“Architecture keeps no secrets. It is the great communicator. It tells us everything we need to know, and more, about those who conceive and build the structures that define our cities and our time.
We sense instantly whether their vision was mean or grand: whether they felt responsible only
to themselves and the bottom line or to a larger idea of society and the world”
Ada Louise Huxtable
from “Clash of Symbols” (1997)
We aspire to being worthy
of our great heritage.
We go beyond the creation of beautiful, carefully conceived and well-built homes: our work is a heartfelt embodiment of historical memory.
We dedicate this work to our immortal predecessors who imparted to us their sense of beauty, and to the parents who filled us with hopes and dreams.
We pay tribute to those great architects, painters, artisans and others whose magnificent creations are outpourings of the soul, carrying forward the time-honored traditions of craftsmanship and impeccable quality.
Konstantin and I began our career in heavy industry (mining, machine building and other sectors), where we honed our skills in managing complex production systems. Our first involvement in luxury real estate projects was as executives at Barkli Corporation. We have the fondest memories of our time with the company and are grateful to its owner, Mr. Leonid Kazinets, for that unique opportunity. In a relatively short period after coming to Barkli, we successfully assembled a remarkable team that, beyond completing a number of projects in progress, was destined to set the tone for the entire high-end Moscow real estate market for years to come. In many respects, the projects devised by that team remain the standard
of excellence today.
A building design should emerge from a sense of place. The plot of land on 1st Zachatyevsky Lane acquired for the project adjoined the venerable Convent of the Conception, from which the street derives its name.
Yet the street itself was lined almost entirely with modern minimalist architecture. In consequence, Virgin House is made up of two contrasting halves joined by a magnificent seven-meter arch: one a formal, classical brick structure and the other contemporary, with large panoramic windows.
“Her unique sense of style and attention to detail immediately raised the bar, both for us personally and for the project as a whole.”
We invited Kelly Hoppen, a renowned British designer, to develop a common style for both the exterior and interior finishing at Virgin House. Working with Kelly was not without complications – it was, after all, the first time we had collaborated with an international figure of that caliber – but at the same time delightfully rewarding. Her unique sense of style and attention to detail immediately raised the bar, both for us personally and for the project as a whole. Interest in the project and its ultimate success surpassed our wildest imaginings, greatly reinforcing our confidence in our own abilities.
Virgin House was followed by Barkli Park, which has since become an architectural and design landmark. Because the building is immediately adjacent to a major city park with several sports grounds and tennis courts, we aimed to project a sense of youth and energy without sacrificing taste. The distinctive genius of designer Phillipe Starck and his team helped us bring that vision to life. This project, too, was a tremendous success, including financially: in some cases, final asking prices were double the initial estimate and the property was essentially sold out long before construction was complete. Perhaps for the first time in the elite segment of the Moscow market, we took delivery of completely finished apartments, in three styles created by Mr. Starck’s team especially for this building.
Barkli Residence was designed by the famous
Robert Stern – a celebrated American “starchitect”.
Prioritet Residential Complex
Prioritet Residential Complex, which was built around the same time, offers more affordable homes in a building whose lines nevertheless suggest the classical Moscow style, together with meticulously conceived public areas and infrastructure. Although somewhat distant from the city center (on Nagorny Boulevard), the complex stands out in its neighborhood and apartments there sell for considerably more than those in other new buildings nearby. As work on the project progressed, the occasional rough patch
was unavoidable, but we learned quickly.
We are proud to have had charge of the concept and design for this beautiful building, designed by the famous Robert Stern. The celebrated American “starchitect” has not only created numerous magnificent structures in the United States, including the much-discussed 15 Central Park West, but is also a true professional with a profound reverence for heritage, an architectural historian and author of several works on American architecture. We had long admired his projects and, for us, getting him on board was a great catch. Konstantin’s first chance to meet partners from Robert A. M. Stern Archtects came at an exhibition in Cannes, after which we simply refused to let them go. For some time, they had their doubts about the unfamiliar Russian market: it took several months to become comfortable with one another and converge on a common vision. But we already knew what we wanted.
To the best of my knowledge, construction work at Barkli Residence is now in its final stages. Every time we pass by the site, we take the opportunity to admire those immaculate facades and recall how it all began.
Later, for a while, our careers went their separate ways when I joined Sberbank of Russia as Vice-President for Real Estate and Construction. There I took part in a number of the bank’s major projects, including construction of the Olympic Village (“Gorki Gorod”) for the Winter Olympics in Sochi. I’m happy to have made a small personal contribution to our national victory. During this time, Arkadiy remained in charge at Barkli.
Before long, however, we realized that we needed to be independent – and to work together. My brother and I complement one another very well and are quick to grasp each other’s meaning. On top of that, our previous experience in heavy industry was of great value in construction and development, where we could draw, as well, on the more than half century that our father spent in construction and a unique team recruited over several years. Finally, we were already known and trusted in the market for luxury real estate.
“Why APD? ‘A’ is the first letter of our surname, our father’s surname. It also symbolizes what we and our first-rate team do: only class A projects,
and always with a class A approach to business.”
Noble Row was our first project in this new role and it took a while to bring together. We spent a long time studying examples of the world’s best residential real estate, particularly
in New York, where residential property, as it is understood today, came into its prime.
