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    Pictures: Ilya Ivanov

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Moscow goes Dutch and sees red

Jez Abbott
Tuesday 12 Feb 2019

A striking red-brick twin-tower complex is the latest addition to the ever-changing skyline in Moscow.

Team Paul de Vroom + Sputnik recently completed the apartment complex in Wellton Park, a district of the Russian capital, with a very high building density.

The Dutch architects completed two apartment buildings with outspoken brick facades after the client requested “Dutch” architecture.

They drew inspiration from the Amsterdam School style of the early 1900’s and re-invented it for a contemporary high-rise design.

The project, Dutch House, is part of the re-development of District 75, in west Moscow. The area has been transformed by Krost construction company over 20 years into a luxury residential area.

Dutch House catches the eye with its outstanding red brick colour. The two buildings with a height of 75 and 65 metres, contain 360 apartments on top of two-layered underground parking.

The conditions of the project Dutch House are exceptional. The rectangular building plot is enclosed on all four sides by residential slabs mostly higher than the two new blocks.

Because of this the site acts as a large confined room with only a few openings through which views are possible. What was therefore needed was a strong concept.

The enclosed site is seen as a stage on which the two new buildings are the actors. In order for these actors to perform well they need to have a specific identity and be in harmony with each other.

Connection is key for the design of the public space. The positions of both buildings seem to be at random, but are derived from strict Russian rules regarding the entrance of sunlight.

By introducing a ‘connecting carpet’, it was possible to interrelate all divergent directions between both buildings and all outside activities.

The project brief expressly asked for architecture from Holland. Mindful of the need for identity and cohesion, a modern architecture was developed based on the idiom of the Amsterdam School.

This is characterised by explicit plasticity with preferably rounded forms, rhythmic repetition of volumes, vertical articulation and repetitive square windows.

Materials and details of Dutch House follow the same principle. Authentic Dutch orange brickwork, rounded bay windows with curved glass and monumental wooden entrance doors are incorporated in the design, be it in their modern-day versions.

The World Architecture News Awards features the best in international retail design, as well as other types of current and future projects. To see the full list of winners and categories for the WAN Awards 2018, click here

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