In the Gorky Park, the Maly Golitsynsky Pond has been landscaped upon the project developed by “People’s Architect”. The place got deck-type embankments and a centerpiece of local importance – a floating pavilion for the swans to live in.
Written by: Alyona Kuznetsova Translated by: Anton Mizonov
12 July 2018
The Golitsynsky ponds, Maly (minor) and Bolshoi (major) – the Gorky Park’s main reservoirs – are situated amidst the backroads of the park, in the part lying opposite its main entrance. The project of landscaping the Bolshoi Pond was done still in 2011 by Wowhaus; at that time, the place got a boardwalk embankment, a quay, and a café named “Olivkoviy Plyazh” (“Olive Beach”), not far away from the waterfront of the Moskva River.
Hitherto, the minor pond has been left devoid of attention: its bank was not reinforced, the shabby birdhouse was falling further into decay, the embankments were not landscaped in any way, and, consequently, even coming near the water was a tricky thing to do. Although the place is far from dead – there is a couple of cafés commanding fine creek views, a rose garden, and swans living here – it still has been falling short of being as “fashionable” as all of the other landscaped zones of the park, and generally, remained “unattached”.
The team of “People’s Architect” tried to explore the potential of this remote corner of the park, highlighting the beauty of the water and the trees, making a comfortable access to the water and comfortable pedestrian trails, and laying special stress on the swan house that could potentially become the main point of attraction in this part of park. At the same time, the architects wanted to avoid using any heavy structures. At the concept stage, the experience of working with the Izmailovo Park came in very handy, even though that specific project was never implemented. In the Izmailovo Park project, the architects also focused on searching for the “genius loci” and yet-unexplored landscape zones. In addition, they also designed a nursery for domestic animals and birds.
The Maly Golitsynsky Pond gets circled by a pedestrian trail that separates it from the trees. The space next to the water gets wooden deck terraces, upon which the guests of the park can take a rest enjoying the surrounding scenery. Originally, these terraces were devised as cantilevered structures overhanging above the water but the technical restrictions of working in a park area stopped the architects from implementing this idea.
As a result, one embankment stretches almost the entire length of the free side of the pond across from the restaurant and the swan house. Two other embankments of a smaller size are situated on the capes at the transition to the Major Pond – their shape resembles tree leaves. Almost everywhere, there are cascading stairs, sitting on which, one can hang down his legs almost down to the water. Some of the embankments are protected by weightless fences of impact-proof duplex glass. A similar combination – namely, that of wooden boardwalks and translucent fences – was used in the “Zaryadye” hovering bridge. The terraces are already equipped with benches and backlights; soon, there will be flowerbeds as well.
The centerpiece of the pond is the swan house. It came to replace the shabby barn built back in the 1960’s, which was situated in approximately the same spot – on the corner from the side of the Titovsky Drive. The architects decided that the swan house will also perform the role of an art object just as nicely: it is clearly viewable from all sides, yet at the same time no one can really interact with him because only the authorized personnel has access to it.
The house is built on a floating base, without either piles or foundation – it can be moved around. Its silhouette is as unusual as functionally justified. The higher part is meant for the staff that will be taking care after the birds; this “loft” will also be the place where hay will be stored. As for the lower part, the swans have it all to themselves. The house stands on a wooden platform that forms a terrace with ladders along its entire perimeter for the birds to easily get down to the water and back again. It is connected to the bank by a small bridge.
It was planned that the window would be a pullout one but the operation service said that this entrance would not be used because swans only live in houses in the wintertime, staying outside in summer. In the warm season, the swans are let in through the main entrance. Inside the house, there are small aviaries filled with water for the birds to swim in the wintertime as well; these are also accessed by special ladders.
The architects were able to come up with a space that is equally comfortable for birds and people. The birds have water aviaries and so-called “quiet corners” formed by the dead wall and the roof, where they feel safe and secure. The staff will be able to easily come in and clean the aviary, while the visitors of the park will get a chance to watch the birds even when they hide inside the house: thanks to the backlights, the silhouettes of the swans will be seen like in a theater of shadows.
The main peculiar feature of the house is its handmade “plumage” of larch singles. The pieces of different sizes create an unusual-looking mottled textured surface – the architects ultimately got a true art object evoking lots of associations: with the old Russian ploughshare, the furnace from the Magic Swan Geese fairy tale, fallen leaves and a forest cabin.
