Loft apartments first appeared in New York during the Great Depression. As multiple industrial companies went out of business they left behind large numbers of unused industrial structures in downtown areas of the city. However, these buildings did not remain unoccupied for long; rented out for throw-away prices they very quickly became favourites with young aspiring and usually rather poor artists, actors, musicians and practitioners of other art forms who used them not just as shared lodgings but as venues for their experimental projects. Shops and industrial sites were converted into living quarters that also included elements of artist studios or theatre stages. The new loft apartments became the venues for art exhibitions and concerts, and the birth places of new cultural movements and artistic alliances. Two decades later loft apartments made their debut in Europe.

A mandatory feature of a loft apartment is a huge floor area of hundreds of square metres with no partitions, extremely high ceilings, and huge windows. It can have two levels along one wall with a staircase leading to the upper level which will house the host’s bedroom and office. A primary goal of a loft apartment is to merge life and work into one; doing creative arts is not really a job, it’s just a way of life. Another characteristic is the conspicuous display of the industrial origin of the place, such things as ventilation ducts along the walls, metal staircases with perforated steps, wrought iron slabs, exposed brick of the walls are all a must. A former industrial shop is an ideal venue for a modern art gallery. One example is London’s Tate Modern gallery housed in the massive building of a former power plant on the bank of the Thames.

Loft apartments are a fashion that became a trend. Once grim industrial zones were first gentrified by artists and then evolved into trendy neighbourhoods with modern galleries, theatres, art lounges, in other words with a rich artistic history. Lofts are not simply a type of accommodation; to people living in them they are a way to make a statement either about their denial of the traditional bourgeois living values or about their involvement with modern art. That is clearly the intended message of Manhattan’s Meatpacking’s, Amsterdam’s Jordaan, LA’s Arts District or London’s Docklands.

Such neighbourhoods are already emerging in Moscow. One of the most impressive and ambitious projects is being implemented by State Development. It is the construction of the Art House residential complex in Tessinsky lane, a project that has already received a number of awards including Àðõnews and the Arch-Moscow prize.

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The buildings comprising the "Art House complex" are connected with each other by a promenade paved with the same special order clinker bricks that the structures themselves are made of. In contrast to the majority of the traditional houses for the well-off found across today’s Russia, the ones in the Art House will not have either brick walls or high fences around them. These buildings are not made to keep a low profile or to fit in perfectly with the local environment, neither are they hidden from the neighbours. Absolutely open for viewing by passers-by, the buildings totally lack the grim nova riche wariness of the outside world.

Open without chumminess and with their own unique style, these new buildings represent a phenomenon that has so far been absent in Moscow: enlightened, tolerant, inbred aristocratism.

Tessinsky lane is not yet as well known as the Golden Mile, Plyushchikha or Arbat. Its full potential is yet to be fully realised, even though it is located only about fifteen hundred metres from the Kremlin and in the direct vicinity of several important transportation hubs. Recently the area between Lefortovo and Kitai-gorod has fast been turning into an artistic, bohemian stretch as more and more art galleries, studios, design shops and art schools have been emerging there. This tendency became especially pronounced after the opening of the Vinzavod art centre and Gazgallery, the Gallery on Solyanka. The district is also dotted with numerous popular clubs (Gazgolder, Solyanka).

The people at State Development are sure that the construction of the "Art House" on the bank of the Yauza will turn this stretch of land into one of the trendiest places in Moscow. Moreover, the project is also very interesting in its own right from the architectural point of view, a fact which is sure to make it into a major tourist attraction to be talked about far beyond the boundaries of Moscow.

Arthouse is a modern residence for people who highly value design and luxury alongside with comfort and spaciousness. This project has already become a significant event for Moscow's realty. The architect, Sergey Skuratov is a renowned professional widely known for his award-winning designs. The project is carried out by State Development, a company that made its name by outstanding residential schemes and office spaces.

