The MOPs we choose: have modern LCD’s learned how to make a “face”

Close up of fresh juicy strawberries on a white plate

Entrance, lobby, grand lobby – in modern residential complexes, common areas (MOPs) are beginning to play an increasingly important role in consumer choice. Because now it is not just a “bridge” between the street and the apartment, not only the face of the entire project, but a public space with many functions, including social ones

МОПы, которые мы выбираем: научились ли современные ЖК делать «лицо»

It is generally believed that the history of entrances (front entrances to the building) began in our country in the XVIII century with the construction of the Alexander Menshikov stone palace in St. Petersburg.

“Initially, the stone building consisted of a central building and two wings, then it was expanded with buildings on the north and west sides. The main entrance was decorated with a portico of wooden columns imitating stone, and above it they made a loggia for the orchestra — he greeted guests arriving by the river. It was from this moment that the fashion for front entrances decorated with statues, pilasters, stucco, paintings and expensive finishing materials appeared in Russia, which were designed to immerse guests in luxury and comfort from the threshold, and more importantly — in warmth,” experts of Glavstroy Regions remind in their recent study on modern the importance of common areas (MOPS) and the importance of this parameter when making a decision about buying an apartment.

МОПы, которые мы выбираем: научились ли современные ЖК делать «лицо»

Menshikov’s Palace. Saint-Petersburg. Photo: Alexander Alekseev / Lori Photo Bank

It is clear that for more than three centuries (the Menshikov Palace was built in 1714) the entrances have changed, to put it mildly, a lot. The Soviet government abandoned their rich decoration in favor of practicality, and the period of industrial housing construction made them standard, everywhere equipped with blind doors, small windows, rows of mailboxes and an unsightly bulletin board. Such entrances still provided protection from heat and cold, wind and rain, but in the vast majority of cases they did not assume any other functionality. And in general, I wanted to get past them as soon as possible in order to get into the apartment — that is, really at home.

Today’s MOPs provide access to amenities and services that are not tied to a specific apartment, but are common to all residents and therefore should, in theory, be of interest to all potential buyers without exception. As Yulia Dymova, director of the secondary real estate department at Est-a-Tet, emphasizes, “the community is important for people now. And what is a community and the location of this community? These are the very same PUGs. Therefore, today the entrance groups, equipped lobbies, as well as the house territory are the defining and fundamental option for choosing a buyer and making decisions about the purchase of an object.”

МОПы, которые мы выбираем: научились ли современные ЖК делать «лицо»

The front door in one of the residential complexes in St. Petersburg. Photo: Vladimir Grigoriev / Lori Photo Bank

However, according to a study by Glavstroy Regions, which studied more than 100 residential complexes in the Moscow region, more than half of the residential complex’s product sites do not have or it is extremely difficult to find information about entrance groups. At the same time, the projects themselves allow us to conclude: developers believe that entrances, firstly, must be useful and functional.

“MOPs are designed in accordance with a variety of regulations and standards. Firstly, they must meet the requirements of comfort and aesthetics — first of all, the internal standards of the developer are responsible for this. Secondly, they must be safe: the width of the corridors, the size of the doors, the finishing materials used must meet fire safety requirements and ensure safe evacuation in case of an emergency. Thirdly, the building should provide an opportunity for unhindered and barrier-free movement of low-mobility groups of the population. These are not only people with disabilities, but also the elderly, parents with strollers and so on. To do this, all entrances to the house must be organized from ground level, without steps,” says Vitaly Volokhin, chief architect of Glavstroy Regions.

Secondly, in addition to convenience, safety and the availability of wheelchairs, concierge rooms, storage areas for household appliances and mail, the color scheme of the entrance group is important for modern buyers (and, therefore, for developers). “Today, developers prefer to use bright, colorful solutions. Unlike their predecessors, who often did not differ in friendliness and comfort, the current common areas give an atmosphere of comfort and security,” Glavstroy Regions notes.

What other market players see modern MOPs as? Do you agree with the opinion that the appearance and functional content of common areas is an important criterion for buyers to choose? And how, from their point of view, will MOPs evolve in the near future?

Yulia Dymova, Director of the Department of Secondary Real Estate at Est-a-Tet

“In fact, MOPs determine the status of an object. That is, what is stated by the renderers or sellers is actually confirmed by the MOPS. Lobbies or entrance groups — they are the face of any residential complex, aesthetic, design, attractive. A large proportion of today’s buyers are the 25+ generation, for whom visualization is important, the opportunity to show the lobby in various blogs is important, to take beautiful and high—quality photos (hence the trend for the presence of a promising photo zone in the MOPS). As for the development of MOPS and giving them new functions, then, as I have already noted, the key concept here is the community. Most residential complexes are now being built in the “city within a city” concept, and in fact, soon the lobby will perform all the functions that are necessary for a good hotel.”

