Homelands_The Dwelling Project
Citizenstudio_ Daniil Nikishin & Mikhail Beilin [Images by Andrew Kiselew & Maria Veerpalu]
Urban block – a hybrid of typologies, which contains two urban dichotomies – periphery and centre – the green environment of the peripheral typical city blocks is infused with dynamic activities and pulse of the city center. Structuring the social fabric through the architectural means: the courtyard territory is divided in various scales to accommodate for accents and range of local identities.
The space, which surrounds the housing, remains in the constant dialog with the person, becomes integral with his / hers experience of the «Home» and in turn forms the impression of the «Home». The urban block as a part of the urban system. The division into urban blocks is dictated by the grid of the streets.
The public activity core – is the grid of the inner-block boulevards and squares, which dissects the the city blocks. The gradient of the private character of the spaces, the change in experiences (from public to privately-isolated), variations in intensity and the level of private access – are the determining factors for creating the context.
Dense perimeter with public functions (retail, cafe, city functions, spaces for rent). Interior pedestrian boulevard – connections (interconnections with neighbouring city blocks). Inner-block linear park (the territory of the residents) – semi-public 2, the alternative for the classical element — courtyard. Micro-courtyards – the space for residents of the individual entries (the entry as the minimal value of the micro-community). The ground as fundamental value, as the unit of resident’s identity. The environment with human-centered scale, natural materials, the tactical and sensible approach.
Who influences you graphically?
We were inspired by different images and strands – from Italian neorealism, postmodernist images to the imaginary worlds of Piranesi. Our goal was to get a sense of warmth, safety and a bit of nostalgia.
How has the notion of home transformed in the last 20 years? At a time where we are becoming more and ore nomadic where do you see the future of the home in 40 years time?
The notion of home has significantly changed in last 20 years, as well as the sense of home. The growing mobility of the population, explosive development of communication technologies, vanishing of frontiers, – all this, on the one hand provides an unprecedented opportunity for the modern human, with another, often, deprives his feeling of the place, perception of home as a “fortress”. Arguing in geopolitical criteria, considering the whole countries as the home, we see process of mass exclusion of the person from the place, from the home both as a result of the conflicts and natural cataclysms, and as a consequence of globalism. The last generates an internal protest in the form of nationalist and far-right sentiments.
Why do you neglect to reveal the interior of the blocks? How would this new infrastructure be perceived and affect the interior of the home?
We intentionally haven’t shown the interior of the blocks because our task was different – to create a principle of environment forming and to define a starting point of human interaction, limits of private space and proper balance between private and public spaces as well as the general perception of architecture
what were your biggest concerns and objectives when constructing the various views? Why the one point perspective?
We used a one point perspective to show a linear character of spaces – a linear park as a inner yard and the main square as the main public space and point of identity.
Our biggest concern was to get a full feeling of space – whether it’s semi-public or fully public. It was necessary to reflect a right mood.
The rich and diverse forms of the buildings, a wide range of options would give a potential resident an incredible number of scenarios – from the regular dwellings, to the units with green terraces, own gardens and duplexes.
What defined the use of orthogonal projections as the aerial and axonometric?
We have chosen a use of orthogonal projections because we wanted to create and show a kind of a playful environment and character of a space, just like it was in Sim city game.
What role did the model play? As a final product where does it stand in relation to the drawing?
The final model was intended to show the three main components of the physical entity – surface (made of wood), green bed and crystal body of buildings. The final model stands in common relation to the final drawing but shows an intentionally simplified volumes and surfaces to keep a spectator attention on the main physical principles of the project.
Citizenstudio / Gorozhane is an architectural practice founded by Mikhail Beilin and Daniil Nikishin. It is a winner of The First Russian Young Architecture Biennale and other international and national architectural competitions. The main area of activities of the Group embraces conceptual projects, research activities, and art-and-architecture design. The most notable works include the design of Melnikovs’ Museum; Glaz Gallery, design of the Holocaust Memorial in Atlantic City, USA; “Forum” – a multi-purpose space in the State Historical Museum in Moscow, “Five Seas Park” – design project of one of the most important parks of Moscow, a famous installation “Moscow… the End-All…” and other.
The name of our art group is CITIZENSTUDIO. Studio of the citizens. In one of our creative life, we are practicing architects in the other – artists. We create art objects, the main theme of which is the town. City, as a public institution, in our view, is the essence of modern civilization. It’s life is a life of a living organism, it is not only subject to the laws of nature but also the laws of social and anthropological. Destructive impact on the City processes shakes the foundations of the modern humanistic, democratic society. Erosion, destruction and thinning, deformation of image of the city – is the way to the degradation of the human society. Our view is that the city – a litmus test of the processes taking place in society. At the same time, it affects society and suffers its effects. City is a society monitor. We tried to look at this monitor and analyze what we see.