Megabudka employs ‘New Russian style’ for Hospitality Center in Kudykina Gora Park

The Hospitality Center by Megabudka in Russia draws visually from local architectural heritage and contemporary design, articulated as a set of ebony-clad geometric volumes.

by Jincy IypePublished on : Nov 25, 2021

Design and architecture firm Megabudka: Bureau of Architecture has completed the Hospitality Center in Kudykina Gora Park in Russia, its geometric and strict facades dressed in black ebony - the colour of board scorched under the sun - the true colour of Russian wooden architecture according to the architects. The project strives to combat the prevailing lack of identity of modern architecture in the country - “Russian architects often imitate contemporary colleagues from other countries. As a result, national identity is completely absent in the newly created environment,” shares Megabudka, who carried out extensive research to develop and arrive at the “New Russian” style that underscores the building’s essence.

Megabudka employs the “New Russian” style of architecture for the Hospitality Center | Hospitality Center in Kudykina Gora Park by Megabudka: Bureu of Architecture  | STIRworld
Megabudka employs the “New Russian” style of architecture for the Hospitality Center Image: Courtesy of Megabudka

The volume and assured stance of the 3,500 sqm building is able to retain its strapping aesthetic, across seasons and changing landscapes. In summers, the dusky form merges with the line of trees from the surrounding forests, and when it gets colder, the building stands striking against the pure white snow, like a thick black stroke on an ivory canvas.

The Center is articulated as various volumes of pure geometry and shapes | Hospitality Center in Kudykina Gora Park by Megabudka: Bureu of Architecture  | STIRworld
The Center is articulated as various volumes of pure geometry and shapes Image: Courtesy of Megabudka

The new style was arrived at not artificially, but based sturdy upon rethinking the cultural and value aspects inherent in the prevalent Russian architecture and mentality. “The approach was developed with the participation of a number of modern designers and architects, systematised and turned into a determinant of Russian design. The device helps not to go beyond the flexible interpretation of a combination of two concepts: avant-garde and traditional, where the avant-garde is already a completely international style, and the traditional is popular print, a semblance of brutal, magnificent and already excessive,” shares the design team.

The “New Russian” style incorporates both, avante-garde and traditional architectural aesthetics | Hospitality Center in Kudykina Gora Park by Megabudka: Bureu of Architecture  | STIRworld
The “New Russian” style incorporates both, avante-garde and traditional architectural aesthetics Image: Courtesy of Megabudka

The first structure in the world built on this new style rests in the Lipetsk region, in the Kudykina Gora park itself. “Before the construction of the park, the owners had been developing together with us for several years. The idea of ​​a "rethought national identity" is laid in the foundation of development. Any object: logo, mascot, food, font, planning principles, architecture, and the like, appears in the park only if it meets the general concept of identity,” they add.

The Hospitality Center comprises separate blocks of varying heights | Hospitality Center in Kudykina Gora Park by Megabudka: Bureu of Architecture  | STIRworld
The Hospitality Center comprises separate blocks of varying heights Image: Courtesy of Megabudka

One of the key transformations was conceiving a circular route along the park’s borders for pedestrians, exposing them to the untouched landscape and passing through the most vital points of the park’s attraction. The building complex sits at the starting point of this route when entering from the public car park. The first block of the Center faces towards the predicted movement of visitors to enhance its effect.

  • Closeup of the façade  | Hospitality Center in Kudykina Gora Park by Megabudka: Bureu of Architecture  | STIRworld
    Closeup of the façade Image: Courtesy of Megabudka
  • View from inside the Hospitality Center  | Hospitality Center in Kudykina Gora Park by Megabudka: Bureu of Architecture  | STIRworld
    View from inside the Hospitality Center Image: Courtesy of Megabudka

The Hospitality Center comprises separate blocks of varying heights, each volume with its own function and crafted personality. Their arrangement forms a cosy, comfortable scale, not imposing but also emerging as a landmark architecture, “reminiscent of a fragment of a street in the old city,” the Russian architects note. 

All volumes are clad in ebony | Hospitality Center in Kudykina Gora Park by Megabudka: Bureu of Architecture  | STIRworld
All volumes are clad in ebony Image: Courtesy of Megabudka

All volumes stand on a single stylobate, unified by a wooden terrace that clothes the roof. “The high stylobate part is given over to technical and storage spaces and is partially hidden in the relief. Thanks to the use of relief changes, the terrace becomes an observation platform from which dramatic and vivid views of the pond, the Fortress nearby and the fire-breathing sculpture of Gorynych (the folklore hero of Russian fairy tales) open up - some of the main attractions of the park. The obtuse shape of the stylobate hangs over the tall grass, resembling the Ladya (a sailing and oaring river vessel used in Russia),” they continue.

