A little piece of the north in the heart of Moscow: Zaryadye’s Ice Cave opens for visitors
The Ice Cave, a unique art installation, has opened at Zaryadye Park. Visitors can find themselves in a real kingdom of snow, feel the splendour of northern nature and admire the beauty of crystals covering the columns and walls. Special lighting makes the walls glimmer and adds mystery to the tunnels.
“Now you can feel like a polar explorer without leaving Moscow. I believe that this interesting natural highlight of our park will catch our visitors’ fancy and also become an attraction in our city,” said Alexander Kibovsky, Moscow Government Minister and Head of the Department of Culture.
Employees of the Diller Scofidio + Renfro architectural bureau (New York) came up with the idea of creating an ice cave. Artist Alexander Ponomaryov and architect Alexei Kozyr worked on the project.
“Technically, our installation is very sophisticated. It was very difficult to build because there is no precedent, nothing similar in the world. The ground floor is equipped with a powerful refrigerating unit and the floor is also made in a particular way,” Alexander Ponomaryov said.
Ice and snow crystals form in the cave naturally, like in nature. This effect is achieved with the help of hundreds of metal tubes with a total length of 13.7 kilometres, inside which a special substance flows continuously at a regulated speed and temperature. The buildup of ice went through several stages. All in all, about 70 tonnes of water were frozen on the cave walls.
“Ice builds up in an amazing way, sometimes it is even impossible to predict the beauty which will result. However, as our compatriot and master of avant-garde Kazimir Malevich said, ‘We should create paintings, similar to nature,’” Ponomaryov added.
The plan is to organise tours, during which guests will hear about research expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Films about the nature of ice will be shown on a media screen near the cave.
Those who want to visit the cave are recommended to take warm clothes because the inside temperature reaches – 5 degrees Celsius.
Zaryadye Park opened on 9 September 2017, during celebrations of Moscow’s 870th anniversary. Zaryadye is divided into four climatic zones: forest, meadow, steppe and northern landscape. The park features a flying footbridge, a nature centre, a cultural exhibition complex and a media centre.