Alexey Artoshin, Commercial Director of Glavstroy Regions

“According to a survey conducted by the company at the beginning of the year, more than a third of Russians pay special attention to landscaping (in the broadest sense of the word) and the architectural component of the entire project. And the entrance group in modern residential complexes is primarily the face of the complex and the future house. Customers have indeed become much more demanding, so it is logical that the residential environment that developers sell now begins far beyond the apartment. With the growth of competition, the number of target groups is also growing: they know how it can be, and they want no worse. But at the same time, they do not expect anything beyond what they have already seen. Therefore, the consumer’s appetite depends primarily on the menu of the developer. If we return to modern common areas and entrance groups, the first thing that distinguishes them from their predecessors is a barrier—free environment. Today, a concept is being laid in the design and architecture of residential complexes, which is aimed at creating an accessible and comfortable space for everyone, regardless of their physical capabilities. The second is the illumination. This is no longer a characterless dark nook, but a bright space with a large percentage of glazing, which creates not only a favorable impression of a new place, but also carries a security function — when you see what or who is hiding behind the door. In general, the primary functionality of MOPS has been preserved taking into account the consumer preferences of modern citizens, and their development meets these needs. Total digitalization has become firmly embedded in our lives, therefore, common areas will soon only be improved taking into account the development of technology. It is also quite obvious that the MOPs and entrance groups will develop towards full-fledged lobbies, in which the functions of comfortable waiting, short-term communication, occasional work and other public functions will be concentrated. Along with mailboxes, delivery service posts will appear more often. There will be functions for short-term rental of bicycles, scooters and other sharing services. It is possible that a rental story will develop within the framework of residential complexes — when in order to arrange a home cinema, you do not have to buy a projector, it will be enough to rent it in the same lobby. Nevertheless, common areas should be as versatile and minimalistic as possible. What makes them attractive is their thoughtfulness, ease of use and comfort of stay. At the same time, special attention should be paid to quality, because there is nothing more attractive than quality.”

Elena Tarasova, Commercial Director of Plus Development

“Today, apartment buyers, when choosing an object for the purchase of common areas, are included in the top 5 criteria. At least when it comes to projects of the comfort+ class and above. This is one of the main trends of recent times. This is so important for buyers that a whole segment (business light) is actively developing now, where public spaces are designed in accordance with the criteria of new business-class buildings, whereas comfort-class elements are allowed in apartments. I think the main reason is that people began to consider their housing as a house, and not as an apartment. Moreover, both from a functional and aesthetic point of view. And the catalyst for this process, of course, was the pandemic. 15-20 years ago, spacious, comfortable and functionally filled entrances were the prerogative of the premium segment. The rest of the houses still had “entrances”. After covid restrictions, consumer preferences were reformatted in almost all housing classes. In the mass segment, there was also a request for the house to have at least a minimal lobby infrastructure. Now many functions are carried out outside the apartment: bicycles, strollers, scooters and snowmobiles can be stored in separate wheelchairs, birthdays can be celebrated in specially designated lounge areas, pet care can be carried out in a car wash, work can be done in a coworking and so on. Now developers in business-lite class houses and above not only provide the necessary space for various functions, but also strive to ensure the implementation of these functions. So, in our project, we have identified several premises that will not be sold or rented, and which we will equip for coworking, a fitness room and a children’s club for residents of the residential complex. Aesthetic appeal is as important a component as functionality. So important that now developers are separately ordering the development of MOPS projects by architectural bureaus that specialize specifically in the design of public interiors. And often it is the design of the entrance groups that becomes the “feature” of the project. So, in our residential complex, each entrance group will have its own unique design. Perhaps the arrangement of pugs will go further towards socialization. Perhaps these places will grow into neighborhood clubs, for example, on Wednesday for master classes, presentations or performances. Most likely, the course will be taken to increasingly conquer the functions of apartments by MOPS in order to take everything that is possible beyond them and not load square meters with excess, leaving the apartment only as a personal and family space.”

