London-based AI Studio has ‘crowned' a neo-classical Moscow apartment block with expansive contemporary upper extension.
The extended building has been named Sovremennik, and includes 75 apartments ranging in size from 32 to 146 square metres and includes two floors of parking, with space for up to 43 cars.
Set in the heart of Moscow within the historical Garden Ring road, the building was originally purpose-built as an apartment block in the 1870s, but was later adopted as a popular local bathing house.
Since the 20th century, it has largely been used as an administrative offices, but Vesper Moscow - the developer who purchased the building in 2016 - had a vision to return it to its original residential use.
When restoring the space, AI Studio aimed to take an “honest” approach to the redevelopment - allowing the new extension to contrast the original neo-classical style prevalent in central Moscow.
“Although the original building is not formally listed [as a historic monument], we considered it to be a perfect example of classic Moscow architecture,” said the principal of AI Studio, Anton Khmelnitsky.
“So, our approach was to sensitively restore the original fabric of the building, while designing an upper extension which provides a distinctive contemporary contrast.”
The extension at the top of the building offers enough space for double height penthouses within, and features cladding of perforated Corten steel composite panels on the exterior, while height glazing offers unparalleled views of the city.
Meanwhile, on the ground floor, the covered courtyard presents a reception and communal area for residents, alongside retail opportunities.
This communal area is flooded with natural light from circular glass skylights, which are installed in the elevated private roof terrace directly above the courtyard, exclusively for residents’ use.