The New Old Castle Street – Zamkovaya Ulitsa

Our company is good at both designing and erecting new buildings, and renovating historical sites. Case in point: a project to renovate houses Nr.25-31 in Zamkovaya Street in Minsk.

Stone house construction in Minsk’s Trinity Suburb became most widespread in the late 19th – the early 20th century. The devastating aftermath of WWII and the following postwar reconstruction put those surviving houses totally out of place amid modern blocks. Most importantly, the surviving buildings were totally out of tune with present-day architecture, asking for a design solution to establish a proper link.

After a thorough historical research and archive studies, Vorobyev experts would come up with a project to renovate the historical housing complex by integrating the entire complex into the present-day architectural environment and adding a new volume.

The solution is based on restoring the facades to match their historical originals as they would look at the time House Nr.25 was built. The details of the facades, elements of the décor and the style of wall painting were painstakingly emulated on the basis of natural studies to match similar techniques used in the late 19th – the early 20th century. Designed not to distort the original look of the monuments, all novelties to the historical buildings are purely functional to establish harmonious links with the present-day environment.

The backbone idea of the historical site development was to recreate the overly dense street planning (typical of historical downtowns in Europe) and leave maximum room for greenery and public space. It was a hard task to deal with: the challenge was not only to restore the late 19th century facades, recreate the interiors, but also to inscribe into the limited space a new building. In the end, it all boiled down to quitting the idea of establishing points of dominance, which distort the historical landscape, and inscribe the new volume in the courtyard of houses Nr.25 and Nr.27.

The building locks up the open space in the south, with an indoor overpass connected to the southern façade of House Nr.25.  The new building is almost unnoticeable from the adjacent streets and offers more usable area than the front houses in Zamkovaya Street. The “hidden” way of planning like this meets two mutually exclusive demands of the city: keep the historical sites and increase their usable area.

The project made it possible for the city to win back the historical site, provide more public space and improve the quality of the city environment.