“Zaryadye — the implementation of our national identity”

15 August 2014

In a live broadcast on Kommersant FM radio, the Chief Architect of Moscow Sergey Kuznetsov talked about new details of the project for a park in the oldest district of the capital.

“Zaryadye, according to some estimates of historians, is even older than the Kremlin because it was the first point where from ships and boats people disembarked to the shore and hauled building materials and so on,” said Kuznetsov. At the same time, historically, Zaryadye has always been built on. And what is happening to it now is a breakthrough of sorts.

“For the first time in the history of Zaryadye, it will be opened up. It will not be built on. To view the panorama of Moscow from this place is a stunning attraction.”

Specifically in order to observe Moscow on the most favorable terms, the project which is being developed "by a multinational team with significant participation of a Russian wing of young architects-urbanists, “provides for the construction of a unique floating bridge, “which goes far over the river.” And it will be spectacular, but it is far from the only “intriguing peculiarity.”

(с) Diller Scofidio + Renfro

According to Kuznetsov, Zaryadye is a “multi-functional space for the visitation by a large number of people,” “not even just a park,” but also “the implementation of some of our identification through public space.”

“The heart of Moscow, the heart of the country, is in need of a being given a national character,” emphasized Kuznetsov.

Moreover, the national character is being embodied not in a simplistic manner through “nesting dolls-accordions-bears,” but with new forms of expression, which according to Kuznetsov were found quite successfully. National identity here “is derived primarily through a variety of natural and climatic zones of Russia.”

A separate section in the park will present classical music — another “national identity.” In particular, “a concert hall is being considered.”

In addition, the highest level of infrastructure will be developed in Zaryadye: cafes, restaurants, an information center and an interactive pavilion dedicated to the natural parks of Russia.

“I very much hope that this point will be, firstly, a must-see for Muscovites and for visitors to the capital. Secondly, a favorite place. Third, a place from which one can begin exploring the city.”

The estimated date by which the project will be implemented is 2017. However, to name an exact timeframe is difficult, according to Kuznetsov, since many questions are still unanswered. Some of them are connected with the peculiarities of the site and the facilities located on it. “The city center from an engineering point of view is a very complex place. The river drain, all sorts of networks, very complex utilities are situated there. ”

A number of problems are of a legal nature — the site has a large number of owners and users, and any work requires lengthy approvals and coordination among all stakeholders: owners of Moscow and federal networks and private companies, representatives of the Orthodox diocese.

For example, when by the decision of Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin that on the Moskvoretskaya embankment an info pavilion be installed, where Muscovites could receive timely information about what is happening with the park, the largest amount of time was spent on transferring the fence. More precisely, the coordination of the transfer: “By following procedures, you move not as fast as you would like,” shared Kuznetsov.

But, despite the difficulties and significant financial injections from the state, the project of a park in Zaryadye is worth it.

According to Sergey Kuznetsov, this project is one of those that “increases the attractiveness of the city” and “creates a city’s reputation.” Modern metropolises seek not only to nurture historical heritage, but also to obtain all sorts of technological “tricks.”

“To have some marvels — marvels of modern, aesthetic design — for today’s cities are markers of success. This type of sight brings the city into the forefront of the most sophisticated, intelligent and technologically advanced.”

Images: Diller Scofidio + Renfro,

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