LocationZimenkovskaya street, Sosenskoye settlement, Moscow, Russia
Project ArchitectsDorte Kristensen, Pascale Leistra, Karho Yeung
Design TeamThijs Klinkhamer, Abel de Raadt, Alessia Topolnyk
Russian Co-architectAtrium architectural studio, Moscow
Interior DesignAtelier PRO, Thijs Klinkhamer
Landscape DesignerBuro Sant en Co landscape architecture, the Hague
Text description provided by the architects. The official grand opening of a special school, Letovo School, took place in Moscow last September. The assignment entailed a 20 hectare schoolcampus with educational facilities, student housing and school staff housing. The school campus offers extended outdoor sports facilities with a soccer stade, a running track, tennis courts and basketball courts. In addition there is a greenhouse, a treeyard and ample space for wandering and relaxation in the green.
While the architecture and interior of the school were designed by atelier PRO, the landscape design was developed by Buro Sant en Co landscape architecture. Russian firm Atrium Architectural Studio was responsible for the technical execution. In 2014 Atelier PRO had won the international design competition, the construction began mid-2016 and the campus was taken into use by mid-2018.
Letovo, a dream come true
Letovo School is a special school for gifted and motivated children aged 12 to 17. The idea to create the school came from entrepreneur and philanthropist Vadim Moshkovich: ‘My dream was to offer talented children from all over the country access to high-quality education, regardless of their parents’ financial means. This school makes it possible for them to continue their studies at the 10 best universities in the country or at one of the top 50 universities in the world.’
Landscape-inspired design and shape
Located in Novaya Moskva,southwest of Moscow,the campus sits atop a beautiful plot of land that slopes down to a forest-lined river. Distinctive level variations were applied in and around the school to integrate the architecture into the landscape.
The shape of the large complex brings it down to a human scale for the children: the building appears to dance across the landscape due to its dynamic design. Due to the perspective effect one only ever sees part of the building's full size when walking around, which gives the impression of a refined scale. The building’s contours and flowing curves create surprising indoor and outdoor spaces as well.
The heart of the school: the central hub
The central hub is the place where day-to-day life at the school unfolds. This flexible, transformable space will be used throughout the day as an informal meeting place. The dance studio on the ground floor can be transformed through a few simple adjustments into a theatre with a stage, a cosy living room or an auditorium that can accommodate 1,000 people for special events such as graduation ceremonies and large celebrations, as seen at the grand opening. This central hub connects the building’s three wings: the art wing, the south wing with science- and general-use rooms and the sports wing
Learning environment with a diversity in working spaces
Letovo envisioned an innovative and modern take on existing education in Russia. In the spatial design, this perspective translates into space for theoretical education as well as special areas for group work and independent study in the tapered building wings. In the library wing there are silence spaces workshop spaces and a debating room. These are all supportive to the student’s personal development.
In addition to the extended sports outdoor facilities, the indoor supply of sports facilities is substantial. These cover fitness rooms, martial arts rooms, a swimming pool, a small and a large sports hall. Around the sports hall there’s an indoor running track which can be used throughout the year. It is available to school staff and external users as well.
The interior, also designed by atelier PRO, is tailored to the aims of the ambitious programme. The design of the interior also focuses extensively on the various spaces where students can go to chill and meet up with friends. The extreme cold in this area makes the school’s indoor atmosphere important for relaxation.
Ambitous learning environment
The Russian client has established a private, non-profit school which aims to be the most prestigious school in the country and to offer the best educational programme through a Russion and an IB (International Baccalaureate) curriculum. Students’ personal development is paramount, with the school adopting a holistic approach. It is a true learning environment that provides scope for a range of disciplines, areas of interest and recreational opportunities to foster children’s development. This aim is supported by the campus facilities and functions.