Residential area “SOVI (OWLS)” in Tomsk


Functional sharpness or six rules for constructing modern house in Siberia

Tomsk design-engineers know precisely how to cut the costs of structural development and design and, as a result, feature suggestions in elements for energy-efficiency, engineering infrastructure, as well as in social aspects so as to enhance comfort, style and advanced.

We were entrusted to do the project and it was said “Think! Create!” We are young. We want to work! We want to create! We feel wolfish!  We know that we could even cope with a thermonuclear reactor- but, we have never tried it!  We talked with the client, we investigated the site and decided that “push things along.” To be “economic” means rational without extravagance. If something incomprehensible, someone will invent incomprehensible? More space, less walls, more light, communication and technology! That's all. We think this is so simple and understandable. CEO Aleksei Semin of “SibTechProject”OOO describes the project residential district “Sovi” (Owls)  in Tomsk.

The company “SibTechProject” exists for only 5 years. CEO is a young and ambitious director.   At the beginning our Company specialized only in developing engineering infrastructure of buildings and then architecture and structural development and design. The inherent methods in global urban office buildings, used by Semin team,  involve such an aspect as “design not to design a building but design a building for comfort and  harmoniously intertwining  into the urban environment. The Company applied BIM technology (building information modeling technology) based on software programs.

Rule 1:  Social transparency

The company “SibTechProject” developed the schematic design of residential district “Sovi” (Owls)  in Tomsk for Bairamov Shaban, director of “Tomlesstroi” JSC.

Residential district “SOVI”,as envisioned by the design-engineers, is being designed for a targeted public- young scientists and specialists-innovators.  This became the ground zero for both future architectural and planning assignment. Aleksei Semin states that one concept of this project is implementing the idea “social transparency.” “We made the most of such architect works as Kiyonori Kikutake, Aleksei Krasheninnikov, Vladimir Ovsyannikov and derived some applied- oriented ideas in designing our complex. The district architecture is based on the principle of social transparency of living environment. This district involves developed space structure which provides diversified behavior pattern and human intercourse and creates favorable residential environment for recreation and upbringing of children.”

For example, there is a special infrastructure area where one can conduct students' parties. This recreation room with glass walls and a natural green lawn with challenging terrain inside this room. The terrain is an elevated part in the middle of the lawn and is a stage. Such a room could be used for students' parties or for debating. “There are no tables, chairs- only a green lawn. If you want to you can even gather worms and go fishing”, describes Aleksei Semin.

Rule 2: Constructional bravery

This project is not only unique architecturally but also constructionally. The frame building is designed by updated calculation methods which reduces the amount of steel and concrete twice.  The design-engineers developed special columns as dry branches to concrete-steel technology.   In this building complex there will be two staircases of 20 meters constructed by stone-paving technology. Besides, there is a 5-meter console. The residential complex is designed with an off-snow operating ballasted roof. Light and warm walls improve the energy efficiency of the building three times. Today, we are launching innovative production of round architectural glass windows.

Rule 3:  Designed engineering system

The heating in this apartment complex is through heat-insulated floors which creates unique comfort micro-climate with intake and extract ventilation system with mechanical activation with waste heat-cold recovery during different seasons. This heat exchange principle (energy recovery) is everywhere- in sewage system and in interfloor traffic (downward heat exchange).    Intelligent LED-based lighting will be installed throughout the apartment complex.

Rule 4: Artificial intelligence 

A website has been designed where every resident has her/his profile to pay for services, switch on/off apartment live-support system. There one can play chess between residential apartments.   «All this is combined in dispatch system with artificial intelligence. Live-support system involves a control system of algorithms which create and match independently”, explains    Aleksei Semin.

Rule 5: Meaning defines style

Today architects often complain that clients want only “beautiful” apartment and interfere into the project, imposing different useless things. This could be the reason why many buildings in Russia are so cheap-looking and simply tawdriness. “SOV-architecture is subjected to rationalism. We have decided to eliminate unwanted things, apply the principle “Occam razor” every time when someone tries to” paste”  superfluous “beauty”. Have a look- everything should be simple and rational. Every architectural detail of the residential building exterior has a function, everything has a meaning from construction footprint to dry- branch columns, which support the seven reinforced concrete floors”, explains Aleksei Semin.

Rule 6: Integration into the urban environment

The “intrigue” of this design construction is that this residential house is being built in the historical development district located in Tatarsk street. This is in the center of Tomsk. This is courageous on the part of design engineers and investors to propose such a project within   untouched surrounding historic development sites, and developing only “inward.” There is an industrial base on his territory. An unusual highly-engineered residential complex will be constructed here. We are trying to organize a new live architecture, change and transform the historic part of Tomsk. If there will not be any revolutionary changes,  like any functioning city, the city may die out. So “good” developers will step by step commit to the flames (“dead real estate development) as usually.

Project layout as a PDF file (2,71 MB).