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Residential Complex Aquarelle

Ostozhenka Architects

Architecture practice Ostozhenka Bureau takes its name from the downtown Moscow neighbourhood the firm designed and added to in the 1990s. The award-winning Moscow International Bank was part of that revitalisation brief. Urban and architectural consistency feature largely in all Ostozhenka projects. Buildings and their details are designed to fit into a wider harmonious urban fabric. The new Unicredit Bank is an extension of an original building constructed 15 years earlier. A first-floor passageway links the new volume to the former headquarters. The new façade and terracotta brise soleil envelope slip effortlessly into the urban context, the sun-shading system echoing the colour of the adjacent brick buildings. The glazed inner façade provides continuity with the street frontage along Butikovsky Street. The Aquarelle residential complex immediately appears the result of a medley of different dwelling typologies. The aim is to attenuate the visual impact of a massive construction. Standard Russian building practice is for 30 m rather than 16 m building depths and for a central light well around which service areas and circulation routes are grouped. The Aquarelle project makes these features a pretext for varying the height of the frontages to allow light into the inner courts, and applying different colours to the inner walls. The ground floors are given over to communal resident services and so become a physical and figurative link between the individual dwelling units and surrounding...

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