The Moscow River in Moscow competition started in April. Eleven well-known architectural workshops were invited to participate and asked them to make a "draft design of innovative objects on the water." At the end of last week, an exhibition of works submitted for the competition was held (June 18-22), and on June 19 the jury announced its decision. Eleven participants presented not eleven projects, as one might expect, but three times as many - as many as thirty-five. The jury, in turn, awarded three main prizes and seven more honorable mentions, for a total of ten. So no one left offended. Almost.
The exhibition of competitive works in the Manege was organized for both the audience and the jury. Therefore, the tablets were signed not with the names of the participants and the names of the workshops, but with numbers - to demonstrate the impartiality of the judges. However, the numbers became an obstacle mainly for unsophisticated viewers - the jury members at the press conference admitted that the author's handwriting was recognizable in many cases, and it was not difficult for them to guess who was who. True, we must admit that such a guessing game will diversify the life of respected experts - in addition to refereeing, you can have fun recognizing creative handwritings. You can place bets on who guessed the most of the participants; I even wonder which of the jury members would have had the best result. However, the system of judging by numbers is considered an internationally recognized instrument of justice, it was actively used in our country several years ago - one of the loudest examples was the Strelna competition. For the audience, the next day after the results were announced, all names were signed to the tablets with a blue pen.
So, the first place and general recognition this time went to Mosproekt-4 and Dmitry Bush for the Free Space project. Alexander Kudryavtsev recognized it as "an amazing author's find." And Viktor Logvinov, announcing the winner, said that he was chosen "for the simplicity of the idea that lay on the surface, but was not noticed by other participants."
Indeed, where everyone else came up with different content, Dmitry Bush took the opposite move - he made a platform that can be filled with anything. A bit like a Winnie the Pooh pot, doesn't it?
The project is based on a rectangular platform with night illumination laid on the water of the Moskva River. You can do anything on it, as it was said, - break a lawn, set a concert, fill a skating rink in winter. True, it looks like the rink most of all and is especially organic in size - such a small stadium. Considering that Dmitry Bush is famous for its wonderful stadiums (which he designs and builds, as a rule, in collaboration with a member of the jury and director of Mosproekt-4, Andrey Bokov), one might think that here, too, the architect was able to transfer a piece of the stadium, as requested, to the river. Well, knowing how Muscovites love to skate - they just love it, just look at the queues in different Mega and other complexes - then there will be no end to such entertainment in winter. The very idea of going for a ride not just anywhere, but right on the Moskva River - will delight many.
The second place went to Totan Kuzembaev for the Moskva River section project. It is a floating laboratory for the study of water, flora and fauna of the river. Depending on the degree of pollution, the media facade of the laboratory changes its color from red to green, informing the residents of the capital about the state of the river.In world architectural practice, such a solution is called "architecture of reaction", and in the West there are several similar projects implemented in the city and notifying residents, for example, about the traffic density on the bridge.
The third prize was awarded to the "Plav-club" on the Luzhnetskaya embankment "workshop of A. Asadov. This workshop has submitted to the competition as many as four projects related to each other, including the floating boulevard along the river, "Plav-Boulevard". The "club" is an integral part of the "boulevard"; it is covered by an undulating roof of bright green color. An amphitheater, a cafe, a gallery, and souvenir shops are conceived in the depressions and on the hills of the wavy surface.
The works, which received seven honorable mentions, were identified by the jury as “projects recommended for implementation”. According to the judges, they are united by a clear understanding of the function and a desire to solve quite specific urban problems. Two workshops simultaneously received two "main" prizes and one more incentive, thus becoming favorites of the jury: this is "Mosproekt-4" and Totan Kuzembaev's bureau.
"Mosproekt-4" was awarded for a hotel with 40 beds, which the jury affectionately named "Green Hotel" for the facade. It is an oval building on the water, surrounded by a net on which a "living wall" of climbing plants spreads.
Another distinguished work of "Mosproekt-4" is an outdoor all-season pool. The name speaks in itself - what other workshop could offer so many options for the sports use of the river? All the rest would only have clubs, bars and discos, and here - a healthy lifestyle in various forms. The project, however, is beautiful: the oval bowl is raised above the river, inside the stadium, and along the edges there is a wall of water. The fountain pool is somewhat similar to a hotel from the same Mosproekt-4, only one is surrounded by plants, the other is surrounded by water.
An encouraged project by Totan Kuzembaev is the “Ghost” pier-gallery. Partitions play the role of ghosts in it, they are located towards the embankment with their ends, therefore, when viewed from the front, they "disappear", and when viewed from the side, they appear. The variability of forms echoes the variability of function depending on the time of day. During the day it is a marina where ships dock, at night it is a media art gallery. According to the architects, this will allow more efficient use of the facility at any time of the day.
Alexander Brodsky's project gives the author's style - "Beer Hall with a Podium" in front of the White House. The tribune, the beach, the observation deck, everything is on the Krasnopresnenskaya embankment. Beer hall with 300 seats under the tribune. I remember how people in 1993 went to the Novoarbatsky bridge with binoculars to watch the assault on the White House. Brodsky came up with everything necessary for such a case - where to sit and what to drink, but only the stands are turned from the Government House in the opposite direction - to Dorogomilovka. You can look at the passing government corteges and at the hotel "Ukraine", for example.
