Capital Group wants to throw the Badayevsky plant under the feet of its new buildings

Pavel Cho, in fact, never hid the fact that “house on legs” are called to arrange a revolution. Architectural, of course.
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But it so happened that the neat owner of the Capital Group this time could not pave the way for his project.

According to the designers, the new houses on 35-meter columns will soar above the old factory buildings, hidden behind the "Stalin" on Kutuzovsky Prospekt. The Capital Group believes that this way you can save the historical buildings. But it is hardly possible to consider as a preservation of architecture a project in which ancient towers will abut the bottom of a huge house. It is planned to literally pierce the pre-revolutionary buildings with giant piles; part of the plant will be completely demolished. All this was an absolute surprise for local residents. No one even suggested that Badayevsky’s tenants would be put out onto the street because of the construction, and that was dozens of establishments and about 1,500 employees.

The events of recent days show that the defenders of the Badayevsky plant are ready to defend the former appearance of this unique place. Last Saturday, people in signal vests lined up around the old factory buildings and joined hands. These were tenants of premises, residents of neighboring houses and artists who were invited to capture a monument of industrial architecture on the eve of its possible death. Just like in 1987, when two thousand Leningraders came to the defense of the pre-revolutionary building of the Angleterre hotel.

Then in Leningrad, the defenders of the city won: the emergency building was dismantled, but in four years it was rebuilt with the original appearance preserved. So on Badayevsky they demand to preserve the ancient architecture. But not only. Some of the tenants opened their establishments just a couple of months ago, having invested tens of millions of rubles in rent and repair.

Entrepreneurs signed a 5-year lease and took out loans, which you still have to repay. Capital Group is unlikely to want to offset these costs. “We will work here as long as our legal agreement allows us,” tenants say. They are trying to attract attention and have already enlisted the support of a number of deputies of the Moscow City Duma and the district council.

It is unlikely that the famous Swiss architects thought that their bold idea would be realized like that from a snap - the total losses of Badayevsky's tenants can be estimated at between 2 and 4 billion rubles. We didn’t think so, but the situation is such that Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meron personally had a hand in the fact that more than a thousand people might lose their jobs. It is likely that these gentlemen have already figured out what damage this reputation will cause to their Moscow construction site.
So-so recognition

The company of Pavel Cho presents his scandalous project almost like success on a global level. “The project to develop the territory of the Badayevsky Brewery has received international recognition,” Moscow newspapers were full of such headlines in the summer of 2019. It is about the fact that the project became a finalist of the European Awards for Architectural Heritage Intervention (AADIPA). But, firstly, just a finalist. Secondly, AADIPA is, in fact, a small-town architectural award sponsored by the Department of Culture of Catalonia. Frankly speaking: a modest prize for the Herzog & de Meuron bureau, which received the Pritzker Prize (an analogue of the "Nobel" in architecture) for the project of the Tate Modern gallery in London.

Needless to say that the construction of the Tate Modern Gallery did without a large-scale confrontation between the London authorities and local residents, and certainly without the destruction of one and a half thousand jobs? Representatives of the designer, as spells, repeat the theses on the improvement of the Taras Shevchenko embankment and new public spaces. But it is obvious that the appearance of such spaces should be determined by the results of a wide public discussion, at least with residents of neighboring houses.

So far, everything looks like a repetition of the architectural failure with the Vladimir Pozner School on Malaya Dmitrovka, 20. From a formal point of view, the facade of the old building was preserved there. But his realities were disfigured so that the ensemble of the street turned into a mockery.

It is difficult to resist the assumption that the “house on legs” project was included in the short list of the Awards for Architectural Heritage Intervention solely out of respect for the past merits of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meron. True, given the popularity of Catalonia among Russian businessmen who buy real estate there in exchange for a residence permit in Spain, everything can be even simpler. We will not build such far-reaching versions yet. Moreover, the scandalous project of Capital Group raises several very pressing issues.

Paradise at the expense of the state?

Pavel Cho’s company plans to build a residential complex with underground parking, a hotel and apartments on the Badayevsky plant site. In total, more than 155 thousand square meters. meters. In addition to individual terraces, apartment owners will receive a view of the skyscrapers of Moscow City and the Ukraine Hotel.

At first glance, there is no doubt about the commercial success of the project. Realtors say that in 2018, demand for elite housing in Moscow has grown one and a half times (both in the primary and secondary markets). However, even under the most optimistic scenarios this year, demand will remain at last year's levels. A much more likely reduction in the number of transactions by 10-15%. In the coming years, several other major projects will be completed. It is hard to say what the “elite” market will be at the time of completion of the construction of “houses on legs”. The economic situation in the country is not getting better; sooner or later, demand for luxury apartments in the capital will begin to decline. What is Pavel Cho and his company counting on?
It is likely that the skyscrapers above the Badayevsky plant will repeat the fate of another Capital Group project - the Oko towers in Moscow City. A significant part of the office space in the skyscrapers was purchased by state bodies or state corporations, and those who work in them bought up premises. One way or another, the developer “beat off” the construction not without the help of the state.

The apartments above the old factory buildings will be located 1.5 km from the Government House and very close to the place where the large oil company is going to move its head office. The circle of potential buyers is clear. For their sake, the Capital Group, apparently ready to poke piles of buildings with more than a century of history and put on the street people working on the territory of the Badayevsky plant.

I would like to believe that the management of the Capital Group will come to its senses and adjust its actions taking into account the interests of local residents. It seems like this should be facilitated by public hearings, which are scheduled for the near future. True, judging by the information in the media, the hearings will take place almost simultaneously with the start of apartment sales in the future “legged house”. Is it any wonder that the protesters consider the result of this discussion predetermined in favor of the developer?