The café building houses social areas | Hospitality Center in Kudykina Gora Park by Megabudka: Bureu of Architecture  | STIRworld
The café building houses social areas Image: Courtesy of Megabudka

Triangular windows, various other bespoke lattices, belts, cracks, and myriad ways of laying panels and boards, as well as the building’s proportions of prowess essay the role of decoration for the structure. These also reinterpret the architecture of the Russian Izba, a traditional, wooden Slavic countryside dwelling with gable roofs. “The combination of architectural techniques dilutes the monumental forms of the buildings in the complex. We took into consideration the degradation of buildings as if they were being built by a Russian peasant, eventually completing the required volumes, based on his changing preferences and tastes,” the architects share.

Triangular windows dress one of the volumes | Hospitality Center in Kudykina Gora Park by Megabudka: Bureu of Architecture  | STIRworld
Triangular windows dress one of the volumes Image: Courtesy of Megabudka
The top of the first ebony clad building in the complex | Hospitality Center in Kudykina Gora Park by Megabudka: Bureu of Architecture  | STIRworld
The top of the first ebony clad building in the complex Image: Courtesy of Megabudka

The minimal, dusky exteriors are contrasted delightfully well with the warm, fair timber insides with subtle yet detailed ornamentation, described as a “carved casket with jewels". The interior design also follows the New Russian style, with elements referencing architectural techniques from various eras of Russia and the architecture of the USSR, rethought and summarised. An array of windows inside prioritise views towards the park, and bring the sun in, complimented by custom-built bay windows which create compact, self-contained pockets to relax inside the building.

All volumes have differing functions, with dusky facades and warm interiors | Hospitality Center in Kudykina Gora Park by Megabudka: Bureu of Architecture  | STIRworld
All volumes have differing functions, with dusky facades and warm interiors Image: Courtesy of Megabudka

The “mountain” is the preamble in the chain of buildings that make up the Hospitality Center. Upon entering the lobby here, a dynamic volume filled with flashes, arrows, beams of lamps with a massive souvenir cart takes shape in vivid fashion. The wooden finishes and tactile surfaces begin to infuse an atmosphere of hospitality right from the front steps, the host greeting the guests at the lobby, helping them to navigate the park outside and leading them to the buffet.

  • The structure is bookended by another geometric volume clad in dark timber | Hospitality Center in Kudykina Gora Park by Megabudka: Bureu of Architecture  | STIRworld
    The structure is bookended by another geometric volume clad in dark timber Image: Courtesy of Megabudka
  • The central volume | Hospitality Center in Kudykina Gora Park by Megabudka: Bureu of Architecture  | STIRworld
    The central volume Image: Courtesy of Megabudka

The next hut is a massive volume with one nave, and houses the café with a light environment, accommodating the most number of guests. The next one with the kitchen features arched legs, like a flour store, where the concept of an open kitchen has been played in a fresh way. Here, technical premises are positioned as objects of art, glazed, illuminated and viewed from the street as showcases. A lengthy corridor leads to the restaurant hall that nestles into a more intimate corner of the same hut, its deaf surfaces discreetly adorned with patterns. The common nave is illuminated by hanging lamps that add to the cosy fabulousness of the space. The restaurant design also references Russian mansions with its heavy brick bottom, pavement floors, openwork air windows, belts of rich patterns that line the walls along with gold and brass flowers.

The fair-toned timber lobby | Hospitality Center in Kudykina Gora Park by Megabudka: Bureu of Architecture  | STIRworld
The fair-toned timber lobby Image: Courtesy of Megabudka

Bright, trendy, completely unexpected and detached from the rest of the décor is the street food volume that lies next, designed as a social space to enjoy street food, and host events and fairs. Along with the soft fuchsia lighting here, a huge ball lamp enlivens the volume.

The café | Hospitality Center in Kudykina Gora Park by Megabudka: Bureu of Architecture  | STIRworld
The café Image: Courtesy of Megabudka

An ode to pure geometry and shapes, the Hospitality Center walks a fine line between enclosure and openness, vernacular and contemporary architecture, drawing - in equal measure – from the existing Brutalist architecture of Russia and the soft, clean minimalism of modern design, as well as the timelessness of wood, tying in people, nature and the building as one cohesive entity.

Elevations (top); plan (bottom) | Hospitality Center in Kudykina Gora Park by Megabudka: Bureu of Architecture  | STIRworld
Elevations (top); plan (bottom) Image: Courtesy of Megabudka

Project Details

Name: Hospitality Center
Location: Kudykina Gora Park, Russia
Area: 3,500 sqm
Year of completion: 2021
Architect: Megabudka: Bureu of Architecture

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