Client : Guta Group
Architect : Wilmotte & Associés SA
Building engineer : Terrell
Area : 37,000 m² (27,000 m² for apartments, and 9,500 m² for shops, restaurants, and art galleries)
Rehabilitation of an old chocolate factory into 90 luxury residences and restaurants.
We initially worked on a master plan which was then divided up into blocks and assigned to different architects (including architects from Russia as well as other countries). The programme for plot A mostly involved rehabilitating the four existing buildings which formed the core of the historic chocolate factory. Interventions on two of the buildings (buildings 2 and 3) were limited for architectural coherence reasons, while those of two others (buildings 4 and 5) were more numerous because only the lower levels and the main facades were historically significant. These constraints guided our approach down to the smallest interior details. The high ceilings, presence of architectural details, such as columns, stairwells, and the size of the window bays, gave the apartments/lofts a unique character and status in the context of Moscow's unique 20th century industrial infrastructure. To complement the four historic buildings, a fifth was created at the southern tip, completing the triangular shape of the site. Entirely new, this building is home to four residences, with an exceptional view out over the Moskva River. The curve of the main facade softens the transition to the historic buildings. The exterior spaces are designed to be the connective tissue between the different buildings. Enclosed by glazing, the interior courtyards become three gardens; while similar in layout, they will be distinguished by the different species planted and the resulting atmosphere created. A system of ramps and platforms will define comfortable circulation zones, connecting the floors of each building and largely limiting the use of stairs. The landscaping is a key element that expresses the idea of the five buildings as a complex and residence block. The various interventions on the existing sections will be carried out with the utmost respect for best construction practices and historic guidelines.