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.