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location history of the area

Tessinsky lane, 2-6/19

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Beyond Serebryanichesky lane is found another lane called Tessinsky. It is named after the collegiate assessor A. I. von Tessin who once lived there. The daughter of this Russian Swede, Emilia Andreevna, married Nikolay Ostrovsky, the farther of the famous Russian playwright Alexander Ostrovsky, who in turn bought a large plot of land from Tessin’s sons in 1840. That plot was located at the top of the hill in the place currently occupied by buildings 5, 7 and 9 in Nikolovorobyinsky lane which is the street that goes up a steep rise off to the left of Serebryanichesky lane. Initially A. Ostrovsky lived in the main house (building No 7) but in the second half of 1849 he moved with his common law spouse Agafia Ivanovna into the small wooden house opposite Serebryanichesky lane. It was in this little house that A. Ostrovsky wrote his first work of prose, How a Non-Commissioned Police Officer Broke into a Dance or There is only One Step from Greatness to Absurdity as well as such milestone works as the Storm, Made Men will Make it Up, A Lucrative Place, Lucky Breaks Don’t Last Forever, Don’t Get into Someone Else’s Sleigh, Poverty is not a Vice and a number of others. It was also from this house that he would go to work at the Conscience and Business Courts as well as to visit the chief editor of the Muscovite magazine, Pogodin on Virgin field where he worked as an editor and an author of short articles. At this house he was also visited by famous writers (Dostoevsky, Goncharov, Turgenev, Grigorovich, Pisemsky), actors (Turchaninov, Prov Sadovsky, Kositskaya-Nikulina), musicians and composers. Looking back at that period of his life, Ostrovsky later wrote, ‘The Vorobinsky house was a perfect place for catching a cold and a really lousy place for writing or even thinking; the house didn’t have a single quiet place in which either could be done without interference.’ This house witnessed the deaths of the playwright’s four children and first wife. The year she died, 1867, was when the estate began to be gradually sold off and built over with new style buildings.

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In 1869 A. Ostrovsky married actress M. Vasilyeva. The newlyweds together with the author’s six children soon moved to S. Golitsin’s house on Volkhonka. The playwright’s old house was at first used as a bar and then, in the late 19th century, it was torn down, its place being taken over by the new Tessinsky lane. The windows of Ostrovsky’s house looked out directly onto the Serebryanicheskye bathhouses.

Today, house 14 on Serebryanichesky lane, which was formerly owned by the nearby plant, is home to the Prestige private school. Not far away there is another educational facility, the so called Traditional classical school (Tessinsky lane 4). Once it was a day care centre, then it was damaged by a fire and stood empty for about a decade and finally in the mid 1990’s the building was restored and sanctified and today the domes of this orthodox school once again shine over the neighbourhood.

The tall red brick building on the corner of Tessinsky and Nikolovorobyinsky lanes belongs to the Moscow plant of electronic medical equipment.

The construction of the "Art House" on the bank of the Yauza will turn this stretch of land into one of the trendiest places in Moscow.

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Tessinsky lane is not yet as well known as the Golden Mile, Plyushchikha or Arbat. Its full potential is yet to be fully realised, even though it is located only about fifteen hundred metres from the Kremlin and in the direct vicinity of several important transportation hubs. Recently the area between Lefortovo and Kitai-gorod has fast been turning into an artistic, bohemian stretch as more and more art galleries, studios, design shops and art schools have been emerging there. This tendency became especially pronounced after the opening of the Vinzavod art centre and Gazgallery, the Gallery on Solyanka. The district is also dotted with numerous popular clubs (Gazgolder, Solyanka).

The people at State Development are sure that the construction of the "Art House" on the bank of the Yauza will turn this stretch of land into one of the trendiest places in Moscow. Moreover, the project is also very interesting in its own right from the architectural point of view, a fact which is sure to make it into a major tourist attraction to be talked about far beyond the boundaries of Moscow.

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location history of the area

The studio design by Sergey Skuratov

ought to be called neo-loft as it is not a real loft in the classical sense of the word, since rather than being converted from an industrial structure it is designed and built as such from scratch and is thus an imitation. However, a neo-loft has at least two undisputable advantages: first, the designers are absolutely free in their choice of architectural solutions and second, the future owners of the loft apartment can be sure the building is one hundred percent environmentally friendly as it has never been used as either a production shop or a warehouse.

Sergey Skuratov chose clinker brick as the main construction and decoration material because he believes it best fits the 'Moscow' style. Nevertheless, the clinker bricks that will be used in the project are made in Germany where only one of the preliminarily selected 10 plants was able to guarantee conformance to all the requirements including the colour. The colours of the buildings are somewhat different from each other; the smaller one in the back will be a combination of brown and gray. The other building will be lighter, with a prevalence of gray terra-cotta with dots of brown.

Absolutely open for viewing by passers-by, the buildings totally lack the grim nova riche wariness of the outside world.

