Strelka

realized
Address: 14 Bersenevskaya embankment, bldg.5a, Moscow, Russia
Client: Strelka NPO; Strelka LLC
Design period: June 2009 – May 2010
Construction period: August 2009 – May 2010
Heads of construction: Dmitry Lakin and Oleg Shapiro
Lead architects: Olga Rokal, Anastasia Rychkova, Galina Serebryakova
Photographers: Sergey Leontev, Ilya Ivanov
Awards:
- Laureate of Arch Biennale 2010 in the ‘Best New Place’ category
- Laureate ARCHIWOOD 2011 in the ‘Design of the Urban Environment’ category

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This unique public space was constructed by Wowhaus Bureau to replace the garages of the Red October confectionery factory on the intersection of the Bolotnaya Island. In this location, where the Institute for architects and designers, a bar with a popular summer terrace and an open–air hall naturally co-exist, lectures, film screenings, yoga classes, parties and many other events take place.

Objective:

To create a space of a new typology, a ‘third space’ that is a mixture between home and work/study.

Solution:

A cosy square, with a courtyard atmosphere, consisting of two combined amphitheatres. One facing the water that people can sit on to relax, and one for the guests of events at the newly established piazza.

Functional plan

- Auditoriums
- Inhabited fence
- Bar
- Terrace
- Public area

Public area

View of Strelka from Patriarch Bridge.

The main visual dominant in the Strelka courtyard’s space is a wooden amphitheatre on a metal frame.

In the evenings, the courtyard is transformed into a popular open-air cinema.

The lobby at Strelka: on the left is the institute’s information centre and ticket office, in the centre is the staircase to the terrace, and on the right is the entrance to the bar.

Inhabited fence

Plan

To define the courtyard and expand its functional possibilities, a new construction tentatively called the ‘inhabited fence’ was built along one of its walls. The bulk of this multifunctional building, which houses the information centre, public lavatories, a summer kiosk with food and drinks, a plasma screen, and subsidiary rooms, is made from sandwich panels. This is the most comfortable and least expensive material for foundation-less framed structures. In order to maintain the courtyard’s general theme, the top of the building appears to be wearing a collection of wooden slats.

View of the front of the ‘fence’

The information centre is located at the end of the building, behind a glass wall. This is the place to get information on events, sign up for public seminars and lectures, and buy tickets.

Auditoriums

The institute’s auditoriums and studios are located where the factory garages used to be. For several years these were artists’ studios with a mezzanine. Our main goal was to adapt the premises to the needs of an institute of learning by providing as much natural light as possible, a comfortable layout of furniture for studying, and customized office equipment.

In some auditoriums, skylights were constructed. In order to take full advantage of the available area, a large amount of customized furniture was designed, and lights were also used along the busducts.

Bar

Bar Strelka is a comfortable urban space and platform for relaxed socialising built on the frames of the Strelka Institute of architecture and design. The bar is located in a building of the former Red October chocolate factory and partly in some former art galleries.

Many details of the interior were predetermined by the building itself. For example, the combination of metal channels and wooden bracing on the ceiling arose from the need to strengthen its structure for the construction of the roof terrace. In order to increase the height of the ceiling, the builders decided to leave them open. The same applies to the metal construction on the walls.

The interior was designed so that a feeling of history would be present in the bar – as if it had always been there. A preference was accordingly given to points of interest, Italian and Scandinavian lights from the 1960s and 1970s, and natural materials that are aging beautifully.

Many objects were found at flea markets or at second-hand furniture auctions, and what was impossible to find we designed ourselves.

Terrace

The summer terrace at Strelka is located on the roof of a former sweet shop. Our designers and builders did a great job with this. Because of the building’s old age and position on an unstable river bank, there was a serious limitation to how big a load it could bear. The designers came up with a way to replace the rafter system with a more modern one, and the load of the wall even decreased as a result. In addition, the whole building received an elegant sheath made of channels that serve to reinforce the structure.

Right after opening, 2010

The terrace, three levels away from the river and the amphitheatre combined with the courtyard.

 

Summer 2011

The following season, it was decided to re-furnish the terrace. Bright furniture, coloured countertops and light fittings were set up.

The chairs were ordered from Italy and Belgium and we devised and produced the tables, floor lighting and lampshades ourselves.

The terrace in 2011. Nighttime view from Patriarch Bridge.

Floor plans

Plan of the ground-floor

Plan of the terrace level


Almost all furniture was designed in-house especially for Strelka, such as the striped tables and lamps.