Ksenia Lenina

Master of Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2)


I see architecture as an outlet for my passion for complex problem solving. Having potential in improving lives and protecting and enhancing environment makes architecture feel empowering. Having to design something relevant for generations to come makes architecture feel humbling.

In my project I was exploring idea of visually modest architecture: one that doesn’t take a centre stage in landscape, but is exposed only as much as it is needed for it to perform its function. 

Why do we build above ground in Britain and what if we decided to lead subterranean lives instead? 

Practice common in many places on Earth could be practical for mitigation of heat waves, storms, cold spells brought to the British Islands by climate change. Subterranean structures are more stable, need less maintenance and are significantly more energy efficient than their above ground counterparts.

Building below ground can help to preserve landscapes both as visual feature and as a productive natural environment. Retaining layer of top soil above the structures  will preserve habitat for number of local species and promote sequestration of carbon. Building low will allow for long uninterrupted views and better appreciation of local landscapes.

In my project I wonder if we could perhaps improve many lives by providing better care to people with progressive incurable health conditions from the moment of diagnosis. What if we could create an engaging and mentally-stimulating environment for patients with dementia instead of encircling them with walls? 

Studies show much slower rate of development of memory and cognitive function conditions in individuals that socially and cognitively engaged than in those who continue a normal lifestyle. My proposal is to create a supportive and engaging environment for those diagnosed. Residents will be encouraged to live normal life and offered high level of support and plenty of opportunities to engage, learn and communicate.

Plenty of amenities and social events will attract other members of local communities allowing to create new connections and social support networks. Provision of space for social congregation and safe and convenient access to local green areas will encourage for building stronger community and affiliation with the location for new community  residents and residents of surrounding dwellings alike.

Having to decommission existing buildings due to their poor state of repair I was looking for ways to reduce ecological footprint of demolition and erection of new structures by reusing salvaged materials in both landscaping and buildings design. Reusing masonry for paving, creation of retention walls, aggregates for use in drainage and foundations, new concrete and terrazzo cladding became an important part of my project.  Using terrazzo technique to create number of distinctive façades will  also allow residents with dementia to recognise their homes with better ease in most cases and will produce more varied and interesting streetscapes. 

Ksenia Lenina | Architecture
Site view
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Site Masterplan
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Local Plan
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Site section
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Typical accommodation plans
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Couryard setting
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