The architect made the buildings look like factories by playing around with the stereotypical ideas about what an industrial building should look like. The windows create the impression that there is no floor inside, in some places they angle towards each other linking up at the tips, but primarily they merge forming intricate vertical garlands. The wall of one of the two buildings leans slightly; the roofs on both buildings follow suit by being tilted and shifted. ‘These are two mental houses,’ the author jokes.

The two Art House buildings offer a total of 30 apartments, 12 in building A and 18 in building B. The floor areas of the apartments range from 80 to 250 square metres. The ceiling height conforms to the standards of a loft apartment, ranging from 3.8 to 5.1 metres in the standard apartments and from 9.0 to 10.3 metres in the penthouses. The ground floors will house an art gallery, a restaurant, possibly art studies. The complex has quite an impressive underground parking garage for 109 vehicles.

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A. Grinev, developer S. Skuratov, architect

We always do our best in designing buildings that have a story to tell, and thus may become a monument to future generations. Arthouse is undoubtedly one of such projects.

When we started a project of an estate at Tessinsky Side Street, our first decision was to increase the ceiling height. While imagining how the buildings will be set among the surrounding we found out that the project should acquire loft aesthetics. But as we had no old structure in the area to work with, it became obvious that a loft should be built initially. This is how Arthouse became a neoloft.

A loft, with its high ceilings and extra light is fits perfectly for exhibiting purposes. It became obvious at one point that a gallery will find home in one of the buildings, so this is how the name of the residence, Arthouse, was born. Arthouse is targeted at very specific people of art, if not by profession, then by their spirit of freedom and philosophy. We created such an outstanding space, that a non-creative person may simply not understand the concept in whole.

It was vital to find an architect that could carry out this concept brilliantly. In one of his interviews Sergey Skuratov says that the most challenging tasks are his favorite ones. So we offered him just what he liked. In just a month our idea was converted into an outstanding project, ready to put to life in the centre of Moscow.

Even at the stage of designing, while being an architectural project, Arthouse acclaimed several important awards, including "Best Project" at ArchMoscow and a diploma for "Bringing the Poetry into Architecture" at Arch Awards.

Awards and prizes:

Best Design award at ÀRCH Moscow, 2006.
ARX news award for the Best Design, 2006.

The author of the design, Sergey Skuratov is a famous, definitely talented and free thinking architect of a European scope.
The President of Sergey Skuratov Architects.
A member of the Association of Architects since 1988.
A member of the Executive Board of the Association of Moscow Architects since 1998.
A professor with the International Academy of Architecture since 2003.
Laureate of three Golden Section prizes in 1995, 1997 and 2003.
Recipient of two golden and one silver diplomas at Architecture (Zodchestvo) in 2004, 2003, and 1997.
Twice laureate of the Grand Prix at contests organised by the UNESCO and the International Academy of Architecture.
Laureate of numerous Russian and international contests and competitions.
Honorary builder of Moscow (1999)

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ÀÐÕ Moscow 2006

1st degree diploma for the best project of the year

ARX awards 2007

Best building/complex design of the year

25.11.2007

Project’s participation in the world famous Millionaire Fair®.

A shop for a young millionaire, appendix to the Kommersant issue 196(3772) of 25.10.2007

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The State Development group of companies has been actively operating on Moscow’s real estate market since 1995. The company’s operations span the whole range of work with investment projects, all types of construction work as well as maintenance and management of finished buildings.

State Development is a group of companies that is not officially registered as a holding.

Currently the holding operates and manages 5 office complexes and 2 residential buildings.

Samokatnaya 1 building 21

The main idea of the project was to create a modern office centre while preserving the unique historical appearance of the building and the more interesting solutions of the original design

The project was implemented between 04.2004 and 06.2005

Building: 04.2004 – 09.2004

Territory development: 09.2004 – 06.2005

Final statistics of the project:

Number of floors: 3
Total floor area: 3876.9 m2.
Capacity of the underground garage: 30 parking spaces

1st Zachatyevsky lane 15

The construction was finished in 1997 and took 1.5 years

The building was rented out within 4-5 months

2nd Zachatyevsky lane 13

Commissioned in 1998

A total of six apartments all of which were sold while the building was still being constructed

Completed in 1.5 years

The Golden Section prize for the best renovation design.

Molochny lane 4

Commissioned in 2002

17 apartments sold prior to commissioning

The construction took two years.

Pozharsky lane 5a

Commissioned in 2004

The construction took 1 year

11 apartments

10 were sold prior to commissioning

Pozharsky lane 15

Commissioned in 2005

The construction took 1.5 years

Rented out

Small konyushkovky lane., 2

Term of realization 2008-2010

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