As a result of the landscaping work done by the architects, the pond got a “frame” that suggests one to continue his walk down to the furthest corner of the park and stay there a little bit longer. This concept quite falls in with the new “Europeanized” Gorky Park, at the same time sporting new strokes, putting one on the mind of Nikola-Lenivets project.
The new projects that they did for the Gorky Park augmented still further the impressive landscaping portfolio of “People’s Architect”: from navigation and small yards to integrated solutions for parks and urban blocks. This specific instance clearly demonstrates the general change of vector in our architecture. While earlier the emerging architectural firms would usually begin with designing small private residences, today, more and more of young companies take up parks and landscaping projects, which is surely a good sign: it is great when one’s way to success starts from caring about many people at once.
The high-rise housing complex MOD, whose construction has begun in Moscow’s district of Maryina Roshcha next to the site, on which the new Russian Railways headquarters will be built, is responding to the “central” context of the future city surroundings, and at the same time is positioned by the architects as a “manifesto of Modernist minimalist principles in architecture”.
The new terminal of the Leonov Airport in Kemerovo was built in record-breaking time, despite the pandemic. It became one of the important factors for the rapid development of the city, visually reflecting its dedication to the first spacewalk, both in the interiors and on the facades. Its main features are the “starry sky” effect and overall openness.
Stream and Lines
Stepan Liphart’s projects of Art Deco villas demonstrate technical symbolism in combination with a subtle reference to the 1930s. One of the projects is a “paper” one; the others are designed for real customers: a top manager, an art collector, and a developer.
The Strategy of Transformation
In this article, we are publishing eight projects of reconstructing postwar Modernist buildings that have been implemented by Tchoban Voss Architekten and showcased in the AEDES gallery at the recent Re-Use exhibition. Parallel to that, we are meditating on the demonstrated approaches and the preservation of things that architectural legislation does not require to preserve.
In the Rhythm of Block Construction
Last week, the housing complex “Ty i Ya” (“You and Me”) was presented, built in the northwest of Moscow. By a number of parameters, it exceeds the originally stated comfort-class format, and, on the other hand, fully meeting the city block construction paradigm, popular in Moscow, demonstrates a few interesting features, such as a new kind of public spaces for the residents, and high-ceilinged apartments on the first floors.
Five Nonlinear Ones
Recently, at the Moscow Urban Forum, they announced a large-scale project that Zaha Hadid Architects would do for Moscow – the multifunctional housing complex Union Towers designed for Quarter 82 of Khoroshevo-Mnevniki at the commission of KROST development.
Etudes in Glass
The housing complex, located not far away from the Paveletskaya Railway Station, as a symbol of a sweeping transformation of this area: a composition of towers of different height, ingenious detailing of stained glass windows, and a green lawn in the yard.
A Flyover in Watercolor
For the 100th anniversary of Vladimir Vasilkovsky, the architectural office of Evgeny Gerasimov is reflecting on the Ushakov Flyover, which was designed with input from this artist and architect. In this article, we are showing its watercolors and sketches, including the preliminary ones that were not included in the final project, as well as speaking about the importance of architectural drawing.
Transformation with Multiplication
The Palace of Water Sports in Luzhniki is one of the high-profile and nontrivial reconstructions of recent years, and a project that won one of the first competitions, initiated by Sergey Kuznetsov as the main architect of Moscow. The complex opened 2 years ago; this article about it comes out at the start of the bathing season.
Sergey Tchoban: “I believe it’s very important to preserve this city as a record...
Although originally we planned to speak in this interview with Sergey Tchoban about high-rise construction, the conversation turned out to be 70% about meditation on the ways of regenerating the historical city and about the role of the city fabric as the most objective and unbiased historical record. And, as for the towers, which manifest social contrasts and leave a lot of junk when torn down, the conversation was about the expected construction norms and regulations. We took this interview one day before the Lakhta-2 project was announced, and this is why this newsbreak is not commented upon in any way in this article.
Courtyards and Constructivism
In this issue, we are examining the second major block of the “city within a city” Ligovsky City complex, designed and built by A-Len, and combining several trends characteristic of modern urban architecture.
