Voronezh, Russia — 2016
We were invited to the project by Voronezh developer Yevgeny Khamin and his company, VDK, who were looking for a studio capable of ‘redrawing’ the architecture of the residential complex, which was already under construction. On the hunt for fresh ideas, the developer had approached several bureaus in Moscow and Petersburg, and we were fortunate enough to come across this energetic person at a time when he had some idea of the kind of architecture he wanted in his projects. This idea was surprisingly easy to incorporate into our ‘Ideal Home / Ideal Apartment / Ideal Landscape’ concept.
The speed and quality of VDK’s work with the landscaping aspect was good even before we joined the project – the company had on numerous occasions taken first place in local construction competitions and had independently organized the Voronezh BUILD exhibition. The only thing that was lacking was vivid architecture and new typologies for the apartment designs – a specialty of ours since 2009.
So, after re-designing the facades of the building during construction – later named ‘Russian Avant-Garde’ – we received an offer to work on a new project; the Five Capitals residential complex. According to the client’s idea, the five buildings would be dedicated to the five capital cities of Russia: Moscow, Petersburg, Sochi, Yalta and Voronezh – the capital of the Black Earth region.
We selected the color palette for the project on the basis of this concept. The three main colors – black, green and white – are associated with fields, sprouting wheat and clouds. The complex pixelated fabric of the facades was created using a parametric approach. The black and green tones, very dense along the edges of buildings, dissolve almost completely into white as they approach the center.
What’s more, thanks to the unique plot and its surroundings we were able to implement one of our favorite themes: the bulk of the towers ‘cultivated’ from the stylobate in the same way that trees take root in the soil and rise skyward. We achieved this effect by ‘cutting’ the towers out from the total mass (a technique appropriately known as ‘massing’) which allowed us to effectively uncover panoramic views and lend the complex outline and depth. We also took advantage of the long plot’s location along Zagorovskogo St. and up to the turning at Shishkova St., which creates a unique panoramic view of the city. This decision dictated a special solution for the corners of all the towers facing south, with astounding views.
The Five Capitals and Russian Avant-Garde complexes are part of a residential district which VDK is building between the biotechnological research center’s woodland park and the botanical garden of Voronezh University. The location is spectacular, filled with greenery and only ten minutes from the center. The district is named after Nikolai Troitsky, who led the restoration efforts during the post-war period. An interesting fact: Nikolai Troitsky received his degree in architecture in Saint Petersburg, which makes one think about the predetermination of history and the continuity of the architectural school tradition.