Les Fleurs de Lis, Moscow RU

800 apartments in 4 buildings
60.000 m2 including parking garage and commercial spaces
Client: Krost
Location, Moscow City, Russia

In our design brief for the Raspletina Street project the Krost-team described its great appreciation of the high architectural standard that was achieved in Paris within the urban areas that Baron Haussmann reconstructed in the period 1852-1870. Within these areas various architectural jewels can be discovered that originate from the many different eras of the Parisian architectural history. Although the appearance, accents in materials and colours may vary from building to building, there seems to be a common denominator that unites them and turns them in true Parisian architecture.

These are the overarching Parisian design principles, as also referred to in the brief of Krost:

Carefully designed proportions in the composition
The horizontal and vertical dimensions are always in the right proportion to each other. The fundamental laws of architectural compositions must be respected in all parts of the building.

Solid base
This base is clearly defined by the use of distinctive, more profiled materials and deeper, stronger colours.

Preference for grand, vertical articulation
The body of the building – the middle part- is designed as a regular repetition of vertical piers and vertical windows both run from floor to ceiling. Vertical profiling of the main volume enhances this majestic verticality.

French Balconies
The ‘French Balcony’ is one of the most generally applied features in Parisian architecture, with a emphasis on the incorporation of metal.

Specific combination of colors
When examining the traditional Paris streetscape more closely a specific combination of the colors blue and yellow is striking. Both colors return on the street facades in all saturated variations: the blue sometimes more grayish, sometimes more greenish and the yellow sometimes more sandy, sometimes more gold-colored. Further research learns why in the collective memory this color combination is so related to French culture and to Paris in particular.
It is because of the ‘Fleur-de-lis’, a golden lily flower that is that is usually depicted in a repetitive pattern against a deep-blue background, traditionally forms the symbol of French nobility and of course the centre of their power was in Paris.
To this day this combination is everywhere and evokes direct associations with the La Ville Lumière.

In Paris it is the cities landscaping that makes one of the most lasting impressions. King Louis XIV’s garden architect Le Nôtre redefined the art of landscaping with his innovative designs for the gardens of Versailles and the Tuileries. His gardens and parks have clear, geometrical layouts in which symmetry plays the leading part. Strategic adding of hedges, mazes and circular ponds, preferably with fountains, enhanced the perspective.
Le Nôtre attributed particular value to the aerial view of the park, which makes his approach very up-to-date when designing a residential high-rise complex.



build up of the base, body and top

The sensitivity with which the proportions of the Haussmannian buildings in Paris are composed requires a similar attitude when designing a project inspired by the Paris of Haussmann. From the strict relationship between horizontal and vertical proportions we concluded that we needed a tailored design strategy when developing residential high rise. This strategy is as follows:

  • The huge altitude of the building, very uncommon for ‘Haussmann’, is subdivided into four volumes.
  • The building consists of a base and a top, which both are essential for any high-rise composition. The two parts in the middle together form the body of building. By the division in four volumes we are able to respect Paris laws regarding vertical and horizontal proportions.
  • The stacking of the four volumes allows us also to introduce an appearance of variety and individualism, aspects that are so much appreciated by the residents.
  • In each of the four volumes the original saw-tooth principle is taken as a starting point, but transformed according to the position of the volume concerned. The differentiation of the volumes is achieved by increasing the amount of saw teeth the higher the volume is situated. The base on the ground floor is restrained, close to a rectangle, the next volume has one saw tooth per longitudinal façade, the next five and the top has nine saw teeth per longitudinal facade.
  • The resulting composition has variety and individualism and also several continuing vertical lines that emphasize the grand vertical articulation which is characteristic for Paris architecture.

In each of the four volumes a different composition is made which starts from the vertical piers, the vertical windows and the French balconies. For the closed parts of the facade a ceramic facade system is applied as an alternative for the traditional natural stone. With this modern material it is possible to create a variation of profiles in the facade that can be seen as a contemporary interpretation of the profiling in natural stone. With its subtle combinations of different shades of blue and yellow the architecture of Raspletina pays a direct homage to the cityscape of Paris.

The Base: colours and profiles
As with many buildings in Paris the base is characterized by saturated shades of yellow and blue and a surface that is explicitly profiled.

The Body: repetition and variation
Apart from the distinction in the quantity of saw teeth the two middle volumes that make up the body of the buildings, differ in the proportions of their piers and windows and also in the profiling and the colors of the closed parts. All these subtle contrasts provide for an attractive architectural variety, related to the Paris examples.

The Top: contemporary expressionism
In high-rise as prestigious as in Raspletina it is obligatory to design tops of buildings that not only stand out by their architectural quality, but also reinforce the overall concept of the project. Therefore the upper volumes of the towers follow the design principles of the buildings concerning the saw-tooth structure and vertical articulation.

typical floor plans of the 4 segments in each tower
parkscape site plan



Design: Team Paul de Vroom + Sputnik
Paul de Vroom, Henk Bultstra, Bert Karel Deuten,
Oksana Savchuk, Anastasiia Ignatova
Co-architect: A-Project, Moscow, RU
Client: KROST, Moscow, RU
Contractor: KROST, Moscow, RU