02.10.2012

Eco-Style Landscape

  • contemporary architecture

For the eco settlement of "Peninsula", located on the bank of Istra Lake, "Aleksey Ivanov Studio "Arkhstroydesign ASD" has developed a housing and landscaping concept.

Information:

"The general layout of the settlement had been developed before us and the construction was already underway, so our task was to conceptualize not the entire territory but only the small parts of it that were left premises-free - Aleksey Ivanov reminisces - At the same time we very well realized that conceptualizing every separate site was not enough, we had to tie them all in somehow so as to give the settlement some sort of a character. And, because the developer from the very start placed his stake on the environmental friendliness, we decided that the "hook" here should lie in the interesting walking routes and various leisure zones that will let the people here enjoy the natural surroundings to the fullest".

Predictably, the architects laid special emphasis on designing the front gate of the settlement - the entry area is designed as a substantially-sized two-story volume that looks bent in half on the layout. The joint gets a wide entrance arch, while one of the halves is crowned with a clock tower. Apart from the administrative facilities and the traditional mini market, this place is going to house a conference hall, a cafe, and a children's room. The ground floor of the complex will be finished with natural stone, and the top floor will be wood and glass (including the top of the tower). The broad awnings of the roof are supported by elegant-looking double beams, between which the architects lay one by one the letters that make up the settlement's name. 

Besides the entrance area, the architects have singled out four other zones on the territory of the settlement. Closest to the entrance is located the so-called "farm" with a pond for birds, a lawn for walking the pets and a boathouse. Southwest of the farm, there is yet another area meant for contemplative leisure, the one that the architects themselves call "the Zen garden". The thing is that, besides the sculptures, this area kept a few huge boulders from the Soviet days past - around these boulders the architects make a picturesque lawn, and build a gazebo commanding the lake view. From the gazebo and along the southeast border of the land site runs a foot-walk that follows the intricate curves of the shoreline. This is the future settlement's main pedestrian boulevard, and the architects endow it with the most saturated scenario. Along the entire length of the promenade, they place the minor forms - arches, benches, and flower beds - each of which they turn into a memorable orienting point. 

In the spot where the land site gets maximally close to the adjacent island, it gets a small bridge: on every shore the architects place a sculpture. The fallen tree is used by the architects for creating a getaway for children this birdhouse promises to become the most popular attraction with the local kids. This parade of landscape architecture reaches its climax in the wooden hedge that is assembled out of the letters of the word
(Russian for peninsula translators note) that are fastened to one another with slender horizontal strips. When asked about the functional purpose of this element, Aleksey Ivanov gave an answer as frank as possible: This is the place where the locals and the guests will take pictures to remember each other by! At the same time, the hedge also marks the conditional border between the residential area and the beach here the boulevard ends and the leisure area begins, with playfields and a safe water entry.

Text by: Aleksey Ivanov, Anna Martovitskaya
Translated by Anton Mizonov

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