31.08.2010

Inhabited Island

  • contemporary architecture

We start the article series about the projects developed by participants of the Russian pavilion exposition at the International Architecture Biennale XII in Venice by the story about regeneration concept of Vyshni Volochek historic center, developed by “Sergei Skuratov Architects” bureau. Sergei Skuratov is the only participant of the “Russian architectural team”, who transformed the curatorial assignment, he changed the object location and its functions.

Information:

Focus of the new development is the two large islands in the turn of Tsna river, in the spot where Tsnitsky and Tveretski channels branch off it. Hard to deny Skuratov found the best location for the new public centre: on the one hand, the islands have never built up, on the other hand, they never suffer from spring flooding. However, the choice of location brought very special demands on the architecture. There cannot be built large public facilities in such town as Vyshni Volochek with its low-rise, mostly wooden construction. Second, the islands have never been built up and are the integral part of landscape. The last point suggested Skuratov the idea to make the entire architecture landscape, imitating the natural landscape with its smooth lines. The architect designed the accessible roof area with lawn, using only natural materials (stone and glass facades, wood for structures and interiors) and achieved amazing result: landscape view of the town did not changed, but its centre became greener and gained the delicate European charm. Plan of the complex resembles a triangular boomerang oriented along the road net on opposite banks. In fact, the highway runs through the entire island, but lies within the special earthed tunnels in order to almost totally release the territory from transport. Parking lots are located in the lower levels of the complex, there are a few more additional parking lots located out of the islands but connected with them by the pedestrian bridges. All the services requiring minimal area from the new development the architects scattered along the islands banks – like a public beach, outdoor amphitheater for town festivals, a dock with boatshed, the rest were pulled closer to the center and introduced into the landscape, "gathering" a few more folds on it. Skuratov wanted to gather all the facilities on the larger island. The smaller one is totally dedicated to the park with paths for riding bicycles, skateboards and roller skates.
Text by: Sergey Skuratov, Anna Martovitskaya
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