Architects of DNK ag About Rassvet LOFT Studio Redevelopment Project
Daniil Lorenz, Natalia Sidorova, Konstantin Khodnev - architects and co-founders of the DNKag architectural group spoke about Rassvet LOFT Studio redevelopment project, which was shortlisted for WAF final.
– Why did you decide to apply for WAF?
This is the first time we have been participating in WAF, so this is a new experience for us. Last year we went there, looked, and listened. It was interesting, the level of work, presentations, discussions was very high. That time we did not set the goal to participate by all means. Perhaps we were stirred into action by a conversation at Architectural Council in May, when we discussed the participation of Russian architects in international events, as well as the importance of enhancing the status and prestige of the profession of Architect in Russia. We are faced with the fact that we and our projects often have to fight for professional authority. And we decided: why not? Our redevelopment project of Rassvet LOFT * Studio had already collected a lot of good reviews and awards by that time and was very suitable for one of the recently introduced ‘New and Old’ nominations, devoted to reconstruction of historical buildings and adjusting them to new life. Participation in WAF is also a good opportunity to once again draw attention here in Russia to the topic of working with the historical environment and “the fabric of the city”, not necessarily through total demolition and construction of new buildings; we can just use the existing facilities, including industrial buildings, in a new way, giving them a new concept.
– Tell us about the unique features of your project, will you?
The main advantage of our project, in our opinion, is that we worked not just with buildings, but with a fragment of the urban environment and got two buildings (3.34 and 3.20) of modern architecture, based on the historical and local context. We got for work the faceless typical industrial and commercial buildings of the Rassvet engineering plant in Stolyarny Lane, which were definitely out of tune with the surrounding red-brick buildings - the historical building of Roman Klein, the Catholic neo-Gothic church and the former Shchukin mansion in the neo-Russian style. Therefore, it seemed to us correct to use just brick as the main facade material. A new residential function and environment also required a rethinking of large-scale segmentations of the environment. We unintentionally transferred a little medieval historical mood to the architecture of the large building 3.34, splitting it into a number of vertical narrow "houses". In the low-rise (3.20) building, we kept to the same concept - we supported the most valuable elements of the context, which we wanted to emphasize and highlight.
In addition, we proposed a non-standard typology of housing for the implementation of different life scenarios: apartments with separate entrances and individual front gardens (this allows you to develop a “live and work” style; apartments with a private roof terrace, duplex and three-level apartments ...
The details are also interesting in the project, for example, we used the sun for the facade at the main entrance at 3.34. It "draws" a circle of light through a lantern in a ribbed visor, and the light moves along the brick facade after the sun. This is a symbol of Dawn (Rassvet).
– In it to win it?
We are happy to note that our project turned out to be one of the few Russian projects, which had already been implemented, at WAF 2019. In addition, Rassvet LOFT * Studio simultaneously became a finalist for another prestigious DEZEEN Awards. Other competing projects are very serious and interesting, some of them are really significant and well-known. Therefore, being shortlisted for the final is already a good achievement. The jury will not just choose. Moreover, in the objects of reconstruction and in our project as well, a lot of aspects are connected with involvement in the historical and local context. And we will have to communicate it to experts from different countries in a few minutes of the presentation and show what is unique about our project. We are getting ready and hope for success!