The Constellation

The Constellation

Laplab won first prize in the beginning of 2013 in the International Art Residence Design Concept Competition in Nikola Lenivets, Russia, organised by ANO ArchPolis. This prize we won together with the team Creative association 'Shiska' (Russia/Netherlands): Juan Tur (MADHOC Arquitectura + Paisaje), Askar Ramazanov, Aldo Trim (Plane Sight Architecture), Masha Kachalova (Rhizome group).

The task of the project was to develop housing for a new community for creative people and artists. Nearby the villages Nikola-Lenivets, Kol’tsovo and Zvizzhi, located at 4hour drive west of Moscow. Together with local people, Polissky creates large art installations in the nature flanking the Ugra Park. With the annual Archstoyanie festival, the village gained international recognition. Because of the increasing popularity of the festival and activities regarding art, the idea raised to create an environment-friendly, self-manageable complex for living, leisure, work and creativity, all in harmony with nature. The competition brief consisted of three dorms, a nursery, expo pavilion, ten family houses and twenty private residence units, all dispersed over 140 hectares of territory.

Being in the outback of the Russian nature, the inhabitants are exposed to the harsh local climate. This forces the new development to be self-supporting and sustainable. The environmental condition, art installations and adventurous art community form the basis of the design concept called: ‘Constellation’. As stars in the cosmos, buildings and residences are spread on the site while connected with basic infrastructure. The plan proposes specific summer and winter situations.

The heart of the site was left as a void due to climate conditions and to create possibilities for summer festivals. On the parameter of this field, three settlements form the dorms, expo pavilion and nursery. The settlements have different central fields of wild flowers. As sheltering collective, wooden barn-like sleeping units, art studio’s and community buildings frame the central field. Boardwalks link the buildings and offer a comfortable walk while enjoying the natural scenery. The vernacular architecture of the settlements creates a fluid integration in the typical landscape setting.

Within the flexible framework of plan, Nikola Lenivets can be experienced during every moment of the day, the whole year long. The constellation of settlements, residences, villas, festivals and art installations makes all imaginable uses of the territory possible.


In corporation with:

  • Juan Tur Architect / Madhoc
  • Askar Ramazanov - Architect
  • Aldo Trim Architect / Plane Sight Architecture
  • Anton Ivanov - Architect
  • Masha Kachalova Architect / Rhizome group
  • Ray van Seeters - Energy architect / Sunraytec

LAP Landscape & Urban Design team :

  • Sander Lap - Urban/Landscape Architect
  • Paula Abalos - Architect 
  • Barend Mense - Urban design
  • Christian Rommelse - Urban design
  • Camilla Migliori - Landscape architect
  • Katarzyna Nowak - Interior architect
  • Ekatherine Timina - Urban design
  • Ben Wegdam - Urban design
  • Agnieszka Zborowska - Landscape architect

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