RASSVET LOFT*STUDIO is located in the central district of Moscow. It occupies the territory of a former furniture factory owned by the famous Mur & Mereliz trading house (now TsUM – Central Universal Department Store). During the Soviet times the mechanical engineering factory ‘Rassvet’ (The Dawn) is located on this plot. It is associated with the names of the extraordinary aircraft designers Sergey Korolev and Semyon Lavochkin. Today all areas are high density developments representing distinct architectural stiles reflecting 20th century history.

This project was created to open all areas to the urban space and to integrate industrial development into the urban living environment by preserving the genius locus of the historical place. The project’s drawings are inspired by architectural environments: the main building of the Mur & Mereliz factory, designed by renowned architect Roman Klein; Russia’s largest Neogotic Catholic cathedral made of red bricks and an ornate Shchukin manor house built in the Russian Revival style in the late 19th century.

The first goal was to transform factory buildings constructed from pre-fabricated concrete blocks of the late 20th century into contemporary apartment buildings. A very heavy concrete structures with small windows are not in harmony with the environment and are not at all suitable for living quarters. That is why the decide to incorporate into massive rectangular frame some small, surroundings-scaled volumes, which were more friendly for the residential development.

The concrete panels on the façade are replaced with brick walls. And the façade itself is visually divided into volumes, reminiscent of some old medieval houses. Each volume has its own distinctive look: different brick ornaments, different window coverings (with or without brick frames) and a different balcony. In addition, the western and eastern facades have a different width, proportion and quantity of windows.

Each volume of this façade accommodates one apartment.

“We kept the internal frame of the building but added attics into six meters high stories, thus four stories have two-level apartments with two tiers of windows. There is a mansard on upper floor and a car parking at the existing basement. Ground floor apartments have separate entrances and small green terraces. Terraces were raised to rich the ground floor level and were separated from a driveway with special supporting wall, so private and public areas are clearly marked off.” said the architect.

The sun circle is a type of Rassvet LOFT*STUDIO logo and is used in the design of the central entrance area. Ribby canopy with ceiling lights cast shadows on the walls and this «striped plash» moves along the façade with the sun. The same theme is used for night lighting. And the same halo on the tambourine was made by hanging lighting fixtures.

“Our work was continued with renovation of neighboring tumble-down maintenance building next to the museum park. We transformed it into typology quite unusual for the center of Moscow. Low-rise building it comprised of townhouses with one-, two- and three-level apartments. Some of them have separate entrances and front gardens. Mansards have double-height spaces and spacious terraces. And there is also an under-roof parking at the ground level,” explain the architect.

The building has a fairly intricate composition with the courtyard, therefore they added a high pitched roof with active frontons and lucarnes.

“We used hand-formed clinker bricks at the facades to reecho redbrick architecture of the museum’s historical building. After all this transformations our building resembles spacious town mansion. We played with the images, used new materials and added some tactility to show distinctive, creatively different character of the former industrial area and to transform technical back alleys into comfortable and warm urban yards and streets,” add the architect.

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