We combed through a wide range of materials, consulting with experts, architects and historians. As you know, the most sought-after addresses in New York City are on the Upper East Side, where superb exclusive apartment buildings of incredibly fine design (secure and completely off limits to the public) rise alongside New York’s illustrious mansions – single-family homes with their own grand entrances, terraces, service areas, clearly delineated spaces, and sumptuous architectural details both on their facades and in their impeccably appointed interiors. It may sound odd in the 21st century, but the old New York aristocracy was repelled by the idea of sharing a roof with strangers, an attitude that, for some, persists even today. These homes, architectural landmarks erected by the very best architects of the early 20th century, have been painstakingly preserved and remain among the world’s most treasured properties.
Our goal was more than ambitious: to mirror this phenomenon in Moscow, incorporating modern standards to the full without in the least compromising on quality.
Even in New York, few would believe that such homes could be recreated in the contemporary world. To begin with, we were not taken very seriously, but our knowledge, experience and enthusiasm gradually won over even our greatest skeptics and we managed to assemble a truly unparalleled team, one that stands out even among the world’s best.
This success continues to amaze us. Eminent professionals from many countries, including experts from Ralph Lauren Home, Foley & Cox, Gregory Tuck Architecture, James Sanders, Clark Smith, Waterworks, Christopher Peacock, Chesney’s, Sub-Zero/Wolf, Ebony and Co, Ganter and Pentagram, collaborated with the APD team on this project.
Financial backing was provided by Promsvyazbank – one of a handful of undisputed leaders in the Russian market.
Ralph Lauren has always been a great source of inspiration and I am extremely proud
that the interiors of Noble Row are exclusively styled in Ralph Lauren Home.
“Ralph Lauren – the great designer’s name is famous worldwide.
I was a devoted admirer long before my brother and I started working in real estate development.”
Ralph Lauren – the great designer’s name is famous worldwide. I was a devoted admirer long before my brother and I started working in real estate development. For his vast army of enthusiasts, Ralph Lauren is not merely a great designer, but the creator of an entire world of beauty, of unwavering elegance and matchless quality. Visit a Ralph Lauren flagship store anywhere in the world – in New York, Chicago, London, Tokyo, or here, in Moscow – and you will likely notice that, along with the company’s excellent products, people are often looking for a taste of that beautiful world, where women are refined and elegant, and men virile and noble. The whole ambience is imbued with respect for history and tradition.
Many people, incidentally, are unaware that Ralph Lauren has Russian roots. Perhaps that is why his Russian collections – with their allusions to the era of the tsars, imperial army and navy officers, Cossacks, military orders and the ladies of the aristocracy – have turned out so well.
An entire home in the style of Ralph Lauren: the idea was surely in the air. You can buy incredible furniture and accessories, lay custom-made rugs, hang tasteful curtains and wallpaper, and even cover the walls with trademark Ralph Lauren paint, but all of that beauty calls for just the right setting: a perfectly attuned architectural framework of exquisite proportion and symmetry. When we conceived our “dream house”, we had no doubt: it had to reflect the values of Ralph Lauren, not only in its décor, but also in its architecture, in the discernment of its concept and the execution of every last detail. An enormous challenge, as you’ll surely agree.
Our choice of architectural style settled on Beaux-Arts, a neoclassical French tradition named after the oldest and most influential school of fine arts in the world, the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. We also managed to find the perfect location: a quiet lane off Ostozhenka Street, within the so-called “Golden Mile”, with striking views of the Kremlin and Moscow’s glorious churches.
After carefully working out each detail of the interiors, infrastructure and architectural facade, down to the minutest element of the stone carvings, window frames and wrought-iron fencing, we began construction. Once again, we were fortunate: the city authorities supported the project and the process of obtaining approval was smooth: everywhere we turned, officials gave us a “green light.”
Thanks to a combination of experience, expertise in contemporary project management and an elite professional team, we achieved the impossible: the homes were built and handed over within a year, including the time taken to demolish an unprepossessing structure that previously occupied the spot. Even less time was required to completely finish and decorate the interiors – down to the artwork, crystal, china, silver, bed linens and bathrobes.
All of this, naturally, came from Ralph Lauren or other hand-picked companies that are undisputed leaders in their fields.
The time frame is simply astonishing, you have to admit, given the intricacies of the project, its exceptional quality and the complex logistics: firms from eight countries were directly involved, while around a dozen countries supplied the interior decorations, most of which were custom made.
Success was not long in coming: the six Noble Row homes are now the most expensive and sought-after property on the Moscow market. Consummate trophy houses, they may well be the first of their kind in Russia, and their doors stand open to welcome worthy owners. I need hardly mention that the property management is beyond reproach.
We are confident that these six noble mansions standing in a row (hence the name Noble Row) will age gracefully, faithfully serving their fortunate owners for many generations to come. Ever beautiful, ever aristocratic, they stand beyond the bounds of time and fashion.
Our team is now working on several unique projects in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and is also involved in plans for an Indian Ocean resort whose concept and beauty are truly extraordinary. We will be happy to say more about this work when the time comes.
“A great building must begin with the unmeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed and in the end must be unmeasurable.”
Louis Isadore Kahn (1901–1974)
outstanding American architect
Upper East Side, Moscow
A steadfast devotee of all things Ralph Lauren
uses architecture to make his point in the Russian capital.
By Lee Marshall on April 21, 2017
Real estate: Fashion Forward
An elegant new residential development in Moscow pays
Homage to Ralph Lauren’s design aesthetic
By Geoffrey Montes, summer 2017