The new building is planned to be built almost in the center, almost immediately behind the Garden Ring: Dokuchaev Lane is a not unknown place, it leads from Sakharov Avenue to Bolshaya Spasskaya Street, nearby the Sklifosovsky Institute, the Botanical Garden of Moscow State University and the Three Station Square. The buildings of the apart-hotel "Volga" have existed here since 1976: a twelve-story plate stretched along Bolshaya Spasskaya, a sixteen-story tower stands on the Dokuchaev line. About a year ago, the customers suggested that the ADM architects fill the gap between them with a new building: more than 30,000 m2 were required on a relatively tight site.2 useful area.
Andrey Romanov and Ekaterina Kuznetsova proposed a volume that closely adjoins the blind ends of the existing buildings. However, it not only closes the front of Dokuchaev Lane, but, joining the tower, turns into the courtyard (plan "L" -shaped). Meanwhile, in order to prevent the new building from dividing the courtyard of the complex into two parts, the Corbusse architects raised it on slender round columns - arranging a public space under the resulting canopy, accessible not only for the guests of the apartment complex, but also for all citizens. Now in the yard there is a parking lot behind a fence and a dozen American maples around its perimeter. And there will be: tables of a summer cafe, a garden of stones, wooden flooring and colored armchairs (just like in Vienna's Art Quarter), simple stylish lanterns, flowers and trees in tubs and without, sheared shrubs, a lawn and a small picturesque square. And also a fountain of "Louvre" appearance in the form of a rectangular stone slab with water flowing down the edges - all according to the rules of landscaping, to which ADM in all their projects pay a lot of attention. The space of the courtyard and the cafe under the canopy of the new building will be permeable, one protected from rain, the other open to the sun, and one of the most unusual and pleasant elements of the cafe will be a large fireplace brought out to the outside.
“The need to visually expand the boundaries of the courtyard space has become one of the central tasks of the project, - says Andrey Romanov, - hence all the diversity of its content. For the same reason, the wall of the lobby with the reception area is made completely glass, transparent. " We are talking about the first floor of a plate stretched along the lane: its outer and inner walls are glass almost as wide as the yard, from the yard you can clearly see the street, from the street - the yard. The reception desk is located in the center of the lobby - it turns out to be permeable not only in fact, since anyone can walk through, but also visually, which helps psychologically expand the space of the courtyard. Glass predominates in the decoration of the first floors: from the street side, all the first floors are given over to large glass showcases, the glass is slightly deepened, the walls of the upper floor are slightly removed, a small visor is formed along the showcases - a kind of gallery for walking along the building.
Due to the lack of space and the need to take into account the dimensions and spatial logic of the existing buildings, the volume of the building turned out to be laconic. However, this did not prevent the architects, without going far beyond the framework of rethinking the modernist style, to complicate the plastic and radically rethink the proportions, making them clearly, to the point of fragility, vertical.
More precisely, the extended volume does not look like a solid beam: it is more like a row of tall and thin towers, lined up and strung on a common core - almost Manhattan. The ledges are much wider than the usual bay windows, the lintels between them are narrow, but they regularly alternate both on the street facades and from the courtyard side.The illusion of a plurality of volumes is supported by the height differences, and the jumpers between the sections are sixteen-storeyed, and the main volumes rise above them three storeys higher, which also emphasizes the “independence” of the towers. Only the end sections are devoid of the three upper floors, they resolutely align the topline with the plate of the old hotel, thus not losing connection with the environment.
The module of three floors is important not only for the volumetric drop; the windows of all floors, excluding the public first, are combined into vertical groups of three, and their width is constantly changing, adhering, however, to some commonality of vertical walls and not turning into a classic holland wall.
The plastic of the facades, in essence, is very restrained, subordinated to the soft wood-ceramic range. Moreover, the base mesh is formed by a light golden-beige brick with asymmetrically scattered brownish markings - the predominance of a light tone serves to solve the same problem of visual expansion of space. The second, slightly deepened, "inner" layer of the facade is given to ceramic panels imitating the color and texture of wood: they form both wide piers and vanishingly thin lintels, which give the window pattern a special, graphic subtlety. By the way, it is these thin bridges that are responsible for the fragile thin bone effect, which is noticeably inherent in this project. The deepest layer - metal strips of interfloor ceilings, forms a kind of "weft" of multilayer facade fabric. The picture is completed by lattice metal balconies scattered strictly in a checkerboard pattern, which can serve as boxes for air conditioners.
The facades are similar, but not all are the same - one volume, located to the right of the entrance, is about twice as wide as the others, and its drawing is stricter and, let's say, closer to the search for post-war modernism. The brick forms a thin protruding frame, but all the walls between the windows are given to the "ceramic wood"; there is something in it from the design objects of the seventies (is it homage to the neighboring buildings?). Either way, this distinctive façade only enhances the basic impression of the home-city.
It turned out strictly and gracefully; it is curious that all the figurative implications laid down here by the authors are given by hint and very carefully: you will not want to understand, you will only feel the quality of the finish and the freshness of the washed glass of the showcases, and there may also be a variety of textures. Meanwhile, looking at the "mini-Manhattan" more closely, the observer could find more than one emotional association. For example: not far, as already mentioned, Three stations, which means the Leningradskaya hotel; relatively close and another skyscraper, one of the best, built by Alexei Dushkin on the Red Gate. Light beige, warm inserts, Gothic verticals - and we recall that the American skyscrapers, which stand in a row along the street gorges, and the Moscow skyscrapers spread out like merchants, are related in style.
Or like this: in the neighborhood, near and far, there are institute buildings of late Soviet times made of pink bricks with crimson bridges and wide vertical pseudopilasters - the new Volga seems to put the theme on a new melody, rewriting the same idea more confidently and subtly. Or crosses both, which is also possible; alchemically adds a drop of Stalinist skyscrapers to the matter of the “Soviet Institute”, a drop of classics into the body of modernism. Well and more. In 1976, the massive buildings of the Soviet hotel were replaced by the fractional buildings of the 19th century, summarizing its diversity to the extreme. Now, in a new project, architects combine, albeit illusory, both qualities: scale and fragmentation. As if - no, they are by no means re-creating, it's late, and there is no need - but they are rethinking the structure of the lost city. Or is it just the time now.
The construction of the complex has already begun; its completion is scheduled for 2017.