Capital Hill Residence

Located on the north-facing hillside within the Barvikha Forest near Moscow, where pine and birch trees grow up to 20m high, the Capital Hill Residence is divided into two main components.

The first merges with the sloping forested landscape, while a separate volume ‘floats’ 22 metres above the ground to benefit from the spectacular views of the forest over the trees.

The client, Vladislav Doronin, explained to Zaha Hadid, “I want to wake up in the morning and just see blue sky.” Hadid replied, “You realise you have to be above the trees?”

The form of the residence is defined by its natural topography with fluid geometries emerging from the landscape and remaining partially embedded within the hillside.

The residence is organised vertically over four levels. The lower level houses leisure and recreational facilities. The ground floor includes the primary living room, dining, kitchen, entertaining spaces and indoor swimming pool. The residence’s entrance foyer, library, guest room and children’s rooms are on first floor, while the master bedroom suites with exterior terraces occupy the upper level above the treetops.

The two main components of the house are connected by three concrete columns that establish a dialogue between these levels while also functioning as structural elements.

Vertical shafts required for circulation and services are located between two of the columns and incorporate a transparent glass elevator and staircase.

The main entrance to the residence is located on the first floor where the three concrete columns intersect with the roof, defining skylights and double-height space.

The view to the forest from the living room is framed by a double-curved cast concrete structure that supports the roof while also dividing the living areas.

“The Capital Hill Residence is, in a way, a celebration of early visionary modernism, from expressionism through constructivism and the visual dematerialisation of architecture, making it appear as something fast-moving and organic, rather than fixed and static. Including organic intricacy, complexity of spatial arrangements, and outstanding craftsmanship within its shape and form. But even more than that, it is, in the words of both architect and client, a ‘dream
house’ — as much fantasy as reality, an idea of architecture that still seems somehow impossible.Financial Times

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