living landscapes, Moscow

Orange Architects along with TOBE Architects worked on a proposal for “the Face of Renovation” competition in Moscow which transforms the current districts into attractive and sustainable Living Landscapes based on a combination of the traditions of the old city, the ideas of the modern town, and new sustainable innovations. With this approach, we want to transform the current urban worlds from generic to vibrant and specific environments. As a result, we present 10 highly diverse neighborhoods which consist of characteristic buildings united in one theme. Each neighborhood has its own distinctive facade approach with a strong identity, designed with modern sustainable techniques that will bring new life into the district of Babushkinsky and Losinoostrovsky.

Introducing the concept from Generic to Specific, we want to embrace the special, the unique, and the personal. Each part of the city can and will have its own function, program, and design. By emphasizing these differences, there will be a big variety and layering in the urban fabric. We think that with the Face of Renovation there’s a window of opportunity to transform the current homogeneous districts into attractive and sustainable Living Landscapes based on a combination of the traditions of the old city, the ideas of the modern town, and new sustainable innovations. With this approach, we want to transform the current urban worlds from generic to vibrant and specific environments. Our goal is to bring back a sustainable human scale with diversity in the urban structure by re-introducing the neighborhood.

Our goal is to bring back a sustainable human scale with diversity in the urban structure by re-introducing the neighborhood

By analyzing the urban structure of the different layers of building, program, urban space, and history, there are distinct areas recognizable in each district. During this preliminary study of only 3 months, these logical boundaries resulted in 24 different neighborhoods. Defining the current qualities and the new possibilities of the proposed new program led to a main theme/identity per neighborhood. This is new or renewed, identity is the catalyst for the further development of the buildings, urban space, and the programming of it. This will be the new recognizable and sustainable face, the true identity of the future renovation.

A selection of 10 neighborhoods as the 10 working areas was developed further into architecture and façade design. By re-introducing the neighborhood as the main living area, we want to bind people more to their surroundings and identifying them with them. This diversity will help people to orientate, give them a feeling of belonging, and ultimately give them a home. In our proposal, we want to strengthen and revitalize the main urban spaces and add new ones where they are needed in the future transformation of the city. Besides several smaller interventions the main focus points are the two perpendicular streets; the south-north backbone connecting the two districts, together with a mundane boulevard with luscious trees connecting the metro and the train stations accompanied by urban blocks with hidden landscaped inner courts.

As a strategy for the development of each neighborhood, we propose a toolbox with
10 themes how to transform a neighborhood into an attractive Living Landscape.
The Toolbox is designed to give guidance to future development and will function as a guarantee for quality. The use of the Toolbox is meant as a guide for the development; flexible, local, ambitious but far from dogmatic. The presented themes follow more or less the linear process of development.

Roof-shaped towers and a green park welcome you to the new Living Landscapes. This is the gate of the combined Babushkinsky and Losinoostroskiy district. It expresses the identity of the newly renovated districts; green, vibrant, iconic and made with craftsmanship. Entering the district you are accompanied by a composition of the ingredients of the new neighborhoods: Outstanding architecture, green roofs, an active plinth program and an unlimited amount of green and trees. This spot, the gate, is where the green and the built environment cumulate. The towers rise up with iconic shaped roof terraces and the southern park folds in the district to transform further on into a linear lane of the main access road of Ulitsa Lotchika Babushkina.

The Parade will be the main artery of the district. Situated between the two major transport hubs from the Babushkinsky Metro station and the train station Losinoostrovskja. Simultaneously, the biggest building developments are connected to this big infrastructural axis. The road is cut in the middle by a big open square with the main cinema and the district infrastructural backbone of the Ulitsa Lotchika Babushkina. At this crossroad, the heart of the districts will be situated. The importance and the large scale of the urban spaces define the identity and the concept for Parade. We propose a boulevard with a reference to the Champs-Élysées or the Nevsky Prospect in St Petersburg. A wide street profile accompanied by buildings of grandeur and finished with two linear rows of trees.

Connected to this city profile are hidden pearls of programmed public and semipublic courtyards, each having a contrasting atmosphere with the exterior of the block and to the other courtyards. The courtyards serve as a secondary adventure route, parallel to the main boulevard. The courtyards are also programmed for the neighborhood festivals with second-hand flea markets, where every court hosts a different type of market. The boulevard is the main shopping street. The courtyards are the opposite of the busy, mundane boulevard. They are quiet and serene and well-designed with a central natural pocket park to read a book or play with your kids.

Currently, this neighborhood area is an open space with a sprawl of buildings on it. The open space of the sprawl and the new interventions, especially the two towers in the middle of the neighborhood, give character and possibilities to this anonymous urban fabric. The new buildings have an almost identical white design to contrast with the green landscaped carpet from the neighborhood. On positions of the demolished buildings the landscape makes a gesture to reveal the history of them; or with a big overgrown pergola or with the positioning of a group of trees.

One of the striking qualities, in both the Babushkinsky and the Losinoostrosky district, is the vast amount of trees in the streets and between the buildings. Sometimes it even feels that you live in a forest.
Project Details
  • Site
  • Moscow, Russia
  • Client
  • Moscow municipality
  • Design
  • 2021
  • Size
  • 1942,1900 m²
  • Program
  • Mix-used
  • Assignment
  • Competition
  • Team
  • Patrick Meijers, Jeroen Schipper, Angeliki Chantzopoulou, Ivan Shkurko, Eleni Papanikolaou, Paulina Kurowska, Elena Staskute, Robin-Jay King, Dirk Jansen, Irina Vaganova, Martha Castilla Riasco
  • Collaboration
  • TOBE Architects
  • Visuals
  • Orange Architects, Dehaze