"Project Russia" Magazine No. 24
Residential building in Bolshoy Levshinsky Lane
Architects I. Utkin, M. Chirkov
Designers I. Schwartzman, A. Reent
General Contractor CONIP (Zagreb)
In the compositional solution of the house, the main difficulty was the solution of the corner. Although several attempts were made to develop a rectangular version, a harmonious solution did not work, so in the end the architect settled on a round corner, emphasized by a turret, a “gazebo”. In addition, the task was to tie the height of the building to the neighboring house No. 7. This was accomplished with the help of a developed cornice that visually hides (like hat fields) the residential tiers located above (penthouses). Brick and natural stone will be used in the decoration of the facades. The use of plaster and coloring is excluded: firstly, real, noble plaster, which allows the building to “breathe” and age beautifully, is now obsolete. Using modern decoration materials would give the building an undesirable fresh, “cardboard” look. The need to provide the right amount of living space led to a complex constructive decision of the house using cantilever structures. It was decided to abandon the removal of large-sized bay windows and balconies on the street facade, since this would clutter up the space of a narrow alley. As a result, French balconies, arranged in seven solid tiers, were placed on the courtyard facade. It is assumed that their hard rhythm will be softened by subsequent continuous landscaping, which will turn them into a kind of overgrown grotto. The abundance of greenery is an essential part of the overall design of the house. In the temporary perspective, it should “instill” in the building’s architecture the necessary organicity, naturalness and elegance, reminiscent of birches that were taken on the roof of old churches or of the “overgrown” facades of Baroque Rome. Flowerpots for greenery and a flower girl are also placed on the main facade, and in the courtyard (on the axis of the main entrance, so that the person entering the building will already see it from the lobby), the most natural grotto is also located. The space of the courtyard itself is covered with pegs, so that, being open, it will at the same time be inaccessible from above by the curious eyes of the neighbors.