The Reconstruction of "Ukraine" Hotel in Moscow (Competition): "The invisible Air Canopy" Project

Architects: Aleksei Goriainov, Mikhail Krymov, Timofey Shapkin, Vitaly Verbitsky, Ekaterina Shchelokova, Andrey Polyakov, Elena Utkina

Design: 2014


In our project we see our main aim in returning facade to the "Ukraine " hotel to its initial view - without visor.

Any peak or overhang defaces first basic idea of ceremonial facade of  "Ukraine" hotel. It destroys multylevel architectural plans - the hallmark of Stalin's skyscrapers. When viewed from the front of the building (the main view to arriving guests), awning covers the main element - a majestic portal over which the entire facade of the building should be seen.

Conclusion: The best solution in this situation - is no awning at all.


"Air canopy"


The general idea:

This option corresponds to the concept of minimal and spot intervention. Existing transport scheme is not changed. Protection from downfall is provided only by air awning. There is no interference with the historic facade and specific points.


Protection from downfall:

The basis of this variant is the use of air canopy above the main entrance. Above the door two horizontal slits are made with width of 15 inches each, that fit into the decorative ornament portal. The distance between the slits 45 centimeters. Through these cracks supplied air is served under pressure, blowing off all the sediments at a distance of 8-10 meters from the entrance. Air is supplied only when there is rain, snow or hail, and the pressure is changed automatically depending on the intensity of precipitation.


Basic equipment is located in the premises of the existing technical lobby. Ducts extend vertically along the inner wall of the main plane of the facade. Average air velocity at the outlet of the nozzle at average statistical rain and wind Moscow - 30 meters per second , the average volume - 60 decibels ( the volume of normal conversation). Maximum required air speed at the exit of the nozzle - 45 meters per second, the maximum noise - 70-75 decibels. (This is approximately equal to the vacuum cleaner working at a distance of three meters from the listener).

This awning is a unique engineering design and, at the moment, has no analogues in the world. The use of such innovative solutions have a positive impact on the image of the hotel "Ukraine".


General principles of air awning (taking into account the different speed of air flow, the behavior of droplets, etc.) were calculated with the German research division of engineering company ARUP. Droplet size, the rate of incidence, average and maximum wind speed for Moscow were taken from GOST R 53613-2009 (MIK 60721-2-2:1988 Exposure to natural environmental conditions on technical products. General characteristics. Precipitation and wind). Simplified parametric interactive model was developed that  shows change of ballistic trajectory of drops when the air force of the wind awning, the width of the air flow direction and strength of the crosswind, the intensity of rain. Detailed principles of the visor, formulas and diagrams are given in the appendix to this explanatory note.


Transport and pedestrian accessibility solutions:

In this embodiment, we reserve scheme porch cars and taxis on existing ramps directly to the hotel entrance. In this variant, except air awning, requires no additional protection from rain for guests using cars. The space between the existing road and stairs and platforms on the sides of the front group are improved and landscaped. These recreational areas will be pleasant and convenient places for meetings, waiting and just an enjoyable pastime for hotel guests and residents.




Estimated portion

The air flow speed varies depending on the type and strength of precipitation, and  wind speed. To calculate the maximum speed of the air flow and noise, the maximum value of these parameters is taken. Maximum speed of rain is 9 m/s . The maximum wind speed by climate region is 5 m/s (GOST 16350-80 ). Calculation of airflow also comes from that area remained dry is at least 8 meters in front of the entrance.

Preliminary calculations show that under the most adverse circumstances in the pouring rain, with maximum wind, which blows in the opposite direction, the air flow rate should be 36 m/s , with the noise of no more than 80 db. Project laids the maximum air velocity of 40 m/s . It should be noted that the most adverse conditions occur no more than 9 hours per year (the maximum duration of heavy rain in a year in the Moscow region and counting conducted on the basis of GOST 16250-80 ) . Average air velocity (with average rain 3 m/s and average opposite wind 2 m/s ) will be 17 m/s , with the noise of 75 db. This noise level is comparable to the noise of the busy highway.


Equipment is made on individual order based on the technology of industrial air curtains. Construstion consists of a diffuser, high-powered fans or turbines, electric motor, offtake and air venting slits . Two modules will be installed at a maximum air flow of each of 65,000 cubic meters per hour.

Installation of the equipment is expected in the attic of the front group with a maximum soundproofing. For laying an offtake punching of two overlaps and minimum transfer of existing ventilation equipment on the third floor is required. Two slots (3000*150 mm each) go directly on the facade. The slots are located at a distance of 600 mm from each other to provide a wide impact on precipitation adjustment.

Method of calculation.

  • Virtual simulation of various strength of air flow is held. Based on the data air speed in reference points is calculated  .
  • Calculation of the initial vector trajectory drops in reference points by adding vectors drop speed and the horizontal velocity, resulting from exposure to air visor . Taken into consideration, the range of influence of air flow on the droplets , drop resistance of the maximum diameter of the air.
  • Reckoning drop falling on a parabola after she came out of the zone of influence of air visor. Formula is used in which air resistance is neglected, due to small distances (height of drop downs after the plane Air visor - 7 meters):

y(t) = h0 + (sinθ)v0t - (g/2)t2
x(t) = (cosθ)v0t,


where h0 – initial height

v0  – initial speed

g – free fall acceleration

t – unit of time


Calculation of noise in db in issue. Noise analysis of air curtains and specialized software is used.

With the dramatic impact of air pressure (by prior experience of more than 12 m/s) , the drop is broken down into smaller particles, which are easily susceptible to air currents. In heavy rain cloud of suchparticles is likely to occur over the entrance.