Project in Detail
Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
ART Project, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
Site before reconstruction
«Prism» is the result of redesign of a redbrick building formerly belonging to a cafeteria. It was decided to convert it into a business center. In this case the context is interesting. The building is located near the highway. In this place waste lands alternated with poky private houses, garages and warehouses. Naturally it was decided to redesign and rebuild the whole territory, as it always happens with all the marginal districts, in which there is no industrial architecture, but only this kind of «rubbish».
As a result part of the territory was rendered for apartment blocks, supermarkets and mega malls. But appearance of a developed city district with the necessary infrastructure is the question of the future. At present the business center stands on the underdeveloped territory free from any other buildings. In fact it is practically right in the field on the «bank» of a Federal highway. The location along the road and its flowing dynamics determined the logics of the building’s image – a horizontally sliding mass, hovering over a solid base.
A two-part composition is a symbolic metaphor of many dual couples, for example, statics and motion, density and weightlessness. The basis of the new building is the old brick frame, which was decided to leave as it is. However its structure was changed – the window openings were narrowed and the façade was clad with ceramic granite. Oposite to the massive monolithic basis, the upper part with the projection consoles is divided into large sections. The façade surface of the two upper levels is split into blocks, which naturally slightly restrains the horizontal movement, but at the same time creates visual diversity at a more close look. The glazed masses flow over each other without creating the heavy weight effect. Such freedom in treatment of the space allows for example to put a glass «patch» in such a way that the natural light may freely enter the ground floor lobby.
There is a corridor system on all the levels, however the upper part does not have the inside partitions yet. These floors are the first office premises in Nizhniy Novgorod, which have storefront walls.
The parameters of the structure are determined by the existing building. The investigations showed that it had an incomplete reinforced concrete framing with the possibility to build up two more floors. It was necessary to develop reinforced joints and to increase the spatial stiffness of the existing structures. Thanks to the fact that the metal framing of the building’s top part and the roof structures were extremely light-weight, it became possible to expand the total area by means of consoles stretching from 3 to 4,5 m outside the limits of the building.