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Phillip Nikandrov: “Professionals always find a way to implement a bold idea!”

Phillip Nikandrov: “Professionals always find a way to implement a bold idea!”

On 3 April 2018 the WorldBuild Moscow/MosBuild trade show will host an International Forum dedicated to façades "Facades 360". In the run up to this landmark event for industry specialists, we talked to one of the speakers, architect Phillip Nikandrov, about how to find the right balance between classical style and technologies in architecture, creative audacity, current issues in the industry and much more besides.




If one compares domestic and foreign practice, what differences would you highlight from the perspective of implementing state-of-the-art technologies to develop architectural solutions?


- The first difference between foreign architectural practice and domestic practice stands out immediately and instantly. This concerns the technological façade solutions and the aesthetics of facades. For the time being Russia lags far behind both in terms of aesthetics and technology. Façade engineering, quality production and the installation of facades are extremely important in the entire life cycle of a building, while innovations and energy efficiency in façade solutions save billions in the budget and countless megawatts in mankind’s overall energy system. 


Photo © www.philippnikandrov.com


Unlike developments in general for the Russian construction sector, the most cutting-edge and innovative solutions and technologies have been applied in our country’s buildings over the past few years. For example, the cold-bent glazing of stained glass windows. Until recently stained glass windows in complex shapes, including double convex and spiral, were built from numerous flat glass panels (glazing units), rendering the external look of the glazing fairly “ragged” and pixelated. In certain instances, in the case of a small area, the glass could be bent through a glass moulding method (after heating and in specially prepared shapes). However, this is a very expensive solution that does not work for big areas. The innovative glazing cold-bent technology makes it possible to create a double convex curve using completely flat glazing units, which is far cheaper compared to moulding. When installing a modular panel, the flat glazing unit fits into the aperture of a frame that has already been bent to the required geometry horizontally, and is deformed under its own weight, assuming the shape of a frame without any thermal impact. The maximum deformation of one angle of the double glazed unit from the plane at the same time does not exceed 50 mm. To prevent the glass from shattering at this bend, it should be hardened or heat strengthened. 



This technology was applied extensively for the first time in Russia in 2013-2014 in our tower project Evolution on spiralling stained glass windows. The unique façade of Evolution emphasises the lightness and dynamics of a shape that is undulating contrary to the force of gravity. The two hundred-metre sculpture formed from materials traditionally considered to be the embodiment of fragility and inflexibility symbolises the idea of an evolutionary spiral, which is the result of a journey along the evolutionary path, the power of human reason and intellect that has mastered the energy of nature and the laws of physics. 


The original concept of the façade...


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