Wednesday, December 28, 2011

More On Yuznyi

An exterior view of a detached single-family house proposed for the new town of Yuznyi, Russia.
Collage by John Tackett Design, re-using the format established by Start Development.
There is a long tradition of homes in the Russian countryside where families could go in the summer to escape the city.  Traditional Dacha villages consist of houses on a small plot surrounded by a high wall for privacy and protection of a vegetable garden.  Typically, these villages are located next to forests where the families go for picnics and hikes.  New single-family houses are gradually replacing the older Dachas as development is rapidly expanding around Moscow and St. Petersburg.  This essay is the second part of the story of the new town Yuznyi presented by The Devoted Classicist here.

Yuznyi is the concept of START Development, a St. Petersburg-based private development company that commissioned Urban Design Associates to prepare a Master Plan for the new town of 14 square miles (3,700 hectares).  Apartments and rowhouses/townhouses were shown in the previous posting, but the town will also have detached single-family houses, an urban concept that is not common in Russia.  These houses are intended to be affordable within the context of the Russian housing market.  Because mortgages are not as common in Russia as they are in western European countries, many of these new homeowners will make their purchase with personal savings and loans from family members.  Therefore the size and design of these houses must meet the price restrictions.
Floor plans for a detached single-family house proposed for the new town of Yuznyi, Russia.
Drawing by John Tackett Design, revising the format established by Start Development.

The collage of the exterior of the house at the beginning of this post and the floor plans above represent a "tweaking" of the Master Plan's typical single-family detached residence by John Tackett Design.  Keeping the same footprint and massing, the exterior was restyled to suit the classical theme of the architecture of the town and some changes were made to the interior to make the small house feel more spacious.  The original concept of the American Style combination living/dining/kitchen was retained but reorganized.  The two bedrooms were made slightly larger but the local practice of having wardrobes instead of closets was kept.  Instead of a full bathroom on the ground floor and full bathroom upstairs, this suggested scheme proposes a Powder Room (half-bath) down and a 3-part bathroom up.
A map of the area from the Master Plan by Urban Design Associates.
The two parts of the new town of Yuznyi are shown in purple.
The area is rich with Imperial estates, palaces and their surrounding parks now open to the public.  Pushkin, formerly known as the Tsar's Village, is the location of Catherine the Great's summer palace, Tsarskoe Selo along with the Cameron Gallery and the Alexander Palace.
The palace Tsarskoe Selo.
The famous Amber Room at Tsarskoe Selo as reconstructed 1979 - 2003.
The history of the room, its dismantling by the Nazis, and subsequent loss is a whole story in itself.
A bridge in the park of Tsarskoe Selo.
The town of Gatchina is home to Gatchina Palace, given by Empress Catherine II to Heir Sovereign Paul in 1783, who made many of the interior improvements according to the tastes of the time.  Badly damaged during World War II, restoration is still underway.  Gatchina Highway, the historical route connecting Gatchina to the Catherine Palace in Pushkin, passes through Yuznyi.  It will be a broad tree-lined boulevard, the main street in a residential neighborhood.
Gatchina Palace.
An interior view of Gatchina Palace.
The remarkable Birch Cabin in the park of Gatchina.
The town of Pavlovsk is also in the area, famous for its imperial palace and park.  In 1777, Empress Catherine II granted her son Grand Prince Pavel Petrovich the court hunting grounds along the banks of the Slavyanka river.  Over  several decades, the grand palace and pavillions were developed along with an enormous park.
Pavlovsk Palace.
An exterior detail of Pavlovsk Palace.
The Egyptian Vestibule of Pavlovsk Palace.
Photo from PAVLOVSK PALACE & PARK by Anatoli Michailovich Kuchnmov.
A pavillion in Pavlovsk park.
Unless otherwise noted, all the images of Imperial palaces and parks come from the very informative website Saint-Petersburg which is a wonderful resource of all the architectural treasures in the area by Sergey Fedorov and highly recommended.


  1. I really love your design for the house! I have seen the developer's original concept and know they wanted "American Style", but it was TOO American -- like all the ugly houses in the 'burbs by architects who know nothing about houses, much less classicism. I can imagine how your plan could be turned and sited differently to give variety in addition to changing some details and materials. Absolutely brilliant moderate-cost housing!

  2. Thanks G.P. Building codes in Russia require larger side yards than is typical now in new U.S. developments, so that will help in achieving the tree-lined street look they are seeking. Also, attached garages are not in favor there, despite the harsh winters, and that is beneficial to the scale of a smallish house.

  3. A serious improvement on the original -- good for you!

    P.S. I'm going to resist saying *anything* about current speculation on the disposition of the Amber Room.

    SEC word: berially -- Not going there either.

  4. T.A., thank you for commenting. Your opinion is always appreciated. The story of the Amber Room is fascinating. I had come across a U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT article saying that Putin, who had taken on the reconstruction as a pet project, was presented with the only elements of the original room known to survive, a jasper and onyx mosaic fragment and an intricately inlaid chest, in April, 2000. Where these elements were in the mean time, I do not know.

  5. Absolutely beautiful to see you turn what could be so mundane into something very chic & classic. I enjoyed the continued tour of the sorrounding areas dahhling.

  6. They'll need you on the scene to pull it off, I hope they're going to have you! Are they?

  7. I might be totally wrong about this, but as I have understood it, dacha is a small non-luxury detached countryside building. A cottage, or Коттедж in modern-day Russian, is a larger exclusive single-family home, like many of the ones you find in countryside Moscow, especially on the Rublevo-Uspenskoe and Novorizhkoe highways.

    Seen a great many estate agents using the expression Коттедж to decribe the homes in the expensive country areas.

  8. HRH, of course there is much, much more I love about neoclassical palaces and parks, but each could have their own post, and maybe they will in the future.

    PGdB, this one suggestion will most likely be the limit of my participation.

    MLHB, I think you are correct. Thanks for the link to START Development's website on Yuznyi. I have revised the text to include that link if the company's name is clicked.

  9. I am loving this series. Very interesting, and your suggested changes are improvements, indeed.

  10. Thanks, R.D., I appreciate your comment.

  11. Finally a moment to read the series how very interesting! Sad to read you perhaps will not have more certainly is a charming while practical
    solution. All the best for the New Year!


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