Mikhail Khazanov proposed "Balaganchik": brightly colored tents, big top, awnings, all on the water. According to the author, bright spots can change for the better the gray nondescript appearance of embankments such as Berezhkovskaya.
"Universal serial barge" by Sergey Kiselev's workshop is a multifunctional architectural and shipbuilding facility consisting of movable and stationary elements. As conceived by the architects, floating platforms for various purposes (movable elements) are moored to berths (stationary elements). This solution creates a system of interconnected objects that can either stand or move and perform all sorts of functions. Something like a winning project - also a lot of functions to choose from, plus modularity.
"Project Meganom" proposed a set of thirty elements, the basis of which is a rectangular platform. The options for using such a platform - again - can be infinitely many: a park, a hotel, an exhibition space, a swimming pool, a bathhouse.We can say that this set of elements has become a collective image of all other projects submitted for the competition.
As you can see, the ideas are somewhat similar and repeatable. The main themes: a multifunctional platform, one or more, they are installed on the water and used for different purposes day and night, winter and summer, and in principle - at the discretion of the user. The winning project from "Mosproekt-4" was built on this idea, which received the definition of "unique" for it. However, a similar principle is exploited (albeit without putting it in the name) also by the works of the workshop of Sergei Kiselev and Meganom; they are adjoined by Khazanov's Balaganchik and Kuzembaev's Ghost. In such a neighborhood, the winning project does not seem so universal and not very different from the others - it has at least four comrades. Generally speaking, the idea of creating a kind of platform that can be used as desired seems to be one of the most obvious.
Although it should be noted that Moscow is a large city, and there are desperately many empty spaces that are difficult to build up due to the chaotic communications under them. A lot of skating rinks and public spaces could be built on Moscow's wastelands - the city does not have the crowding that would really force the construction of additional sites on the river - there are still plenty of places that can be filled with any public function without construction. Even without wastelands - there are a lot of undeveloped, under-cultivated public spaces in Moscow - there are too many to win a place for them on the river. So, multi-purpose playgrounds on the water are more like attractions - well, and the answer to the test task at the same time. If you want a project on the water - here you are, the pot is empty, it is a simple object - you can put anything in it.
It is curious that in terms of the development of water space, all the authors are unanimous - they offer either a raft, or a landing stage, or a pier building above the water. Nobody proposed something radically different - neither the alteration of the embankment, nor the bridge, nor, say, the island. Competitive projects did not become a full-fledged answer to the roundtable talks about the shutdown of the Moscow River from the city. These are rather buildings-ships and buildings-piers, that is, in this case, it is not the river that opens to the city, but the city moves to the river surface. But if the customer is an association of shipbuilders, then it is quite logical that they will design houses on the water. This is probably why the discussion of the results of the competition in the press went along the same path - everyone is talking about the landing stage - the Moscow authorities are either fighting with the existing floating restaurants (according to the latest statements), or not - judging by the fact that they are related to the project competition, which offers, in fact, similar things, only more advanced, complex and expensive.
It is also interesting to practice submitting several projects from one workshop-participant. The competition was closed, i.e. participants were invited, but apparently no one regulated the number of works. Or vice versa, they asked for more. As a result, out of 11 participants, each on average made three (or even four or five) projects. And the jury noted seven workshops, one twice, the other three times. It is just right to open an account: two prizes, three prizes … And analyze the results algebraically, for example, three out of ten awards is a good result.
The structure of the competition is even more interesting. C: SA organized it, the customer was the National Association of Shipowners (which is quite logical - hence the projects on the water, and not nearby). The Moscow branch of the International Academy of Architecture (IAAM) - “initiated” (or even acted as a curator, sources contradict here). SMA and the Union of Architects of Russia - supported, and the Public Council under the Mayor of Moscow (this is the most interesting) - approved. The participation of the mayor's office and the Moskomarkhitektura is further assumed as follows: all competitive projects will pass the regulations, which, apparently, should be a step towards their possible implementation someday.
So the composition of those involved in the organization of the competition can be defined as mixed: the association of shipowners, architectural unions, the mayor's office. The composition of the participants is also mixed: from Brodsky to GIPRONII RAS and even Shimorsky shipyard. True, the head of the GIPRONII Yuri Platonov at some point left the jury (at first he was, then he stopped being mentioned), well, the institute was not awarded anything. Brodsky's project in the form of a podium in front of the White House is also unlikely to be built - but he certainly adorned the general composition.
Over the past twenty years, we have become accustomed to the fact that architects are divided into subgroups according to their interests: some are exhibited at Arch-Moscow, others at Zodchestvo or the Golden Section; some participate in "paper" competitions of ideas and exhibitions of objects. others are in meetings, and still others are immersed in commercial practice. Of course, there have never been clear boundaries between these groups, but it is easy to see that lately everything has somehow started to move and began to mix. Is this a good thing - it's hard to say, but maybe a mixed composition of organizers and participants will ensure the implementation of the result? Although so far the competition looks more conceptual - aimed at actualizing the problem of the river in the city and talking about this problem, but somehow I do not really believe in the implementation of projects.
But maybe we will be wrong and in a couple of years an ecological motor ship will float along the Moskva River, caressing the eye with the blinking of a red lantern indicating the level of water pollution.