Inside of a Drawn Grid
Designing the apartment complex PLAY in Danilovskaya Sloboda, ADM architects placed their bet on the imagery of construction. The area where it manifested itself the most vividly was the sophisticated grid of the facades.
Headquarters of the Future
The project by “Arena Group”, which won in an open competition of ideas for the headquarters of the Italian company FITT, combines futuristic forms, an interesting set of functions, energy efficiency, and subtle references to the archetypes of Italian architecture. Particularly beautiful is the “continuous” fountain. In this issue, we are sharing about the three winners of the competition.
The Yard Aesthetics
Organizing the yard of a premium-class housing complex, GAFA architects took care not just about the image that matches the project’s high status, but also about simple human joys, masterfully overcoming the construction regulations.
MasterMind: a Neural Network for Developers and Architects
Created by Genpro, this software allows you to generate within half an hour dozens of development and construction options in accordance with the set parameters. At the same time, however, being more focused on the technical aspects, the program does not exclude creative work, and can be used by architects for preparing projects with a subsequent data export to AutoCAD, Revit, and ArchiCAD.
This Beetle Has Flown
The story of designing a business center in the Zhukov (“Beetle”) Drive: a number of attempts to preserve a hundred-year-old cold storage facility, at the same time introducing modern buildings interpreting the industrial theme. The project remained on paper, but the story behind it seems to be worth our attention.
The Childhood Territory
The project of the educational complex within the second stage of “Spanish Quarters” was developed by ASADOV Architects. The project is all about creating a friendly and transparent environment that in itself educates and forms the personality of a child.
Man and the City
Designing this large-scale housing complex, GAFA architects accentuated two types of public spaces: bustling streets with shops and cafes – and a totally natural yard, visually separated as much as possible from the city. Making the most out of the contrast, both work together to make the life of the residents of EVER housing complex eventful and diverse.
Andy Snow: “I aim for an architecture which is rational and poetic”
The British architect Andy Snow has recently become the chief architect at GENPRO Architects & Engineers. Projects, which Andy Snow did in the UK in collaboration with world-famous architectural firms, scored numerous international awards. In Russia, the architect took part in designing Moscow’s Stanislavsky Factory business center, iLove housing complex, and AFI2B business center on the 2nd Brestskaya Street. In our interview, Andy Snow compared the construction realities in Russia and the UK, and also shared his vision of architectural prospects in Russia.
The Living Growth
The grand-scale housing complex AFI PARK Vorontsovsky in Moscow’s southwest consists of four towers, a “slab” house, and a kindergarten building. Interestingly, the plastique of the residential buildings is quite active – they seem to be growing before your eyes, responding to the natural context, and first of all opening the views of the nearby park. As for the kindergarten building, it is cute and lyrical, like a little sugar house.
Sergey Skuratov: “A skyscraper is a balance of technology, economic performance, and aesthetic...
In March, two buildings of the Capital Towers complex were built up to a 300-meter elevation mark. In this issue, we are speaking to the creator of Moscow’s cutting-edge skyscrapers: about heights and proportions, technologies and economics, laconicism and beauty of superslim houses, and about the boldest architectural proposal of recent years – the Le Corbusier Tower above the Tsentrosoyuz building.
The Red Building
The area of Novoslobodskaya has received Maison Rouge – an apartment complex designed by ADM, which continues the wave of renovation, started by the Atmosphere business center, from the side of the Palikha Street.
The Uplifting Effect
The project of Ostankino Business Park was developed for the land site lying between two metro stations (one operating and the other in construction), and because of that its public space is designed to equally cater for the city people and the office workers. The complex stands every chance of becoming the catalyst for development of the Butyrsky area.
In this article, we are examining a rather rare and interesting case – two projects by Evgeny Gerasimov situated on one street and completed with a five years’ difference, presenting the perfect example of example for analyzing the overall trends and approaches practiced by the architectural company.
Raising the Yard
The housing complex Renome consists of two buildings: a modern stone house and a red-brick factory building of the end of the XIX century, reconstructed by measurements and original drafts. The two buildings are connected by an “inclined” yard – a rare, by Moscow standards, version of geoplastics that smoothly ascends to the roof of the stores lined up along a pedestrian street.