Social architecture as an architecture of possibilities and a way to bring back culture in the typical residential environment of the Moscow suburbs.
The residential quarters of “New Moscow” pop up all over the site of the former fields and greenhouses of the "Moskovsky-farm". This area used to be a distant suburb without public transportation, history, and culture. Nowadays it has become a part of the historical city – Moscow. These quarters consist of typical apartment-blocks with monotone facades. For many young people the only chance to start an independent life separate from their parents is to buy an apartment in these standard houses.
Generally, residents of such quarters have no places to go in their leisure time. Public buildings become the only social facility. Therefore kindergartens and schools should not only serve for educational purposes, but also as cultural centers of the site. That’s how an idea appeared of a school as an attractive multifunctional facility: an educational and entertainment center at the same time. We decided to revive the tradition of constructivist clubs that were widespread in 1930’s in design of our school.
Russian avant-garde ideas have helped us to create the social center of the residential quarter of “Moscowsky-grad” that consists of a school for 1375 students and a kindergarten for 250 kids:
• To solve an urban problem of forming the inner structure of the residential using the principles of the diagonal masterplan of the “Havsko-Shabolovsky” residential complex on Lesteva str. in Moscow, which was constructed by members of the Society of architects/urbanists (ARHU) in 1929-1931.
• To create a coloristic accent of the quarter, which will be perceived in statics and dynamics from the outside and inside of a quarter driveway, dedicating space-planning solutions and facades of the building to works of an outstanding artist and architect El Lissitzky;
• To return a culture and an architectural memory to the standard residential quarter in the form of the buildings appearance that harkens to suprematism with its graphics and coloristic, which is now perceived as a recognized classic;
• To interpret suprematist compositions and graphics from the book, that returned creativity of this architect innovator in 1967 from Dresden to Moscow, to the architectural volume of the social building, to its interiors, furniture, and equipment.
The school was developed as a comfortable and public space for students and inhabitants, where people are not only studying, but also relaxing, communication, and recreation. It combines a variety of functions:
• Educational. 3 degrees of education from 1 to 11 forms – primary, secondary, and high school;
• Leisure. It is possible to drink coffee in a buffet and a dining room, to do an exhibition or recreation in the foyer on all four floors, to listen to a concert in the auditorium with 825 places, or lecture in a media library;
• Sport. You can practice yoga or strength training in small gyms, learn to dance in a choreographic hall, do gymnastics in 2 gyms, and also to take part in team competitions in big gyms.
The school is divided functionally into two blocks – educational and public. The second one remains open at all times for all, regardless of age, health, and financial situation.