project type design of new urban housing block

location Moscow, RUS

client Masshtab Development Company

architecture Architects Collective

floor area 36 700 m²

competition 2010

The housing development in the south of Moscow is made up of a flexible system of components. Two main housing typologies: the open loft and the condominium tower are combined into one block to take advantage of the strengths of both systems. The low-rise perimeter contains double-height loft units within a standardized column grid. These units come unfinished; allowing the tenants the freedom to complete the interiors according to their individual needs. If the housing market changes, the lofts can then be converted to open offices by removing the interior walls. Four apartment towers of differing heights are set into the perimeter ring. Staggered to maximize views, cross-breezes and sunlight, the towers offer prescribed unit plans within a shear wall construction. A daycare and recreational space are created in two towers at the intersection of the two typologieA continuous glass ‚wrapper' covers the street-façade, and accommodates opacity and privacy when necessary on the upper levels, as well as porosity to public programs at the ground-level. These ‚closed' and ‚open' areas are signaled through the use of light; particularly at the entrance to each tower. Each tower is demarcated with an individual colour as a way-finding beacon and branding strategy for the block. The internal facades use a paneled system of metal mesh and glass in combination with logia balconies. The textured effect gives a sense of depth and rhythm which contrasts the exterior. Here the communal space of the courtyard travels up the facades and animates the interior of the block.