"M-city" multifunctional complex

Project number: 886

Status: International Competition concept project

Address: Moscow-city district, Moscow, Russia

Indicators: Site area - 2,41hа; total area - 362 000 м²total area above ground- 300 800 м²commercial - 6 050 м² hotels -11 300 м² offices - 130 350 м² residential - 101 500 м²

Appointment: 2012

Completion: 2012

Architects: V.Plotkin, S.Uspensky, S.Gusarev, A.Egerev, A.Hasanov, E.Kuznetsova, N.Tolmacheva, A.Ivanova, A.Platonov, O.Prosvirina, D. Chernov, O.Chalova

Engineers: S.Sherbina

Collaboration: MVSA - Meyer en Van Schooten Architecten: Roberto Meyer, Barry van Waveren, Andrew Tang, Huub Larink

The newest business development area in Moscow MMDC “Moscow City” has become an architectural battlefield of glass buildings competing for recognition. But only with a little distance, the uniqueness of the individual towers fades away as it becomes a part of a greater whole; the skyline. It is actually this skyline as a composition and a whole that makes MMDC unique with respect to the Greater Moscow, to Russia and to the rest of Europe. 

By wrapping the programs of Hotels, Lobbies, Commercial, and part of the Office around and above the parking, we create a “plinth” of 9 levels that corresponds to the lower block of the adjacent building and the height of the Ring Road. We punch holes to create atriums to bring daylight inside and step back the office levels to create pleasant terraces for this inner world. We open up the south side as an embrace and connection to the rest of MMDC, creating a very inviting entrance.By maximizing the program in the plinth, we were able to create slender towers of the maximum height allowed. By creating triangular-shaped floor plans, we were able to make facades that correspond to the urban context and maximize view and light. We round off the sharp edges to ‘soften’ the architecture and create more panoramic views. By concentrating these towers along one side of the site, we leave space and sunlight for the atriums of the plinth below. The roof of the plinth becomes a park for the towers to look down upon. By positioning the towers along the North-South line, we maximize the sunlight for all faces.

We then twist the apartments on the top of the towers to orientate the faces to the urban context, including the Peace Monument and the University, maximizing the views.By shifting these apartments onto the shoulder of the neighboring tower, we separated the functions and the identity of these exclusive units, and created otherwise plain tall glass buildings into a monumental composition of stacked city towers! From a distance, our ‘iconic city’ is a super “M” in Moscow City. Welcome to M-city!

The unique feature of the M-City complex is its position in direct line of view from the Kremlin along the Novy Arbat street. Along this city axis, near intersection Novinsky boulevard, all of MMDC is hidden behind existing buildings except the project site, revealing only the ‘M’. As one drives towards the river, the rest of Moscow city skyline is shown in full view.

We believe that this is an important asset and leaves abundant marketing opportunities for the client and the city.From the ring road west of the site, a similar visual exposure of the M-City towers can be experienced as views in traffic moves along the changing composition of the M-city. The symbolic ‘M’ in the skyline defines a place on the map of Moscow City as well as for the rest of Moscow.