Steven Holl Architects, in collaboration with Art-group Kamen, has been selected as the winners of an international competition to design a new mixed-use residential development in the Tushino district of Moscow, Russia, beating out proposals from Fuksas Architecture, Zaha Hadid Architects, Mad Global, and Tsimailo, Lyashenko & Partners.
Comprising housing, social spaces and educational facilities, the design of the complex draws inspiration from its historic site, a former paratrooper airfield. In response, Steven Holl Architects proposed a completely new building typology, “Parachute Hybrids,” which “combines residential bar and slab structures with supplemental programming suspended in sections above, like parachutes frozen in the sky.”
The key goals for the project, dictated by developer Vi Holding, were to create a “comfortable living environment” that incorporated housing available to a range of economic brackets, health spas, pools, cafes and lounges, as well as a new kindergarten and elementary school. These educational spaces stand alone within the complex as architecturally distinct buildings that optimize natural light and green space.
The residential towers feature large circular openings in their facades to express the locations of the health and social spaces, and to organize the complex compositionally around a strong geometric character. The buildings encircle a large public garden, maximizing sunlight exposure and creating space for paratrooper-themed playgrounds that reference the site’s past.
Environmentally sustainability was also considered as a core principle of the design, manifest in the form of green roofs, solar pergolas, daylighting, rainwater recycling, and geothermal heating and cooling. Apartments will feature layered operable glass facades that will both help to insulate the buildings in the winter and create open-air balconies in warmer months. Pedestrian eco corridors will also run through the site, connecting the complex to the Moscow River.
“Tushino can be an important urban model for 21st century high density living, shaping public open space,” said Steven Holl. “The new building type we have proposed here, inspired by the site’s history, is unique to this place.”
The first phase of drawings are to be delivered by March 15, 2018, after which a timeline for construction will be determined.