It is the penthouse for the ‘king of Russian real estate’ Vladislav Doronin in Moscow. For the design he asked architect Massimo Iosa Ghini from Bologna, Italy. He created a modern and light space with an indoor swimming pool right through the living areas surrounded by his collection of contemporary art.

Published in OBJEKT©International issue 76

The 850 m2 penthouse measures has spectacular views of the Moscow skyline, at the top of one of the two towers of Capital Group, the holding company of the developer Vladislav Doronin, indicated as the ‘king’ of Russian real estate by Forbes. The building itself was designed by the American firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

The interiors of offices and communal spaces were the creation of the architect Massimo Iosa Ghini. He was once part of the Memphis group with Ettore Sottsass, and one of the founders of “Bolidismo” in 1986.

I like to see the magic created between objects that on their own might not be so easy to insert.

As a group, they seem to create a dimension of lightness that looks almost casual. It is the result of extreme control.

– Massimo Iosa Ghini

On the first level of the Moscow penthouse are the hospitality spaces: the entertaining area, the wardrobe, the two bedrooms and the rooms for the household staff. The middle zone, a two-story area, is dedicated to the main living room with a fireplace inspired by the work of Adalberto Libera at Casa Malaparte.

Instead of the sea of Capri the view is of the Moscow sky-line. The open space combines the dining area, the kitchen, the pantry and wine cellar, organized in a fluid sequence around the big transparent box of the pool, and extending to the fitness zones with gym, sauna and Turkish bath, the personal bedroom with its appendices (closet, bathroom) and the guest space. Like a suspended element, inside a glass structure, the fourth level hosts Doronin’s studio. The fifth floor, on the rooftop, is transformed into a mini-building with a bar and service zone, topped by an accessorized terrace for use during the warm months.

“I had complete freedom in the design of the architectural layout,”

Iosa Ghini said, “Vladislav had only specific demands regarding the personal spaces of the gym and the studio. The phase of choices regarding the positioning of furnishings and artworks was one of collaboration,

involving works by Andy Warhol, Julian Schnabel and Jean-Michel Basquiat, already protagonists in their own right.

The recurring question was where to put them and in relation to what. Every presence had to be well gauged inside the space, to produce a dynamic but balanced dialogue of all the parts, avoiding the effect of a stiff mini-museum without vitality, in spite of its very precious content. In this sense the project was an important opportunity for me, as the construction of a way of approaching the theme of the private house, not a standard stylistic exercise.