Plans for Moscow’s Zaryadye Park project to be drafted in 2014

22 November 2013

The Zaryadye Park project planning and on-site groundwork will not be completed until next year, Chief Architect Sergey Kuznetsov of Moscow told the Ekho Moskvy radio station in an interview. He explained that the project was a technically challenging one, and required sophisticated planning.

“Once the site is prepared and the plans are drawn up, we’ll get down to the construction work itself,” said Mr Kuznetsov, who also serves as First Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Architecture and Urban Development. “It would be a very good result if we managed to have [the construction works] completed by the end of 2016.”

On 12 November 2013, city authorities finally picked a team of architects to be entrusted with designing a park at the very heart of Moscow, on a site that was occupied by the Rossiya Hotel until 2007. The contract has been awarded to an international consortium, led by the architectural bureau Diller Scofidio+Renfro. In keeping with the Moscow Mayor’s instructions, all the three finalists will be engaged in developing technical specifications for the plan.

The winning project draws on the principles of landscape urbanism, and provides for the recreation on the grounds of Zaryadye Park of four landscape zones most characteristic of Russia — the tundra, the steppe, swamps and woodland. According to Mr Kuznetsov, special emphasis in the planning of Zaryadye Park will be placed on environmental friendliness and on the use of climate technology. “There’s a long way to go in developing the park’s scenery,” he said. “This park is supposed to feature plants from across our vast country, along with various climatic zones. All this should be thought over in detail because no one is going to turn a site like this into a piece of marshland, complete with mosquitoes.”

Along with the park, Zaryadye will have an underground car parking facility, with a maximum capacity of 500, and a 20,000 sq m community centre with facilities for musical performances.

Mr Kuznetsov said City Hall had turned down a number of contribution proposals from private investors because of their intention to commercialise the site. He reminded his audience about the authorities’ decision to create a public space here. “There’s a shortage of free public spaces in the city centre, not of sales points. This is why it’s been a matter of principle for us to opt for a park project instead,” the city’s Chief Architect explained.

The Zaryadye Park project is to be financed from the city’s treasury coffers.

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