paul de vroom architecten

K12 Holland House

Moscow

Description

360 apartments in two towers and a parking garage

The housing area ‘Wellton Park, also known as ‘District 75’, is a neighbourhood in transformation situated in Moscow West. The Master Plan combines high-density living with green landscaping. In this area the newly built apartment blocks are variously shaped and are white or light-grey, with additional bright colours. These buildings are constructed over a long period of time, but all have the same quality in common: a strong visual relation with the long distance surroundings.

The conditions of the project K12 are an exception to this rule. The rectangular building plot is enclosed on all four sides by residential slabs. Since the build heights of two new blocks will remain lower then those of the bordering buildings, the site of K12 acts as a large confined room with only a few openings through which views are impossible. What is needed is a strong concept to make living in the apartements of K12 into a pleasant experience.

In our design the enclosed site is considered as a stage on which the two new buildings take on the role of actors. In order for these actors to perform well they need to have a specific identity and moreover to be in harmony with each other and with the theater space around them. Therefore buildings and public space needed to be designed simultaneously.

Concerning the public space the design focuses on connecting. The positions of both buildings seem to be at random, but in fact they are derived from the strict Russian rules regarding the entrance of sunlight. By introducing a ‘connecting carpet’, a floor covering in which all divergent directions are connected, we were able to unite both buildings and all activities taking place in the public space.

The brief of the project specifically asked for architecture from Holland. With our thoughts about identity and harmony in mind we converted this request into the will to create a contemporary architecture in which the formal language of the Amsterdam School is reinterpreted. In this idiom several basic characteristics can be discerned: firstly, explicit plasticity with preferably rounded forms, rythmic repetition of volumes, vertical articulation and repetitve square windows, secondly, balanced use of the materials brick, wood, glass, natural stone, concrete and metal, monumental wooden entrances and exceptional details.

These ‘Amsterdam School’ features in their modern-day interpretations, are the design instruments that give the ensemble of K12 its spectacular architectural image in which the appearance of both buildings together changes from every angle, thanks to the play of light and shadow. In K12 the buildings, like brothers, are different in some aspects and in some alike, because of a notable family resemblance.

Team Paul de Vroom & Sputnik

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