Housing Relocation Programme’s most interesting designs

October 13, 2020
Construction and renovation

Moscow designated more than 460 sites to launch its housing relocation programme, and over 60 buildings have already been built. They all look different from one another when it comes to design. However, the architects didn’t just need to create eye-catching buildings, but also ensure that they blend into the cityscape.

Non-standard housing construction is gaining popularity with what used to be called standard designs becoming a thing of the past. Still, everything has to be balanced: eye-catching styles without becoming an eyesore, Deputy Head of the Architectural Council at Moscow’s Committee for Architecture and Urban Development Sergei Glubokin explained.

“We have opted for soothing colours, while reserving brighter ones for highlighting entrances and the like in order to help people find their way around. We want to make sure that nearby buildings do not have the same design, varying not only colours, but also textures on their facades,” the architect pointed out.

Despite their varying looks, buildings constructed as part of the relocation programme invariably comply with its strict standards. Each section has at least two lifts: one small for passengers and another one large enough to be used for transporting large items. There’s also a room for a concierge and for leaving a pram. The ground floor is used for commercial purposes, like grocery shops, cafes, chemists, launderettes, social services or information centres. Once the building is finished, the landscaping gets underway around the place.

From classic to loft-style

Most of the buildings under the relocation programme are monolithic structures with well-ventilated facades. Today’s technology enables builders to use a whole wide range of breathable materials that also look good, Mr Glubokin noted.

“Monolithic buildings get ventilated facades with a wide choice of materials that can be used, including imitation stone, also known as ceramic granite, as well as brick tiles and breeze blocks,” he said.

A good example, is one of the first buildings under the relocation programme in the Danilovsky District that will have a classic design. It will contain three sections with 11 or 12 floors, with the façade in chilly tones and clad with imitation natural stone veneer, with glassed-in balconies. There will be dedicated mounts for external AC units. Overall, the design will be sober and uncluttered, with few decorative features.

On the contrary, Lyublino District will get a loft-style building. This trendy architectural style includes exposed brick walls and functional details. This is exactly what this building is all about. The facades will be covered with brick veneer in three colours: scarlet, claret and buff. This pallet creates a red-to-brown gradient. Balconies will also be glassed-in, with AC mounts on the walls.

Design solution

Common podium and underground parking

Architects chose an unusual design for a building that will be built on Bazovskaya Street under the relocation programme. It will have two standalone sections, while sharing a common podium and underground parking. The intent behind this solution is to make sure that there is space between the two sections so that sunlight can penetrate onto the courtyard. At the same time, the two sections share the ground floor, creating a private space for the residents. The facades will be covered with brick veneer under which there’ll be breeze blocks. Ceramic granite wood-style textures will add to the finishing touches.

Design solution

There is a similar project for the Nizhegorodsky District, where a residential complex with three buildings will be constructed on Novokhokhlovskaya Street.

“The complex will include three buildings with a shared underground space. All three buildings will follow a single design language, while varying in height, which will give the complex a more dynamic and modern appearance. The buildings form a semi-enclosed courtyard offering everything youngsters and adults could possibly need,” Moscow’s Chief Architect Sergei Kuznetsov enthused.

Facades will be covered with brick veneer, as well as metal-casing from galvanised steel. Floor-to-ceiling glass panels will add to the project’s unique design.

Stylish details: dominos and arcs

Kosino-Ukhtomsky District will get a domino-style building under the relocation programme. It will stand out due to its facades composed of black and white brick tiles with white balconies against a black background, just like domino pieces. AC mounts will be the same colour as the wall, in order to keep the design unfussy.


There will be another black and white building, this time on Baumanskaya Street. It will have a similar colour pallet, but a totally different design, with arched windows as the main prominent feature and a tribute to classic architecture. With five sections of varying heights, the building will have an expressive appearance, while organically blending into the cityscape. The ground floor will not be used for housing, with entrances to the shops and chemists located on the opposite side to the residential entrances.


The building on Malaya Tulskaya Street will get a neutral Champagne tone, with facades covered with metal panels. The colouring scheme was designed to make sure that it is not an eyesore and blends in with the surrounding buildings, while remaining unique due to the material used and its architecture. The multi-dimensional façade and large balcony windows coupled with metal frames are expected to give the building a rather unique look.

From facades to neighbourhood designs

So far, architects involved in the housing relocation programme have been mostly focusing on designing detached structures or small complexes. This is the starting phase of the project intended for the first lot of people relocated from old five-storey buildings who will have to move, in order to make way for the redevelopment of entire neighbourhoods as part of the relocation programmme. Moving forward, new construction plans will be drawn up following a single architectural concept developed for the entire district based on the approved planning permission.

Moscow’s Committee for Architecture and Urban Development intends to hold tenders for creating architectural concepts for the districts being used for the relocation programme.

We are scaling up our operations to cover entire neighbourhoods in order to develop a new architectural look for each individual district,” Moscow’s Chief Architect Sergei Kuznetsov disclosed. “This is more than just designing buildings. It is imperative that everything blends into an urban environment and that the architecture and public spaces are something completely new. The concepts will lead to design projects and specifications for building new housing in these districts and we really do expect the locals to become actively involved in all the planning. They need to be able to communicate with all the top international and Russian architects who’ll be doing the job. There’ll be architects from Moscow too.”

These architectural concepts are expected to be presented to the public in the spring of 2021.

Source: mos.ru

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