Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Office building on Leninsky prospekt in Moscow, Russia by Sergey Tchoban + Sergey Kuznetsov
April 7th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Sergey Tchoban, Sergey Kuznetsov
The office building at the corner of Leninsky prospekt and Udaltsova street, stands out not only by a modestly-elegant appearance but also by the concept that is unique for Moscow. It is one of the first buildings in Moscow conforming to European standards of power efficient planning. Besides the building located in one of the main Moscow highways does not occupies the whole intended for construction area but, on the contrary, gives its considerable part for beautification.
The building is faced with massive stone slabs, emphasizing the thickness of the wall, its materiality. Stone is subjected to riffling for giving the facades more rhythm, and also for the building become not dilapidated later on but a noble old one – precipitation and street dust accumulated in the stone corrugations will stress the relief of the wall and create the patina effect. In the authors’ opinion the plain facades do not have this quality; however, it is very essential in Russian climate conditions. The distinctive peculiarity of the office building on Leninsky prospekt is its features of sculpture. It does not have main and facing yard facades; they all are worked out on the same difficulty level. Due to the scaling system calculated in details and combination of elements, the building is perceived absolutely dissimilar from different views. From a distance the first thing that attracts attention is a pair combination of the windows in high and narrow vertical blocks (width 1.35 and height 6 meters), due to which all the volume visually assembles, utmost tightly grouping.
It is a scale of large avenue; it is for those who see the building from within a speeding car stream. Automobile dynamics is reflected in the wave stubs in the main facade, giving the sculpture plasticity to the usual parallelepiped. Herewith the wave itself is not static: bay windows are displaced relative to each other. At the closer distance it is noticeable that all windows and stone blocks between them are rotated to the plane of facade at a certain angle. Such dynamism conceals ruggedness of the elements of the building – six meters single glasses and thick plates of Brazilian limestone. The corners of the building consists of the G-form whole elements and the façade overlooking the Udaltsova street is considerably austere – directed to the still and green residential area it play the role of the border between the street and the avenue. Its only decoration is squares from glass plates.
Such effective stone-glass dress is simply the upper layer of the double facade. The double-gazing opening inside glasses, which are automatically closed by venetian blinds in the sunny weather are located behind it. The technologies that allow maintaining the optimal temperature and illumination in the premises are used in the building. There are several such technologies and they are effective exactly in combination with each other.
First of all it is the use of “cold ceiling” – a system that is usually has little effect in Russian conditions, but in combination with double facade it not only works excellent but also allows adding the building to the amount of power effective buildings. Under a concrete plate of the ceiling there is a spiral tube built through which the cold water goes. Heavy cold air goes down and this leads to soft air circulation inside the building. But as this effect is slow, it is possible only in case when a little part of sun warmth comes into the premises. That is why one more technology – double gazing and automatic sun venetian blinds – is used.
The building is oriented to the north by its angle, that is why all four facades are illuminated during different time of the day. Sun sensors are installed by windows. Whet sun is detected by this sensor, venetian blinds automatically go down between two layers of glazing and sunlight does not come inside. Two layers windows not only protect venetian blinds from depreciation but also save from noise, as the noise of minimum 72 decibel comes from Leninsky prospekt, glass screen allow reducing noise entry to 55-60 decibel. Even by western standards this noise level allows to open window for a short time and to ventilate the premise. Ventilation is made in the following way: it is possible to open and close only inner double-glazed windows. And there is a chink at the bottom of external window (that cannot be opened).
Through this opening air comes from outside, then it is heated in the space between external and inner windows, then goes up as warm air and through upper chink gets into the premise. Thereby heating becomes less costly because not the external air is heated but the air that is already heated between two windows. Economy of electricity happens also because of the use of the glass with a high level of transparency. That is why it is light anyway even in the cloudy weather. In the buildings with tinted glasses (such glasses are installed more often in the offices) it is necessary to switch on the light and use electricity even during the day time.