The Park of Five Seas
Kleinewelt Architekten and Citizenstudio / Gorozhane Group
The project is a design of the Northern River Boat Station Park in Moscow – the Park of Five Seas. Today the park is put behind and excluded from the city’s life, and one can hardly find it on the architectural map of Moscow. Moreover, it serves as a spatial firewall between the river and the city. The designers did their best to address this problem and to find a solution for the park to link the city and the river together again. The park is unique, being a gate to the five-seas system within the largest Russian metropolis, the capital of Russia.
The design provides for maintaining the austere park structure and exposing the axis of the composition connecting the city and the embankment. The central longitudinal alley is another axis of the park and its classical backbone. The stern geometry of the park will be compensated by alternative recreational pathways combined into a thematic route which would be dedicated to the geography of Russia and symbolize an unhurried, laidback sea journey, with nostalgic elements here and there reminding of the Soviet past. The objects in the park are divided into two groups pertaining to their relevant historical periods, the architecture of 1930s and the modernist style architecture of 1960s. The first part is a tribute to the architecture of the 1930s, with arbours, belvederes, a sports centre, and an exhibition hall, while the second part covers 1960s; here, examples may include Volga restaurant which was conceived as early as in the 1930s but is in line with the style of late 1950s / early 1960s.
Sergey Pereslegin, partner of Kleinewelt Architekten bureau, speaks about the design of the Park of Five Seas: “The Northern River Boat Station embodies the theme of Moscow as the port of five seas. Our design employs a projection of the map of European Russia’s river system onto the entire park. The idea was to restore the regular historical grid of pathways and to create a layer of alternative routes for new pathways which would be delicately laid between the existing trees. As we worked on the project, we tried to create the mood of the Khrushchev Thaw. The Park of Five Seas is rich in water; it is awash with moods of the sea, a summer vacation by the water, northern and southern rivers and cities. Here, the utopian dream of a happy Soviet childhood which initially existed when the park was laid out, is being implemented.”
Mikhail Beilin from Citizenstudio noted: “We set ourselves two main tasks under this project: reconstruction of the poark as an architectural monument, and creation of a new history of the park as an important element of urban microtourism. Accordingly, we divided the project into two layers: one is reconstruction and the other one is architectural intervention. All the objects we have designed are located on a new route — a framework configured as the map of the river system of European Russia linking Moscow to five seas, and they bear names of Russian cities. This route does not interfere with the classic layout of the park, but it creates a new path which has its own appearance and brings new emotions to the visitors.”
About the park:
The Northern River Boat Station Park was laid out in 1936 – 1938, alongside with the station which was built in 1937. Opening of the station and the park was assigned to the launch of a total integrated water system including channels, rivers, floodgates, water storage basins, lakes, and seas. There is a saying associated with the opening of the Northern River Boat Station: Moscow is the port of five seas: the White, the Baltic, the Black, the Azov, and the Caspian Sea.
The park is a monument of Soviet park and garden art and a unique place permeated with the history of Soviet Moscow.
Who influences you graphically?
The Moscow dwellers associate the Northern Riverside Station with the romantic images of the early Soviet epoch. They are imprinted in their memory like film shots and picturesque paintings.
One of the masters most vividly depicting the spirit of the epoch is the painter Aleksa1ndr Deyneka.
His works are full of light, they symbolize the happy future and common hope.
We used the typical style of the master, light, manner as a unique visual code that would plainly demonstrate the connection with the epoch. We developed a particular algorithm of image creation using several stages.
You mainly explore the proposal through a selection of views why so? What is your take on the classic orthogonal projections as plan, section, elevation and axonometric?
We used the very artistic method with clear mutual connection with the artist’s style, to include the viewer into the historical context, to create the mood, to engage the viewer into the romantic play with nostalgia.
As it was important to demonstrate the connection with the epoch to a wide audience, we chose this method easy to understand event for an amateur.
Working on the project, we used, among other things, classical techniques and projections – graphical presentation of “water ways of central Russia” on the plan, axonometry revealing the multi-layer concept of our solution (the existing park planning, new coating layer “rivers and water ways”, facilities and pavilions).
How did the teams jointly collaborate on the various images?
Relying on the universal artistic approach, we set up two teams – the first one was responsible for one part of the park creating facilities in the style of the 30s, and the other team worked on the facilities in the style of the 60s.
Following the algorithm developed, each team integrated the facilities into the fully virtual environment, something like a picturesque painting.
Kleinewelt Architekten is an architectural and research bureau and the author of many unique projects in Moscow and in Russia. Among the key objects designed by Kleinewelt Architekten, the following can be mentioned: Mercedes Benz and Audi dealership at ZIL, winery in Hay-Kadzor, “The Park of the Future” and Expo Pavilions at the National Economy Achievements Exhibition (VDNH), Velikan movie theatre in Gorky Park, reconstruction of a former factory kitchen in Novokuznetskaya Street in Moscow, etc.
Citizenstudio / Gorozhane is an architectural group founded by Mikhail Beilin and Daniil Nikishin. It is a winner of multiple international and national architectural competitions. The main area of activities of the Group embraces conceptual projects, research activities, and art-and-architecture design. The most notable works include the design of Melnikovs’ Museum; Glaz Gallery which implied renovation of Pot Front confectionery factory premises – halva manufactory; design of the Holocaust Memorial in Atlantic City, USA; “Forum” – a multi-purpose space in the State Historical Museum in Moscow, a famous installation “Moscow… the End-All…”, and other.