Zaryadye will be the first public park built in Moscow for over 50 years, the last being the Soviet Friendship Park, built for the 1957 Festival of Youth and Students. Since then, the practice of landscape and garden design internationally has developed through several stages. Yet contemporary landscape design remains under-explored in Moscow, a city that otherwise reflects very European and modern developments in architecture, urban planning and consumption habits. Creating a landmark piece of landscape art — adapting best practice to the characteristics of the Moscow climate — is thus a matter of crucial importance.
Due to its exceptional location, the park will become an open-air museum of sorts, where the permanent exhibition on show is the city itself. The buildings immediately surrounding the park area reflect the full spectrum of Russian architecture from the 16th to 20th centuries: a life-size exhibition against a green backdrop. The park will operate as an introduction to Moscow — a place to discover what the city is really about; the place where the city infects you with its energy.
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The Winner of the Competition is the concept of the architectural bureau from the USA, Diller Scofidio+Renfro, the authors of the High Line park in New York.
The concept of the Zaryadye park is based on the principles of wild urbanism, where people and plants co-exist in the same area. Wild urbanism creates a clear system of interaction between nature and the city. People are not imposed on certain routes and plants can grow freely. Wild urbanism – is an opportunity to leave the city, and at the same time be closer to it. Nature provides an unexpected contrast to the city, keeping the balance with culture. The territory of the park has four typical Russian landscape zones : tundra, steppe , forest and marsh. The zones are organized in terraces that descend from the upper to a lower level of the park from North-East to South -West. They cross each other, layering on top of each other and enclose the main objects of the park. The use of sustainable technologies, such as temperature regulation, wind control and natural light simulation, will help creating an artificial microclimate in different parts of the park. The concept of the park reflects the most striking features of the neighboring territories, allowing to combine the characteristic elements of historic buildings and pedestrian areas of Kitay-gorod with lush gardens of the Kremlin, thus creating a hybrid landscape and the connection between the city and nature. As a result, the park “growing” out of its environment will be a unique center of attraction for the citizens of Moscow and guests from Russia and from around the world.
The concept of the park is enhancing the quality and impact of the historic environment, rather than competing with it. The new park will be eternal and will be adapted to any changes of the future. Park functionally connects the symbolic places of urban environment, making them accessible and attractive for both Muscovites and guests of the capital. The concept introduces four levels of terraces on the existing topography. The upper level of Varvarka street is the belvedere overlooking the Moscow River. The terrace below is historical, with monuments and churches. New places in the park are mostly located on the third terrace and are united in a pedestrian ring. The fourth and the lowest terrace contains a large space for various events. The variety of size and proportions creates a possibility of organizing any types of events. This means that the park is ready for any future use . At present time the park and the Moskva river are separated from each other. A passage under the road is the best and shortest connection with the water, and the smart new river dock will be the main entrance to Zaryadye park.
Members of the team of the Dutch architectural bureau MVRDV project all traces of the past and the future of Zaryadye onto a new surface. This colourful, rich and meaningful picture turns into a network of paths that cover the territory of the park and provide a connection to the city and the waterfront. 750 kinds of gardens provide natural diversity. All the richness of Russian nature will be presented in Zaryadye. Here, elements of different natural areas are blended in a sort of a kaleidoscope: forests and steppes, ponds and suburban gardens, meadows and marshes. Guests can go down to the parking lot with underground gardens and bright lights illuminating all around. An information centre “Gates of Moscow” provides a link between the park and the parking lot . The observation deck is crowned with a dome-shaped roof hill, presenting a panoramic view of neighborhoods. Two wide boulevards present spectacular views over the city. On the contour of the former “Rossiya” hotel ponds with aquatic plants and fountains are constructed; these provide shade in hot summer days. Open spaces of the park, planted with tall grass, revive a historic site in the new form of a green area. And in the inner yards of Zaryadye an image of suburban gardens is reconstructed; here visitors can pick apples, play with kids and have picnics. New pedestrian bridges connect the park with the waterfront. A labirynth of pedestrian paths connects the park with the surrounding streets, making Moscow a comfortable city for walking.