MVRDV wins bid to design Constructivism-inspired mixed-use complex in Moscow

The winner of an international design competition aimed at bringing a brand new mixed-use complex to Moscow’s central ring has been crowned. Dutch firm MVRDV has officially been tasked with making ‘Silhouette’ a state-of-the-art reality.

Silhouette complex. Photo: MVRDV

Contemporary architecture will be the foundation of the project, with the Rotterdam-based MVRDV “exploring geometry and materiality” in its design. The final product will stand at a height of up to 78 meters (255 feet), and will forever change the Moscow skyline from the intersection of Academician Sakharov Avenue and Sadovaya-Spasskaya Street.

Commercial business spaces, luxury apartments, a sports center, an event space, and a sky deck will fill the structure’s 52,000m2 area. On the corners of the top floors will sit the largest residences, offering unrivaled views of the Russian capital in every direction. Further down – beneath the ground, in fact – will be a supermarket and parking areas.

It won’t be just any mixed-use building – its “sculpted and diversified” volume will make sure of that, creating distinctive entrances which set it apart from the rest. Various window sizes and positions will create a staggered appearance against the ceramic facade.

Silhouette complex. Photo: MVRDV

The structure’s sloping roofscape will maximize the city vista, while sculptural cuts at the top and bottom of the facade will be carved out based on the function that needs to take place there – or based on any “certain quality that needs to be provided within the space inside.”

The color of this future architectural gem? Red. A color which MVRDV says meshes with Silhouette’s neighboring Constructivist Narkomzem Building designed by acclaimed Soviet architect Alexey Shchusev, and sends a message that the structure is a “warm and welcoming” place to live. “Silhouette is really an abstraction of the classical building silhouettes found in the city,” MVRDV co-founder Jacob van Rijs said in a press release

Apart from the Narkomzem, Silhouette will be sharing its neighborhood with the Tsentrosoyuz Building, built in 1933 and the only building in Russia to be designed by Le Corbusier. Both buildings are serving as inspiration for the project.

Narkomzem Building by Alexey Shchusev. Photo: Wikipedia/ Ludvig14
Tsentrosoyuz Building by Le Corbusier. Photo: Wikipedia/ Ludvig14
Narkomzem Building by Alexey Shchusev. Photo: Wikipedia/ Ludvig14

MVRDV was chosen to design Silhouette as part of a closed competition held by GK Osnova, a company which invests in commercial real estate, development, and high-tech sectors of the Russian economy. 

Text: Lynsey Free