C+S Architects and Citizenstudio are among the winners of the Face of Renovation competition, an initiative to redesign the architectural image of housing stock across 31 sites in Moscow. The competition sought to improve the experience of the urban environment through the renovation of urban blocks, fostering a sense of identity through individuality. In redesigning the Metrogorodok area (lot no. 13), the two architecture studios focused on overcoming the uniformity and repetitiveness of the prefab housing estate while also enriching the public space through the plasticity of the facades, the use of colours and the creation of intermediate spaces.
The design proposed by C+S Architects and Citizenstudio creates a system where colour becomes an orientation device, found at the façade level, but also marking the pavement of public squares and community spaces. Two complementary colours signal the two main of the Metrogorodok site: green defines the spaces and buildings in the vicinity of the Losiny Ostro National Park, and red marks the areas along the Otkrytoye Shosse Boulevard, with the areas of interference rendered in neutral shades of light and grey.
As Italian architects, we are used to looking at our cities as 'urban interiors'. For us, the squares are not voids but rather 'urban interiors' in continuity with the facades of the buildings or the greenery that overlook them. We exported this simple and beautiful concept to Moscow and, by studying the evolution of the housing typology of the city of Moscow, with the help of our Russian friends of Citizenstudio, we have combined the materiality and plasticity of the facades with the design of the public space. The project almost magically creates a grid of colours and materiality that determines the new identity for the citizens of Metrogorodok with the ambition that they can recognize it and call it "home.- Carlo Cappai and Maria Alessandra Segantini, founders of C+S Architects
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In refurbishing the facades, the design carves out loggias, intended as greenhouses, or expands the floor area of the apartments with protruding volumes, depending on the spatial relationship of the building with the forest or the boulevard. The project makes use of fibre-cement panels with ceramic tiles, as well as various brick solutions.