Na Nikitina is a residential quarter comprising eight urban villas and a tower block in Novosibirsk, Russia. It exemplifies how historic urban fabric can be restored and revitalised.
In the early 20th century a market square and wooden cottages were sited in the area. The city structure degraded in the Soviet times with high-rises and industrial buildings replacing private housing. It resulted in chaotic construction, district amalgamation and shrinking streets. The two-storey houses built just after WWII had fallen into ruin by the early 21 century and their residents were relocated. In 2016 Brusnika development company proceeded to design and construct a new housing estate on the site.
The master plan, the architecture concept and the fronts of houses were designed by the Netherlands based DROM bureau. The core of the master plan is to restore the historic grid of streets and the outline of quarters, while preserving human-scaled proportions and open structure built-up areas.
In the same vein as poché in architectural drawings, the quarter perimeter is built with ‘pocket’ spaces between the houses, transformed into gardens, each with a distinct character. They link the restored streets lengthwise with the green courtyard park designed for the residents in the centre of the plot. On the southern corner of the quarter such ’pocket’ space morphs into a small square with shop windows and summer terraces of commercial properties located on the ground floor. Two ‘pockets’ are conceived as entrances to the underground parking located under the courtyard.
Urban villas were chosen as basic architectural type to create open structure housing. The buildings are six to ten storeys high. Each urban villa comprises 50 to 60 apartments and one entrance porch. The architects have located eight villas in a green courtyard and completed the complex with an eighteen-storey tower block as a keynote feature. The buildings are ranged in alternating rows overlooking the green ‘pockets’, and the upper parts of urban villas are specifically designed to maximise solar gain for each apartment. All houses have street facing front porches, walk-through lobbies and backyard exits on the ground level.
The project objective is to find balance between variety and standardised architectural solutions. To achieve this, the architects used three kinds of layouts, which in combination with the different number of storeys, upper floors massing and four types of facades creates variety with a unique character for each house. Each facade theme was given a working name: Hedgehog, Bread, Pyramid and Lips. Hedgehog is characterised by symmetrical balconies facing different sides and duplex apartments with terraces on the upper floors. Bread is a house with deep set panoramic windows, with the front resembling spongy bread texture. Pyramid and Lips owe their specific shapes to the placement of private terraces and balconies. The facade themes are distributed so that identical buildings are not sited next to each other.
The top and bottom floors host special apartments with summer facilities: private front gardens acting as privacy buffers for ground floors, and terraces or patios for upper storeys.
The courtyard park, designed by the Dutch Novascape bureau, has three layers of terraces to compensate for the 6-metre vertical drop. The terraces gently slope to the public square with summer cafes and recreational zones. The layering of the stretch creates cosy theme yards, which belong to villas residents, while the park itself is divided into landscape rooms, fenced with hedges and shrubs. Over 30 species of plants are planned to be grown here: large trees, such as limes, birches, rowans, cherries, apple and bird cherry trees; as well as shrubs, including spiraea, Sorbaria, cotoneaster, and hydrangeas. Perennial plants and evergreen pines will create seasonality and add an ornamental touch in the cold time of year. Parkings around the quarter and apartment terraces on ground floors will be fenced with hedges.
The courtyard area comprises a central alley and four theme gardens: a forest tree garden, a hedge garden, a water garden with water play facilities and a flower garden. Play and sports grounds and recreational zones are integrated into the green space of landscape rooms. There is minimal paving inside the quarter, which resolves the problem of water collection and makes the area even greener. The system of paths with gradient paving links entrances to the functional zones in the courtyard. The central alley will soon be complete with a volleyball court, a playground with large cubes, an outdoor chess table, a wooden amphitheatre, workout and yoga zones, making it a meeting place for residents of all age groups.
The quarter Na Nikitina is to become a green oasis, contrasting with the industrial cityscape and beautifying the urban area.
About the project
Volumetric data: Plot area — 1,9 ha
Gross floor area — 51,9 thousand square metres
Residential quarters — 33,5 thousand square metres
Commercial quarters — 1 thousand square metres
Parking — 6,2 thousand square metres
Number of storeys — 6–10–18
Apartments — 530
Parkings — 258
Project team:Developer — Brusnika
Master plan and architecture — DROM
Layouts and interiors — Brusnika. Design
Landscaping — Novascape