The joint ventures of Frits van Dongen, Patrick Koschuch and Jason Lee of CIE and Alexander Sverdlov of SVESMI produced two winning projects and an honorable mention from the open international competition for A101 Block City in Moscow, Russia. The 13,000 hectare area south is Moscow is to be developed by the Masshtab company, led by Maxwan Architects of Rotterdam for the urban planning concept of the A101project. The Block City is a masterplan for the area to be built up. It envisions the introduction of standard sizes for urban blocks that can be interchangeable with flexibilities in their typologies and phasing at various stages of the project’s completion. The first phase of the project to be realized is 157 hectares with 12 million sqm of housing of the Block City area. The following proposals are winners for the design of the urban block. More on the winning projects after the break.
The first of the project by SVESMI and CIE, Six of a Kind, qualified for the low density category of Block City with 14,000 sqm of housing and a block size defined at 75 x 125 m. The proposal attempts to subdi-vide the block into smaller scaled objects. This strategy for low density housing creates a division be-tween urbanism and suburbanism, as though the apartments can be subdivide into individual villas within a vertical block. The scheme is composed of six small towers with a continuous band that demarcates the edge of the street from the interiority of the block. This approach provides privacy for the collective resi-dence of the six blocks and provides each building with solar access, views and private parking. Private gardens on the first level of each block open out into a central spine of a collective park for the entire block.
The scheme is composed of six small towers with a continuous band that demarcates the edge of the street from the interiority of the block. This approach provides privacy for the collective residence of the six blocks and provides each building with solar access, views and private parking. Private gardens on the first level of each block open out into a central spine of a collective park for the entire block.
The second project, winner of the category for high density which occupies the same area but provides 28,000 sqm of housing is called Tower Block. This reinterpretation of the classical European block pro-duced four tower buildings that enclose an inner courtyard. The perimeter height of the block is main-tained at six storeys, which are then repeated over multiple blocks.
The street profile provides a perceptible human scale and a street profile that provides solar access to the street below. The heights of the towers are variable, depending on density requirements. Taller towers will be oriented to the north end of each block to maximize sunlight hours. Between each tower there are gaps that allow light and air to enter the block’s interior and provides small view corridors into and out of the block.
Eurika, the project that earned honourable mention, maintains the dimensions of the classical block and the private exclusive character of a communal courtyard. The composition is easily recognized as an urban unit that makes a clear distinction between private and public space. It follows scale of a five-storey standard Soviet layout with its traditional proportions improved and its apartments suited to contemporary lifestyles. This project attempts to readdress old Soviet attitudes to urban housing in a more contempora-neous way, putting its best qualities forward.