Block City Andrey Maltsev, Alexander Kazachenko, Polina Aleshenko


By Andrey Maltsev, Alexander Kazachenko & Polina Aleshenko

With the growing of population of the big cities Social Housing has become one of the most actual problems for the Urban planners and Architects. Cities population grow inevitably and this tendency does not seem to change in a visible future, and it also does affect the face of capital (big) city. Living in the city center becomes more expensive everyday, so cities naturally expand horizontally, creating remote districts, whose image becomes less an less attractive the more people move in. While new places for living are being built, infrastructure there may not always be up to requirements of people living there, so they are tied up to communication with a city.
Horizontal expansion of the cities may no longer effectively satisfy the communities demand for living spaces without complicating transportation and logistics scheme - so new concept of housing should be introduced.

Site Analysis

East Berlin was chosen as a main site for the Project, because of it’s abundance of typical 5–7-storey concrete typical houses “Khrushovki”, which can also be found in other cities - Paris, Rome, Moscow, etc. These houses are best suited for the purpose of expansion because they are typical, and this solution can be easily adapted for any of them.

Project Interpretation

Apartment above the city - SLB

Single Living Block - a rectangular box-home, 4 types, 5 layout solutions.
SLB has it’s independent floor, walls and ceiling which also makes it a mobile-home within the complex - a tenant can move with his home to a different vacant spot.

House above the city - LBS

Living Block Structure - a triangular frame, able to hold up to 14 SLBs.
Has independent floor, on which SLBs are placed.

District above the city - LSS

Living Super Structure - an arrangement of LBSs (6–8 units) to create a erection truss - like frame, consisting over-all of 98 apartment-houses.
The first floor of the LSS is a Skybridge long-length social area, where technical zones, shops, additional necessary infrastructure are gathered. Additionally there is a gallery which works the main way of transportation within the complex.

City above the city

Once several LSS are connected the new level of communication is established.
The whole new system of transportation, shopping, travelling pop-up right above the heads.
Complex brings in a fresh perspective for the urban planning and re-development.


● Affordable and comfortable living
● Several types of SLB have balconies with gardens, what promotes “going green”
● Mobility - each SLB can be moved within the complex
● Structural Mobility - additional LBS can be mounted to meet local requirements
● Skybridge allows transportation on bikes, skates, etc.
● Additional external elevators are proposed to ease the access to the houses.   

City Above the City architecture competition

Plan B : City Above the City architecture competition 

Metsä Wood challenged architects and students around the world to push the boundaries of modern wood building design in the urban environment. Entrants from 40 countries created their Plan B to urbanisation using wood (Kerto® LVL – laminated veneer lumber) as the main material. The task was to design a wooden extension to an existing urban building. The entries were designed to 69 cities worldwide.

Explore the designs