Denis Gerasimov, Sales Director of the Lime Residential Complex

“First of all, let’s define the concept itself. We include entrances, halls, elevator areas and common areas between apartments on the floors. Today, perhaps, there is not a single development project where there would not be modern high—quality and aesthetically attractive public spaces – after all, they are a kind of hallmark of the residential complex, increase its prestige and attractiveness. Buyers almost always pay attention to MOPs, their functionality, convenience and design. However, we note: during the decision-making on the choice of residential complex, this criterion is important, but not decisive. Rather, it is of an additional nature, considered as another significant advantage. The lobby and entrance groups to the business class residential complex not only have an aesthetic function, but are also an integral part of the service infrastructure. That is why it is fundamentally important to have reception desks, a comfortable waiting area, guest spaces and a service for working with delivery services. All passageways, including access to elevator groups, should be convenient. A significant advantage for families with children is the nearby strollers, where you can leave not only strollers, but also scooters and bicycles. In addition, the lobby and entrance groups have a social function, they serve to unite residents: it is here that they get to know and communicate, it is here that meetings and events are held, and this is very important. After all, a modern residential complex is not just a place where an apartment is located. First of all, it is your own home, which allows you to lead an interesting, meaningful, versatile and healthy lifestyle, an essential part of which is communication. Note that 15-20 years ago there was no such thing as functional lobbies. Only very expensive residential complexes at that time had luxurious entrance groups, but their goal was rather to impress the imagination and show the high level of the house. And if at that time the quality criterion was the cost of finishing materials, today competent zoning and a service component are mandatory elements. In addition, the attractiveness of the MOPS directly affects the overall impression of the complex, comfortable and aesthetically interesting public spaces increase the cost of the project and the overall quality of life in it. Therefore, they should not only be functional and designed, but also correspond to the architectural style of the building — therefore, for example, the lobbies in our residential complex were designed according to an individual project, and we focused on thinking through both their design and functionality. In our opinion, in the future, design and technical solutions, as well as finishing materials intended for lobbies, elevator halls and other public spaces, will become even more perfect. Adapting to the dynamic lifestyle and wishes of residents, the social and service functions of the entrance groups in residential complexes will develop dynamically, becoming more thoughtful, taking into account the smallest details and nuances.”

The approach to the organization of public spaces in the elite segment deserves a separate conversation. Here, according to Alexander Lagutov, Vice President of Product at Sminex, PUGs are among the top 10 criteria when choosing a home to live in. “People look at functionality, services, convenient logistics — how to get to the elevators, get to the parking lot, whether there are bicycle and wheelchair spaces, reception with a concierge. And, of course, they appreciate the beauty of the entrance group,” the expert shares his observations.

Alexander Lagutov, Vice President of Product at Sminex, “If we are talking about lobbies in premium and elite classes, then they should be spacious, expensive, stylish, in the general logic and concept of the house. At Sminex, there are standard principles of what we require from the lobby: space, functionality, comfort, decoration. Reception desk — what should it be like? Waiting area — upholstered furniture, lobby bar? That is, the issues of planning and organization of space are certainly standardized in our country. And we are already developing the final design solution together with a creative contractor. What we see now is significantly superior to what it was 15-20 years ago. But rather because of the “low base” effect: after all, the noughties and the early 2010s are a period of market evolution. He wasn’t that sophisticated yet, there weren’t many powerful designers who successfully worked with developers. Now the situation is changing, a pool of strong architectural and design bureaus has been formed and continues to grow, capable of working at the pace of a developer in the B2B segment. It’s a completely different world when there are deadlines, there are budgets that must be respected. Developers have also found the technology to make sure that the idea was implemented in its original form. I would say that now the market has seriously evolved in terms of the quality of the solutions offered in terms of visualization. And to some extent I have stepped forward in terms of implementation.”

Talking about the MOPS of the future and general market trends, the expert notes: there are solutions that will be found more often. For example, grand lobbies appear in large residential complexes: This is a spacious space with high ceilings, which assumes the representative function of the entire project, and something simpler and more compact is already being done in the entrances of houses.

“In a sense, this is a marketing ploy. Developers show clients such lobbies, and they are more memorable, make a brighter impression. In some projects, this is a justified step, in some not so much. The key issue in this case is logistics. A grand lobby is needed when there is some kind of pronounced point between a residential complex consisting of several buildings and the environment, through which traffic will obviously flow. If a residential project is located in some kind of neutral environment, then this is an unprofitable logistical solution,” Alexander Lagutov believes.

As for the financial component, according to Alexey Artoshin, everything depends on the class of housing. “Usually, the construction cost of common areas is about 5% in economy and comfort class projects. In business and above, this figure can reach 25%,” the source says .

“Everything is very relative, and the figure may differ dramatically from project to project. It depends on many factors: number of floors, total area, class of real estate. If we are talking about lobbies in high-price chamber houses, this may be 2-3%. If MOPS also mean thermal floors, stairs, parking, then there are already 5% here,” — this is how Alexander Lagutov describes the situation in the elite market.

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As Elena Tarasova has already emphasized, today developers are increasingly resorting to the services of architectural and design bureaus specializing in the organization and design of public spaces when developing MOPS. The opinions of the architects and designers themselves are for next time.


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