Borisov: “A problem of architectural Moscow is that exceptions became a rule with us”


Capital builders will have to limit the altitude of the high buildings situated near architectural monuments. The relevant document has already passed the first reading in the lower chamber of Russian parliament. Yuliy Borisov, the director general and the cofounder of architectural bureau UNK project, tells about the reasons why Moscow should reduce the altitude of the center and why it is vital to develop rigid standards in town-planning.

Less in Height
If to refer to world experience, construction height is limited for various reasons. There are some different approaches to town-planning: the West European city consists of “the old city” and the new part in which modern 7-8 floor buildings prevails. In “the old city” there is the most part of the cultural and historical and architectural sights attracting tourists. For Asian (the eastern) city clear split into old and new part is also characteristically. In the new city part modern multistoried buildings prevail. I would illustrate the American approach on the example of Canada. The center of the Canadian megalopolises is built up with very high buildings with the long distance between them which is filled with park zones. The American and Asian approach in the refined look can't be applied in the historical cities. Therefore architects now try to take best of world practice adapting these practices under the city.

The comfortable environment
However there is one thing in common. I would define it in this way: the bigger historical city is the more difficult and rigid are the rules of coordination. The main objective is the creation of the comfortable environment and the observance of that invisible balance of the interests of all interested parties. Thus, for example, the new building wouldn’t close the views of historical monuments. It especially concerns the Europe where there are a lot of architectural monuments in the historical center. And if construction for some reason is authorized there coordination of it can last for years. There are examples of restriction of construction height to 4 floors, in Paris there was a restriction to 7 floors. Therefore many developers prefer industrial zones to center or try to find any sites free for construction. It is easier and more advantageous than to fight for each meter coordinating it with experts in town-planning and the city authorities. Moreover this discussion is taken out to public   so that citizens could express their opinion.

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