Residential Block for Moscow Satellite City

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In the nearby future Moscow will get a new satellite city for 150.000 people. For this project local developer Masshtab has organized a competition for a residential block in which Urban Matter took part. Our proposal was designed in collaboration with an urban planner Daniel Casas Valle. The main concept explores an evolution of a traditional city structure, that is shaped by streets and building blocks with courtyards inside. In our design the blocks are adaptable, orientated towards the street and have unified appearance with room for individual identity.




CITY. The city, composed of building blocks, gets complementary urban qualities from the public spaces of streets and squares together with the private domains of the houses and the courtyards. These courtyards serve as collective shared green space and can be opened during the daytime for other people in the neighborhood, like children and the elderly. This way we create a green network parallel to the main public space.



BUILDING BLOCK. Towards the public space the building block expresses a mixture of collective identity with the same facade material and an individual identity with distinctive design of windows, doors and private outdoor spaces for each individual building volume. The collective green courtyard forms a meeting place for residents and potential visitors from other building blocks. In contrary to the public space outside the block, it provides a sheltered and protected environment.



SYSTEM. The modular building system provides a variety of building units with their own distinctive typology. Building modules vary in size from 4 to 46 dwellings and can be freely composed within a rigid 7,5m grid. Within the system the units are stacked together in a way that optimizes vertical access, orientation, views for all apartments and provides spatial and functional diversity.



The active base, the ground floor, animates the street by accommodating a mixed-use program and many direct entrances to the apartments. To make room for commercial and social activities we raised the height of the ground level to 4,5m. It makes easier to adapt the program in the future and adds to project economical sustainability.



We optimized the access to the apartments by using a divers system of vertical access points, direct entrances from the street, courtyard and special roof streets. This system minimizes the amount of lifts and staircases and allows to avoid unpleasant galleries and corridors. For example, all apartments on the first three levels are accessed directly from the street level. Special roof streets on the third and fifth floors provide access to two-level houses, lofts and penthouses.



The parking solution is a combination of two systems. One is a traditional parking, half sunk under the courtyard. It's green roof is an integral part of the courtyard landscape. Another system is a mechanical parking in ten levels. It is a part of the building volume and has advantages of being an economical and sustainable structure. The combination of two systems provides enough place for 160 cars. The rest of the parking and guest parking are located on the street. The courtyard stays green, car-free and children-friendly.



Within this block we achieved a great diversity of residential units: ground-accessed apartments, lofts, studios, tower flats with extended views, penthouses, residential units with extra working spaces and roof houses in two levels. We believe that such divers mix of typologies enriches the living environment and creates space for individual expression. In addition to being socially sustainable, it provides a lot of individual and communal green areas, activated roofs and interesting visual connections between the street and the courtyard.



Proposed modular building system for the residential block is easy to adopt for different locations and is flexible in it's north-south orientation.  To achieve this within strict Russian insolation regulations, we provided 90 percent of all apartments with a double-side orientation. It increases quality of living and gives great views to everyone.

Project data:


Name: Residential Block for Moscow Satellite City
Team: Alexander Chemyakin, Jasper Hermans and Daniel Casas Valle
Program: apartments and mixed-use on the ground level
Site area: 3,2 ha
Construction Area: total 28.000 m2
Location: Moscow, Russian Federation
Project year: 2010
Client: Masshtab
Photographs and images: Urban Matter / DCV
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