K31 Courtyard

UNStudio’s Competition-Winning Design for a New Residential Complex

Marvelous design meets quintessential Moscow living at Krzhizhanovskogo Street. The new, award-winning proposal for K31 Courtyard offers a unique collection of cozy homes designed by—our long-time partner—UNStudio, featuring community-focused interior spaces and green surroundings with an unparalleled level of refinement and artistry.

The appearance of any city is an ever-changing, dynamic evolution that is driven by the needs of environmental factors and the people who spend time in it: either living, working, or visiting. Moscow right now is going through a construction revolution in its residential sector and as a part of this, a new masterplan was approved for the city in 2012 further aiding this growth.

For the project developer Glavstroy, the Citymakers put together a competition that focused on two main important factors for the submissions: to help strengthen the bond within the local community, as well as to preserve the historical identity of the city.

Two classic residential design elements can be seen intertwined in this grandiose design: the successful stepped podium arrangement and the unmissable towers facing each other diagonally with the highest standing at 145m (475 feet) tall reaching for the skies.

No wonder that this particular design came out on top: its careful arrangement ensures natural light to enter people’s homes and the well thought out composition creates viewing corridors expanding the residents’ visual experience onto the beautiful city of Moscow.

The grid system of the building brings a sense of strict order to the design but it’s softened by the fact that the different components like windows, bay windows, French balconies and standard loggias and both indoor and outdoor variations of these are arranged in a random sequence within these squares.

Some of the material choices were clad in brick and black metal for the podium structure reflecting the neighboring buildings while the towers are destined to balance this out with their transparent and lightweight feel. This feature of the towers holds another important factor: the building complex embraces a tranquil inner courtyard and due to this light feel it doesn’t let the inner space close in on the people enjoying the outdoors. The safe and warm feeling of the courtyard is further improved with the wooden facade that is meant to blend in with the vegetation and trees present there and give more of an organic vibe.

The fact that once again we contributed to winning an architectural competition is a clear indication of how well we can take on a big project for Ben van Berkel and his rockstar architects. From the get-go the visualization process went extremely smoothly: the images were a success, even the first sketch proposals.

Because of that and the trust UNStudio has in us, we hardly had any comments on the images as they were developing into these dazzling images you can see now. Our artists had the opportunity to let their imagination run free.

However, no project comes without some kind of a challenge. Here for example, we didn’t have drone footage of the site which means we had to build up the whole city of Moscow in 3D from scratch, aiming for the best possible cinematic feeling without any real photos.

Our aim is always to support our partners with lots of different ideas from big totals to detail-shots, from rainy moods to daylight images just to have a proper selection to pick the very best image that perfectly represents their project. We created nearly twenty renderings as a start to provide a wide range of options for UNStudio to choose from—among these were of course these last two sketches.

It’s safe to say with our creative abilities we tackle problems with success and make the most out of what we have.


Moscow, Russia




Matteo Piccini
Botond Sass


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