Nikola-Lenivets is a creative cluster about 100 miles outside of Moscow and started by Nikolay Polissky, a landscape painter from Moscow. During the Soviet Era, the area was a kolkhoz, or state-run collective farm, but after the collapse in 1991, the region became depressed and most of the villages were abandoned. Polissky came to the area after 2000 and began building large-scale environmental installations with materials collected off the land. Over the years, more and more people have come to work or visit and each year there is an annual architecture festival.
The land park and creative cluster is undergoing more development now and is in need of new housing and studio space. Philadelphia-based Moto Designshop has come up with a plan to turn an existing barn into a combo studio and living accommodations. The barn is situated along a ridge that overlooks a natural park. Studio spaces would take over the ground floor, which allows for flexibility according to what projects are going on. New living accommodations would be located on the first floor, which are in addition to the existing barn. A wood-slat system provides shading, but still allows for diffuse light and views. At once both modern and historic, the adaptive reuse of the barn makes use of natural and local materials with a strong influence of historic building techniques.
Images ©Moto Designshop