Archcouncil approved the concept of the Military Academy development on the Moskvoretskaya Embankment
On May 31, Architectural council of Moscow has considered preliminary concept of development of the territory belonging to the former Voyennaya akademiya RVSN imeni Petra Velikogo on the Moskvoretskaya Embankment. Investor for this will be further determined during the auction. According to the concept, historical buildings of the site will be preserved and adapted to the hotel function, and the territory itself will become passable and multifunctional.
«Today, Architectural council has considered preliminary concept of development of the territory belonging to the former Voyennaya akademiya, which had been prepared by Moskomarkhitektura on behalf of the Mayor of Moscow, Sergey Sobyanin. We are doing it at an early stage on purpose, so that an investor who then comes to this ground, could get license in compliance with this concept and do a project on the basis of what has been worked out by experts and discussed in public, just the way we did it today. We hope this precedent will further become standard work on such objects of heritage in the downtown,» mentioned Chief Architect of Moscow Sergey Kuznetsov.
As told by Sergey Kuznetsov, Voyennaya akademiya complex passed on to the city from the Ministry of Defense. Total area of the territory equals 11 hectares, it is restricted to the Moskvoretskaya Embankment, Solyanka Street and Ustyinskiy Passage turning into Bolshoy Ustinsky Bridge. There are around 30 buildings located here altogether, 5 of which are objects of cultural heritage and 4 of which are valuable objects to represent the face of the city. Such iconic building, in particular, is Foundling Home (or Moscow Orphanage) that had been built in 1764-1781 by architect Karl Blank. In fact, Akademiya RVSN has been located here from 1938 until 2013.
Up until present moment, the territory has been closed for public. As Chief Architect emphasized, the primary aim here is to bring it back into city operation saving everything that has value, and develop it in terms of social and socio-cultural use. Basic principles of the concept are the functions- and possibilities-variety of territory use, and so also the development of the permeable public space by means of creating central boulevard and a net of public gardens and public places.
Guest house is proposed to be the basic function of this object. Two squares of historical complex including inner courtyards can be replaced by hotel and apartments. One proposes to utilize garrets’ rooms without changing roofing outline, i.e., by bringing together two upper stories creating comfortable suites.
According to Kuznetsov, there is an optional possibility of overlapping the inner courtyard of hotel’s part with further atrium erection. Another possible but not compulsory option considered by the concept is the arrangement of the underground parking built outside the historical sites’ area.
Across the main building, on the Solyanka Street side, one proposes to arrange commercial part, e.g., restaurant, food court or market. Next to it a cultural- and educational-center unit is planned. Other options considered include the development of street-retailing, integration of the territory with Zaryadye Park and other pedestrian routes of the city as well as introduction of other additional functions such as fitness center, observation platform, etc.
«I would like the development of key buildings in the city to follow this exact way, that is, for one to be able to determine beforehand the functions that the project is capable of, and not to be faced with the fact,» said professor of the International Academy of Architecture and Archcouncil member Vladimir Plotkin, «I agree that it is necessary to make stronger connection with Zaryadye park, it is second important aspect to consider after multifunctionality of the space. Concerning the dome, technically everything can be realized properly, I wouldn’t have any worries here.»
According to Archcouncil member and assistant director of Ostozhenka Bureau Andrey Gnezdilov, it is essentially important, that one of the fundamental condition of the given concept is permeability of all the courtyard space. «I would like to notice obvious connection between Akademiya and Zaryadye Park — together they create a chain of public areas which are further to extend aside the Yauzskiye vorota Square, the bridge and the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment. We need ground plan of this block to consider how it can be realized.»
«It’s great that authors of the project have provided for precisely optional courtyard overlap, since it is pretty complicated engineering task,» said general director of «Mosproyekt-2» Mikhail Posokhin. To connect territory of the Akademiya with Zaryadye Park it might be better to first consider the option of blocking street traffic over the Kitaygorodskoy Passage.
«Concerning proposed format of work on the project, I would say that that is the only way possible to regulate the situation with lots — not only objects of cultural heritage, but all others too, before they get auctioned off,» claimed member of Archcouncil, head of nps tchoban voss and SPEECH offices Sergei Tchoban, «That’s the exact way technical task should be worked out — detailed, with regulations and all recommended functions. As the natural result, proceeding from the concept, investor would then suggest price for a lot. This will allow to avoid unexpectedness which frequently takes place. Given concept has both public and commercial functions clearly stated.»
Cleverness and value of this work is such: future investor is given regulation on where he is to make public areas and where he might develop commercial aspect, added Tchoban. According to his words, atrium availability will allow future hotelier to organize within the courtyard area reception desk, café, etc.
«It seems to me that this is an important precedent for the restriction of investors’ future relish, just so there wouldn’t be situations where it turns into auction without clear agenda. It is necessary to maintain,» noticed head of the "Meganom project«,Archcouncil member Yuri Grigoryan, «It is important to keep the territory opened as this is such a unique memorial (monument). It is possible, for example, to organize public park area within.» According to the architect, ground plan of the whole entire huge block would help to provide passability of the territory and to open it to the city.
«Today’s consideration is very positive and long-waited step. Such methods should become the foundation of a work due to which considerable areas of the city would take on a new life, especially in the downtown. I would with great enthusiasm support the idea of creating pedestrian routes which lead to Yauza, connected in the first place with Zaryadye Park,» said Archcouncil member Andrey Bokov, «And I would also support the idea of erecting the overlap above the courtyard and don’t share my colleagues’ apprehension. If we don’t set ourselves tasks of such kind, we would just try to permanently catch up with others. I believe, we should try to move forward and make next steps.»
As mentioned by the head of Department of Cultural Heritage of Moscow Alexey Emelyanov, advantage of this project is the minimum intrusion of a new construction work into this territory with an exception of soviet dormitory upon which site’s a new amount of an equal dimension is proposed. «I like two key components presented in this project: we oblige a future investor to follow a developed concept, which is distinctive due to its cautious restoration traits and preservation of all the important city objects, as well as permeability of the territory to the city.»
«At Architectural council, we’ve tried out a new format of presentation of the project in a kind of concept of a town-planning development,» summed up the discussion Sergey Kuznetsov, «Usually, we look through(observe?) projects that’ve already got all the town-planning decisions. Benefit of such approach is such that the concept has all the actions clearly stated in it, anticipating further proper development of the project. If one wouldn’t do this, investor would get a paperwork that gives him a free hand, and often it doesn’t do project any good. Voennaya Akademiya is one of the most important Moscow monuments, and I am extremely glad that today’s discussion with the experts, members of Archcouncil, of Archnadzor, representatives of the Department of Cultural Heritage turned out fruitful and the concept deserved appreciation.»