Location: Satis settlement, Diveysky district, Nizhny Novgorod region

Customers: State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian Academy of Sciences

Design: 2021 (competition project)

Project team:

Architects: Nikita Yaveyn, Evgeny Novosadyuk, Aleksey Lavrukhin, Yana Pyatkina, Anna Syzranova; with the participation of Aliona Amelkovich, Artur Solovyov, Maria Sokolova, Evgeny Zaitsev

Visualisation: Andrey Patrikeev

Text: Lyudmila Likhacheva

The architecture of the National Centre of Physics and Mathematics (NCPM) bases on Russian avant-garde/constructivism ideology, compositional principles and aesthetics.

The breakthrough of Russian avant-garde is congenial to the domestic achievements in the field of nuclear physics in the twentieth century.The synergy of these two phenomena in the form and content of the NCPM gives a powerful impetus to its self-identity and articulates its brand. The image of the Moscow State University branch is conceived differently from its headquarters on Vorobyovy Gory. At the same time, it still expressively conveys the pathos of daring, the desire of science for the best reorganization of life.

The composition of the main school building is inspired by the Suprematist graphics and the "prouns" ("project of approval of the new") of the artist and architect El Lissitzky. This large building stretches along the axis of the site for almost its entire length. Nonetheless, it’s compatible with the chamber context of the village due to the constructivist method of creating a building out of plastically isolated volumes of basic geometric forms. Their "superimposition" on each other, "cutting in" one into the other as well as the use of contrasting textures and the colouring of the finishing material create the final harmonious image.

The northern part of the building houses mostly public access functions: the entrance lobby, the catering service establishments, the perpendicularly superimposed hotel volume, as well as the Conference Centre and the Museum of Nuclear Physics.The inverted truncated cone-shaped Conference Centre is reflected spectacularly in the water surface of the artificial pond. The shape of the Museum of Nuclear Physics - a sphere divided into two halves - refers to the structure of the atomic bomb, designed by Georgiy Flyorov in 1942. It is a tribute to one of the pioneers of nuclear physics and an architectural statement, which postulates that two halves of the bomb can no longer come into contact and result an explosion.

From the entrance area, the way leads to the tapered atrium- the building's main communication space, its public core.The atrium contains a variety of focal points: the transformable conference centre, study and reading areas, relaxation areas, co-working spaces and coffee points. Focal points are designed as islands "chaotically" scattered in a single flowing space. At the same time, the atrium is also the largest covered recreational shelter.

A ribbon of classrooms, where on the west the conical volume of the library adjoins the building, frames the atrium.The ground floors of the three residential blocks, which protrude from the main atrium on the west side, contain faculty offices and laboratories. The upper floors contain the rooms of the student dormitory.Three rectangular educational blocks are "embedded" in the eastern flank of the building. The ground floors of the blocks are occupied by classrooms.The second floors house professors' offices, rector's office and administrative offices, connected to the central atrium by direct passages. Laboratory facilities take place in between the blocks. From the end of the atrium, the way leads to a sports complex with a swimming pool, multi-purpose sports halls and an outdoor sports arena, framed by an aerial colonnade. There is a medical centre adjacent to the sports block.

The main academic building divides the area into two main zones: the south-east, where the buildings of Technopark Sarov JSC remain, and the north-west residential zone. The residential area consists of a cluster of student dormitories (a linear arrangement of six buildings adjacent to the academic building), a group of semi-detached two-family cottages for academic staff (a chessboard arrangement) and a dashed line of five sectional dwellings, supporting the axial direction given by the main academic building.

As a kind of boundary between the territory of Technopark Sarov JSC and the residential part of the campus, the main academic building serves as a permeable membrane between the two, due to its central public space. Here all the paths of the residents of the complex cross, and from here they diverge, thereby creating conditions for the horizontal "flow" of knowledge and its processing into a single "melting pot".