The Ukraina Hotel, with the support of the non-state educational institution Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, have announced the finalists for the Ukraina Hotel Entryway competition. Designs from ABD Architects (Russia) in cooperation with Werner Sobek Moskwa (Russia), TPO Lesosplaw (Russia) in cooperation with Malishev Wilson Engineers (UK), and Studio 44 (Russia) have been chosen from a total of ten competing proposals, one of which will now be implemented by the client. Offering the chance to design a new entrance to one of Moscow's foremost landmarks, the winning scheme will provide a rare opportunity to work with an unique example of Stalinist architectural heritage.
One of the seven original 1950s Soviet skyscrapers, also known as the Sisters, the Ukraina marks the beginning of the Kutuzovsky Prospekt, one of the city's main transport arteries. The objective of the competition was to develop a concept for the hotel's main entrance, which comprises of an eight-column portico in addition to a stairway and adjoining entrance square. The territory also included the area immediately in front of the main hotel façade, the passage between Kutuzovsky Prospekt and the Taras Shevchenko Embankment, the Taras Shevchenko Square, the hotel’s river transport berth, and a part of the embankment. This collection of spaces merge with the hotel's entrance to create a "uniform ensemble" providing a continuation between the main entrance and the urban realm.
According to Sergey Kuznetsov, Chief Architect of the City of Moscow, "many members of the jury noted that the choice was difficult to make. There was a wide variety of quality projects, but not all of the participants managed to address all the tasks set in the competition brief." "I think the finalists fully reflected the goal initially proposed by the competition." Denis Leontiev, Head of KB Strelka, noted the quality of the Russian entries: "the whole pedestal is represented by the Russian participants of the contest, which is certainly a big success for the Russian architectural school."
Narine Tutcheva, member of the jury and head of Rozhdestvenka Architectural Bureau commented on the significance of this competition suggesting that the results "send a message to the architectural community: both ways of implementing such decisions in modern Moscow and ways of meeting certain requirements in the field of architecture, urban planning and cultural heritage." Moscow is not a stagnant city.
TPO Lesosplaw (Russia) in cooperation with Malishev Wilson Engineers (UK)
"The proposed concept for the new entryway for the hotel solves several of the main tasks: it is independent in constructive and stylistic terms and yet it does not dissonant in its composition alongside the existing architectural monument. The installation not only fulfills its practical function as a protective canopy, but at the same time it is a piece of modern design in its own right which works in contrast with the historical building. It creates a dialogue between the old and the new and on a variety of levels; including in terms of rhythm, scale and material."
"The design of the entryway for the Ukraina Hotel creates the visual effect of a light ribbon-like awning of snow-white glass, flowing around 250 meters and held up from the ground by thin chrome columns. The supports for the awning are placed at broken intervals of between three and six meters apart so that the newly-created rhythm ‘has its own melody’ and doesn’t violate the established composition of the historical building. The linear structure of the awning, soaring between Kutuzovsky Prospekt and Taras Schevchenko Embankment, transforms both the approach to the hotel and the descent to the embankment, in one single promenade. The awning is located along the main façade of the building, crossing the driveway in two places allowing the canopy not only to cover the rampant for accessing the hotel, but it creates conditions for the emergence of a new public space; a place for meetings and walks."
"The awning over the entrance, designed in the form of rectangular plate, or ‘blade’, covers the entrance area and access ramps. It is free of visible support which visually lightens the structure, making it weightless. As it is planned that the canopy be equipped with a constantly illuminated inner surface, it will be perceived as a large rectangular, though extremely thin lamp, hovering in the air."
"The extended scaling facade line of the canopy emphasizes the rhythm of horizontal divisions of the building’s facade. The structure of the awning is formed by the system of cross-shaped trusses connected with steel beams (working in compression) built into the existing columns and fixed with steel braces located between the pylons at the outer wall of the portico. The supporting vertical structures are based on the existing foundations. The lower surface of the canopy is filled with light boxes and built-in LED strips that provide uniform illumination of the entire surface. It is proposed that the territory along the main entrance is cleared of cars, and for these areas to be covered with lawns and squares."
Studio 44 (Russia)
"Two massive propylaea in a slight downward curve (a rushnik is an embroidered towel traditionally used to offer bread and salt to guests welcomed to one’s home in Russia and other Eastern European countries). The propylaea are made from square blocks of cast iron. The height of the blocks conforms with the rhythm of the horizontal structure of the hotel entrance level and rest on cast iron pedestals. One of the propylaea is a structural support, while the other serves as a counterweight. The counterweight rests on a cylinder hinge made of extra high strength steel. This is the only asymmetrical detail in the otherwise highly symmetrical structure.
The stand-alone structure on independent foundations is located away from the existing Hotel Ukraina portico and can thus be interpreted as an avant-portico of sorts. A tectonic structure and imagery strikingly different from the order of the original building helps the avant-portico avoid being either in confrontation with or contraposition to the hotel building. It is neither in contrast to or flirtation with the original building; but rather it is neutral, in 'exterritoriality' and autonomy. The size of the load-bearing pillars, their horizontal rhythm, as well as the distance between the propylaea aligns the new structure with the monumental scale of the hotel. The area under the canopy becomes a large public space that can be used as an event venue."
The jury included:
- Sergey Kuznetzov - Сhief architect of Moscow, First Deputy Chairman of the Moscow Committee for Architecture and Urban Development
- Anna Bronovitskaya - Historian of architecture; Associate Professor at the Moscow Institute of Architecture
- Alexander Kibovsky - Minister of Moscow government, Head of the Department of Cultural Heritage of Moscow
- Arild Hovland - Senior VP for business development at Rezidor in Russia and CIS
- Narine Tutcheva - Architect, Head of Rozhdestvenka Architectural Bureau
- Knut Goppert - Structural Engineer, Managing Director at Schlaich Bergermann und Partner
Find out more about the three finalists here.
References: Ukraina Hotel Competition