ZIL reconstruction project at the forum “Culture. Look into the Future”
One of the largest reconstruction projects of an industrial zone in the capital — the former ZIL car factory — was presented at the forum “Culture. Look into the Future.” Filling the peninsula with cultural and social functions in the near future will make it a full-fledged part of the city center.
The ZIL peninsula with an area of about 400 hectares has long been a vital link in the network of the city’s industrial areas, concentrating within it the lion’s share of places of employment. With the end of production operations in this area, a new urban planning task has appeared: it must generate an alternative urban center and once again “pull” the surplus population within the Garden Ring onto its territory, only this time it will be due to the development of cultural and social functions.
Now this area with a rich industrial past has more of a non-capital, marginal profile, while in fact ZIL is far from being located in the industrial outskirts, but on the contrary: it is quite close to the city center, just a 10-minute drive from the Kremlin. The project to covert ZIL is not tasked with simply returning the peninsula to full city use, but to make it truly a part of the city center.
Today gravitation to the center, as emphasized by the Chief Architect of Moscow, Sergey Kuznetsov, is a driver for territory development. At the same time, “stretching” the historic center to ZIL is a step towards the development of a polycentric model of the capital with a more even load on the infrastructure of the city. What attracts people to the center in particular? It’s not only the place of employment; according to Sergey Kuznetsov, it is also a territory saturated with cultural functions which draws people to the center, and a distinctive, individualized built up environment that was worked on by many architects.
On the territory that was the center of the automotive industry for more than half a century, there is every opportunity to form a multi-functional and diverse environment. According to Yuri Grigoryan (who heads Project Meganom, the bureau designing the territory), ZIL has several aspects that will help to develop it as an urban cultural center. Firstly, it has the legacy of the industrial age, which forms a stable image of the area. The project’s territory planning preserves the layout structure of the “factory period” with a central boulevard onto which the preserved facades of old shops face.
A second aspect is the emergence of new cultural institutions of citywide importance. ZIL’s central avenue ZIL as long as New Arbat will become the main planning and conceptual axis of the newly formed district. Here there will be high-density residential and public buildings with a number of new cultural institutions. Managing Director of the developing company LSR, Ivan Romanov, said that there are plans to build at least two points of attraction of a global scale here — an interactive Museum of Science and a convertible concert hall for 1800-3000 spectators; as well as several department stores and five scenic areas.
The whole street will be pedestrian with limited public transport and passengers drop-offs at the new points of culture. Moreover, this new street will not just be full of events, but also will be built by different architects. In other words, here there will be diverse, modern, and remarkable buildings, and as Yuri Grigoryan pointed out, these will certainly involve new architects and architectural competitions will be held. So for example, an international competition is likely to be held for the concert hall building.
The identity of the new district will be formed by a modern park with an embankment. Sergey Kuznetsov has repeatedly stressed that in its format this embankment will focus on contemporary international projects, such as the New York Waterfront, which is a linear park along the water, with a string of public spaces.
The pedestrian embankment will also set the tone for the whole region. Rail and public transport as a priority are in second place, Sergey Kuznetsov said in commenting on the project, and private transport in third. In addition to the Technopark metro station and a new station on the Moscow Ring Railway, the development plans of the peninsula include the creation of tram lines. According to the Chief Architect, it will be a systematically working transport loop within the territory, which will collect and transport people to two major transport interchange hubs. “Plus, a considerable number of new transport corridors are provided: in addition to a connection to Simonovskaya embankment and access to Andropov Avenue, on the planned Pechatniki-Brateevo highway with an exit to Volgogradsky Avenue, there will be an exit to the Varshavskaya highway, plus a pedestrian bridge to the Nagatino metro station,” said Sergey Kuznetsov.
He also emphasized that the project for the development of the ZIL area is special not only because it is the largest, but also by the fact that it is developing sequentially: “The principles that were included in the stage of design planning, are now being embodied in the development of the future phases of this work,” said Kuznetsov.
- Urban Design