Reach for the sky #
Wellton Towers will be the Highlight of the redevelopment of District 75 in Moscow, not only by the height of its three buildings reaching up to 200m, but also by its ‘pole position' in the eye-catching corner at Prospekt Marshala Zhukova and Ulitsa Narodnogo Opolcheniya. The symbolic value of this project for the whole district can never be underestimated. From all directions these three buildings will be seen from far away.
With construction heights of 160, 180 and 200 meters respectively, Wellton Towers can rightly be called a high-rise project.
It is one of the fundamental laws of high-rise buildings that they need to be designed all sided. A tower cannot hide itself, it has only front facades. The architecture of a tower structure consists of the base, the body and the top. These three elements require a specific architectural idea that reinforces the overall concept of the building.
For the body we designed a vertical composition based on an undulating pattern of sculptural mass and rounded openings that continues throughout the entire height. Then we introduce a vertical articulation into two parts. By this differentiation within the main volume we are able to relate to the building height of 75 meter, which frequently occurs in the surrounding buildings. The vertical articulation is made visible by the addition of staggered balconies on the lower part. These elements seem to grow organically out of the sculptural mass on the facade.
To pronounce the base of the towers within the podium that unites them, we make use of contrasting materials. The facade of the base is mainly closed, except for a huge glass entrance and a pattern of perforations. The facades of the podium are fully transparent, showing the connection of the towers to the ground. The facades at the top are closed surfaces with a pattern of openings in a gradient. The dimensions of these openings will be attuned to the lighting concept that will emphasize the crown of the building by night.
Reboot facade design #
In high-rise housing two seemingly contradictory scales have to be harmonized. On the one hand there is the giant scale of the building, on the other the ‘fine grain’ of the individual apartment. If a large-scale apartment building has a well-designed appearance that distinguishes it from the majority of residential towers, the building obtains an iconic quality that makes the inhabitants feel proud to live there and the passers-by envious for not living there. Next, residential architecture always has to refer to the human scale. The incorporation of the small-scale in a building, preferably by the application of recognizable elements like singular window frames and balconies, make inhabitants feel related to their homes.
Concerning the materials that are suitable for a residential complex as big as Wellton Towers, our client invited us to use glass fiber-reinforced concrete for the facades, because Krost has recently developed a revolutionary method for applying this material directly on the building site. Glass fiber- reinforced concrete opens up a complete new world of aesthetic possibilities. It challenged us to ‘reboot’ our way of thinking.