Sukhodolsky is a small quarter in Yekaterinburg, constructed on a vacant plot of a new district bordering the western frontier of the city. In view of its remoteness from the city centre, the project team was conceiving it as an independent, self-sufficient entity. All required necessities are within the quarter: public spaces, garden courtyards, shops and household amenities. The architects were aiming at comfortable heights and appropriate living environment.
The quarter comprises four houses linking the inner yards perimeter-wise. Each house has sections of varying heights with five, seven, nine and fifteen storeys. The lower towers are south-facing, while the higher sections overlook the north, ensuring a better solar gain for the yards. Each building frame has two large arches linking the inner space of the courtyard to the public area of the quarter and creating a pass-through route in each block.
Landscaping was crucial for the project. Lower storey apartments have terraces of their own overlooking the courtyard. They are sheltered from the semi-private yard space by small railings and green belts of hedges. The courtyards were initially designed as green isles with minimal paving, hence most space is allotted to plants, trees and lawns, where one can sunbathe, practise yoga, play with a ball and walk barefoot. Fire access routes through the arches to the centre of each yard are also green, going through the lawns, small shrubs and perennials.
The inner courtyard planning is consistent with the main pedestrian routes. Most pedestrian paths are made of concrete slabs immersed into grass in order to reduce the area of artificial paving, which resulted in a cool and pleasant recreational environment. The courtyard is planned as a public garden with a variety of displays from different vantage points — when leaving the entrance hall, relaxing on the terrace or entering the arch. Adult trees, solitary shrubs, perennials and grasses are all present in the yard. All plants take their turn to blossom, which makes the garden interesting throughout the green season, that is from May to September. Ornamental grass clusters create special scenery in winter.
A public park, landscaped into separate rooms, was laid out around the quarter and between the buildings. These are sheltered areas for leisure, children’s games or workouts created by means of moderate relief variations and planting random trees of different species, including evergreen ones. The trees create variety in scenery within linear public space and wind protection for recreational zones.
Street landscape on the outer side of buildings provides functional zoning of the sidewalk with facade areas designed for retail outlets and busy pedestrian routes; and green hedges for apartment windows. Green belts have also been fitted between parking spaces and sidewalks around the houses. Each fifth parking spot is spaced with densely planted shrubs and trees, which creates a shady area and reduces the heat island effect.
The public park features a sports area with a workout zone, a playground for children aged 5-12, equipped for playing with water and sand, and recreational spaces with street furniture and gazebos. While designing the children’s area in the park, Brusnika addressed the results of research conducted in collaboration with AFA bureau, where the following 8 key playground activities were identified: movement, play, experiment, communication, cooperation, recreation, nature immersion and risk-taking. They were all incorporated into children’s play areas of the park. The playground equipment, made of larch, is multi-purpose — children can invent their own stories and enjoy a host of activities every day. Different parts of playgrounds are covered with grass, terrace decking or sand.
While landscaping Sukhodolsky quarter, 11 130 square metres of different kinds of vegetation were used: 7 species of trees, 8 varieties of shrubs, 6 types of hedges, 3 kinds of grasses and 9 various perennials, which contribute to an environmentally-friendly and biodiverse ambience around the houses.
Developer — Brusnika
Masterplan 一 LEVS architecten
Architecture 一 LEVS architecten
Landscape masterplan 一 OKRA
Public park and courtyards 一 Novascape
Courtyard landscape 一 OKRA
Photography — Maxim Loskutov, Ilya Teplov
Area and programme
1 283 apartments
Gross floor area — 64 500 ㎡
Residential premises — 62 310 ㎡
Non-residential premises — 2 190 ㎡
Cycling lanes and driveways — 10 180 ㎡
Green space — 11 131,8 ㎡
Pedestrian lanes and playgrounds — 5 136 ㎡