Modern Moscow is rapidly aging. A huge percentage of buildings today require serious repairs, while others are supposed to be demolished due to their catastrophic deterioration. The teachers and students of the MARSH school thought about the problem of the dilapidated fund of Moscow buildings. According to Rubens Cortes and Anton Jegerev Silva, the "demolition-reconstruction" formula, which for many years was the only serious urbanistic tool, has ceased to work today. It becomes obvious that the city needs a serious regeneration of space, which involves the search for new architectural typologies and the introduction of modern urban planning techniques.
Anton Egerev Silva, head of the studio of the MARCH school:
“For research, students were offered a complex and deep topic -“Unfinished Moscow”. We tried once again to look at the city in which we all live, to look into its microdistricts, built according to the model created in Soviet times, but still relevant today. Microdistrict development today remains the most common not only in Moscow, but throughout Russia, where, despite the significant changes that have occurred over the past 20 years, nothing has changed in terms of urban space.
An unfinished city is a city in which most of the realized urbanistic ideas that seemed correct in the 1970s and 1980s, in the modern world become an obstacle to achieving a better standard of living, and therefore require revision and adjustment. Together with them, it is necessary to take a fresh look at such a Soviet legacy as panel buildings in Moscow or standard projects. In addition, the public spaces created in the USSR - the so-called recreation areas of residents - should be adapted to the current situation. Today, the entire expert and professional community, and together with them the residents of the city, come to understand the insolvency of micro-district development, which does not allow creating a comfortable and safe environment. Therefore, people look to the future with hope, where the city will finally acquire a complete look.
Together with the students of the MARCH school, we tried to understand, feel the city and propose concrete steps to transform it. One of the Moscow districts, Novokosino, was chosen as a site for the study. The work on the thesis project was divided into two parts: detailed research and own project proposal. At the stage of research and analysis, students had to familiarize themselves in detail with the territory under consideration, study the statistics, existing buildings, transport situation, social and domestic infrastructure. Also, students communicated with local residents, trying to understand their attitude to their place of residence.
Each student was responsible for a separate part of the microdistrict, which allowed us to study and understand the existing problems to the fullest extent. The results of the study largely confirmed our expectations, but at the same time showed that everything is not as bad as we thought when we got down to work: many residents were quite satisfied with their area, its infrastructure and improvement. In addition to studying the current situation, the research part included a historical overview and analysis of the master plan.
The students chose the theme for the project on their own, offering their own approach and constructive solutions to existing problems. As a result, a number of very different projects were created, which allowed us to get a very good base of proposals for improving the place. Topics ranged from proposals for converting public spaces and urban parking lots to building reuse projects.
It is important that we offered students to work in a real city that surrounds them. Thus, we considered not only architecture and urbanism, but also history, sociology, political changes. The results of our research, the projects proposed by the students, are very different from each other, which, on the one hand, complicates the overall assessment of the work done, and on the other hand, gives ground for further discussion about our city."
Projects marked by the studio leaders:
On the outskirts of the Novokosino district there is a large forest park, which is practically not used by the residents of the district due to the lack of communication between the residential buildings and the forest, as well as the isolated industrial area and the complex of abandoned greenhouses located there. The author of the project proposes to transform this green border zone, together with abandoned buildings, into a new point of social activity, and without attracting very large investments.
*** Alexandra Eminova
This project seems more utopian than all the others. However, it can be viewed as a challenge for further reflection on a given topic. The project views one of the district blocks as an "island" isolated from the city, closing the perimeter. Instead of free-standing buildings, it turns out to be a quarter. New buildings with new social programs such as coworking spaces and student residences are being built between the ends of panel houses.
*** Mikhail Sergeev. Alexandra Kovaleva
The microdistrict, in addition to residential buildings, has always included kindergartens and schools. However, the buildings of educational institutions, which are still used for their intended purpose, for the most part are in a very poor condition and require major repairs. Students offered different views on how to solve this problem. Some felt that it would be more correct to demolish the existing buildings and replace them with new ones, while others, on the contrary, suggested preserving and transforming them. So, Mikhail Sergeev proposed to build a new kindergarten on the site of the old one, significantly increasing its social significance and expanding the internal program by adding, among other things, commercial functions.
*** Alexandra Kovaleva decided to transform the existing building of the school, which, with the advent of a modern media library and a new public space, will be able to expand its educational influence in the area.