A Unifying White

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Colour, Students, Texture

A Unifying White

Olga Tarasova


The residential area of Kapotnya (Moscow periphery) is isolated from the city by the river, the oil factory and MKAD (Moscow Ring Road). Kapotnya’s territory is “invisible” to public transport, political and economical influence of the city centre. Thus, Kapotnya naturally becomes a kind of autonomous city inside the city and it allows to think about an experiment.

The structure of the residential area is very leaky and there is a lot of empty and unused ground. It belongs to nobody and is in desolation.

Ground is a very valuable resource. In the project the empty territory is divided into similar sites by the number of flats in Kapotnya. They are distributed to inhabitants rightfully of use. People become the owners of the city.

The inhabitants receive with the sites basic typified modules of houses which further they can complete by their own efforts depending on their requirements.

The blocs of flats which were left by inhabitants become public spaces. From mass of residential district, they are transformed to steady elements of the new city. Thanks to design, they can be partly or completely disassembling and their panels can be reused for construction of new houses and functions are changed. Process of resettlement can happen gradually.

The port opens access for citizens to water and it becomes one of the most important steady elements. It is a new way of the “intercity” transport.




Who influences you graphically?

The concept of the project was strongly connected to the graphic techniques I used. Therefore, I was inspired by the woks and ideas of the Italian movement Arte Povera as well as Russian artists and architects such as Alexander Brodsky or Vladimir Arkhipov. I was moreover influenced by the works of Dutch artists and particularly by Pieter Brueghel’s paintings because of the mood of their images and the way they were painted are very close to my worldview.

What defined the choice of colour palette?

A great source of inspiration for the colour palette of the main images was snow and the colour white. The colour white helps to unite other elements and acts as snow, as a substance which covers all the voids between them. Other colours help to depict the atmosphere of cold winter and bright accents indicate the new part of the project and at the same time they emphasise  the difference between the old objects and the way of life.


What defined the views through which you choose to reveal the proposal?

The choice of the view depends on the purpose of the picture. Thus, I chose axonometric projection for the bird’s eye view and for panorama to emphasize the difference in scale between the renewed residential area and the enormous size of the industrial zone. The perspective views make it easier to imaging the new atmosphere of the place and the orthogonal masterplan works as an architectural drawing.


How does the juxtaposition of paintings vs your image effect the overall dynamic of the drawing? How does one infer on the other?

Using different fragments from paintings as parts of ‘staffage’ helps me to create the specific image of the project. The new context of my project gives a new life for the detail from the painting and I believe it is no more associated with the original picture.

One almost gets lost in the beauty of the elevation and perspective views- how do the axonometric and plan of the masterplan sit in relation to these more romantic visuals and what dictated the aesthetic of these two drawings? 

As I said earlier the choice of the view is essential for the mood of the whole project and each of them plays its own role. I do not think there are winning views because they have their own advantages and it is always a question which one will better illustrate the specific idea.





Olga is a 24 year old architect from Moscow who graduated from the Moscow Architectural Institute the Yury Grigoryan’s project studio. She obtained a Specialist degree (M.Arch equivalent) with distinction as well as taking part in international workshops at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia – IAAC Spain, Barcelona. During he studies she received a number of awards in projects, drawing and painting from the Moscow Institute of Architecture and participated in different international competitions and exhibitions with success.

Olga iscurrently working as an architect at the Meganom project in Moscow.



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