Labor and leisure club

Located in Minsk and built around the 1950s, the building represents a typical example of soviet architecture. To include it in the modern economical and cultural contexts while preserving its architectural identity was the leading motive of the project.

The building is a legacy of the soviet industrial architecture of the mid 20th century. The combination of red walls with white window frames and decor was one of the characteristic features of industrial buildings of that time. Due to lack of historical documents we decided not to reconstruct the authentic look in every detail, but instead focus on creating a facade that would be pertinent to the modern urban fabric. At the same time the new design inherits the tectonics of the original facade as well as its colour palette.

We propose to invert the historical colour composition and substitute the original red surface and white elements by light-grey walls and dark-red window frames. On the attic of the main facade we placed an inscription indicating the new function of the building. The inscription is stylised and worded in the manner of the 50s.

The main feature of our design is the complete preservation of the layout of the interior spaces. Out of respect for their poetics, atmosphere and materiality, the few newly introduced elements will remain neutral and unobtrusive. The building comprises two volumes: a larger space that was built initially and a smaller one, a wing, that was added later. They are connected by two symmetrical entrances. The wall that divides them used to be exterior and it still retains such characteristic elements as cornices, pilasters, window openings and a plinth. These architectural elements link the interior of the wing with the urban context and make it appear more open and accessible. We emphasise the link by designating the space as a cafe with a terrace that extends to the inner courtyard.

The larger part of the building contains an internal volume, a core. We envision a co-working inside of it. The first level of the core contains rooms that do not require natural lighting: meeting and conference rooms, a kitchen and restrooms. The workplaces are located on the second level. Taking the stairs one can closely observe the original fragments of wall plaster and appreciate the building’s history.

Project: building renovation
Phase: concept
Location: Fabriciusa Str. 9, Minsk
Client: Beltyazhmash
Date: April 2020