in Russia with the number one license. Its management team is international, the principles of work are more Western than ours. In addition, Russian and foreign leaders control and balance each other, - says the chief architect of the project, Valery Kanyashin. - It was easy and pleasant to work with them, since the tastes of one chief in this case did not prevail. The style of the building was immediately identified as modern, the rest (within reason, of course), the customers gave to our discretion. Therefore, it was possible to make facades atypical for a standard office. If the client was not international, the building would have been different."
The building really looks unusual. At first glance, it is even difficult to understand how the architects managed to dissolve such a whopper in air and space. It is rippled, like a ghost or a three-dimensional image of itself. It is not so completely, but almost - devoid of corporeality. In addition, if we pass by, going down to the river along Korobeinikov lane, it will be difficult to get rid of the feeling that the house is slightly, but moving, evading us and letting us forward.
However, “devoid of corporeality” does not mean completely incorporeal: the matter from which this bank is woven, although thin, but quite palpable, it is she who is responsible for the effect of light mobility and at the same time - gloss, modern high cost of construction. The effect is akin to a Chinese screen: nothing is visible, but at the same time, it is as if it is not closed. Not intrusive. Doesn't press. Yes, and one more detail: at night it shines in its entirety, like a flashlight.
The transparent opacity is due to the fact that the glass facades of the building, covered with a fine silk-screened dot, from the street side are covered with grilles of horizontal ceramic slats: thin strips of terracotta color. The striped canvas is torn in places by large rectangles of pseudo-"windows", which are two or three times larger than the usual windows possible in such a building. Decorative openings are asymmetrically scattered along the facades, they enliven and complicate their rhythm, and they also add similarities with an “ordinary building”, with the archetypes of the city, according to which houses are supposed to have windows.
The brick color of the lamellas matches the tone of the old (1995) bank building on the embankment and is simultaneously responsible for the integrity of the ensemble of the two buildings and for contextual respectability: after all, we are in the center, and the terracotta color is one of the most “historical” ones. The striping also falls into the context: next to Butikovsky Lane is a house built by Project Meganom, completely covered with vertical slats (even more ghostly and transparent; the horizontal shading of the Ostozhenka building is more tangible in comparison with it, which is logical, since it, among other things, you should "keep" the corner of the street, and this is a responsible matter).
The aforementioned corner - the intersection of Korobeinikov and Butikovsky lanes - is undoubtedly the main one in the building. In essence, it plays the role of its main facade, a visiting card - a passer-by, going down Korobeinikov Lane from Ostozhenka, will see this corner first. The entire right side of the lane is occupied by a building built (like the aforementioned house with lamellas) by Yuri Grigoryan - its long massif covered with dense limestone "holds" the lane line. And directly in front of the crossroads, at the level of the third floor, the glass volume of the “city villa” built into the house protrudes from the plane of the wall. Her glass "iceberg" appeared when the corner of Butikovsky and Korobeinikov was empty. Now, in order to prevent this part of the alley from becoming crowded and gloomy, the architects of Ostozhenka had to retreat in front of the energetic glass mass.
They did this by tricking the perspective with volumes and lines. In short, the lines of the upper and lower boundaries of the striped terracotta screens in front of the facades are not parallel to the ground. They rise diagonally from the intersection, capturing an entire floor, and it turns out that the corner of the building facing the intersection is lower, and the far corners "take off" like the wings of a paper butterfly or a melancholic smile stylized with a triangular tick.
Moreover, if along the line of Butikovsky the technique is implemented in a linear-decorative manner: the lower contour of the striped screen is cut obliquely and to some extent continues the linear game laid down in the volume of the glass "villa", then from Korobeinikov's side the terracotta wall deviates from the red line, turning twenty degrees to the left. In this case, the plinth remains in place, the two volumes diverge, like the steps of a spiral staircase or like the shelves of a movable shelf on one axial rod. In addition, moving into the depths of the alley, the basement grows from one to two floors, lifting its sharp "nose" up.
If we look at the building from the side of the river, then from here it will seem to be composed of two volumes, placed one on top of the other with a diagonal shift - the terracotta corner hangs over the plinth, the play of lines turns into a full-fledged stereometric composition. But it is characteristic that the plane of the terracotta lattice from this point of view looks almost like a direct continuation of the brick wall of the old bank building, it is here that the similarity of the two buildings is especially noticeable. However, it should not be exaggerated: the "shading" of the new hull is more complicated and more transparent, and the line of its cornice continues the promising play, this time increasing the contraction and making the alley a little shorter (visually, of course).
As a result, the space of Korobeinikov Lane, let's say, stratified: at the bottom the dictate of the red line continues, and in the upper part it went a little to the left. Between the volume of the glass "villa" and the bank, a silent dialogue is played out, one comes, the other retreats, but does it with not only dignity, but also effectively - simultaneously setting a new direction for the lane for the development of space: a little more to the left, a little higher - than not stairway to Heaven? In any case, if you walk along the lane without taking your eyes off this building, it has been verified that the steep descent of the pavement will seem somewhat unexpected and seemingly even unreasonable. You want to jump.
The bank building has one more peculiarity: it not only reflects the environment in the most attentive way. It also differs from the surrounding buildings, and quite significantly. First, it became customary to reproach Butikovsky for having become a "dead" lane; there are few people living there and mostly guards walk along the street. The architects, frankly speaking, are least to blame for this, but nevertheless - the environment turned out to be specific. The bank building is on the contrary, really alive, busy with work and in demand. Like a workhorse among idle luxury.
Secondly, and this is already a plastic difference - the building contrasts itself with the neighboring houses with their dense respectable stone and traditional brick; with their serious representative "done". In contrast to its neighbors, there is a quality of incompleteness in it: instead of diligently and importantly presenting itself, it shyly shies away, closes itself, pretends to be a line sketch. Asymmetric holes of different-sized "pseudo-windows" in a rare canvas of lamellas look like, on the one hand, a torn cloak, and on the other, like an old Moscow picket fence. Why the new bank may - quite unexpectedly - seem like an echo of that old, wooden and "unbuilt", non-pathetic Ostozhenka, which no longer exists and which everyone misses so much.