Gorky Park Discussions at Strelka

25.05.2011, 13:28
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Since Wednesday three talks within the series of discussions «New Gorky park» took place at Strelka. First — the round-table on historical heritage, then on Thursday on old and new purposes of the park, and on Friday — on various design approaches. You can read brief report about these discussions, video of each talk is coming up on the web-site.

Strelka «Conservation» research theme tutor and architect Nikita Tokarev became a moderator of the first meeting, and Evgeny Asse (architect and professor), Pavel Bruhn (film director and producer, who used to live next to the park for many years), Nikolay Pereslegin (architect, representative of Department of Moscow heritage), Elena Semenova-Prosorovskaya (landscape designer and researcher of the park), and Clementine Cecil (journalist, Head of MAPS) also took part in talk. The main issue the discussion were the following questions: what do we treasure in the park? Shall we preserve everything? And what needs to be restored? What is the most significant heritage of the park that can help its’ development?

Participants agreed that these questions are difficult to answer without clear understanding of new purposes and functions of the park — is it a place for spending leisure time outside, space for cultural events or a museum complex.

For example, both audience and participants took active part in discussing the amusement part of the park. Without attractions, they said, the park will lose its’ the only obvious function, the silhouette of attractions became part of the image of the park, and «Buran» is almost the last remaining object in Moscow which reminds about cosmos achievements of Soviet era.

On the second day Fred Manson (independent environmental problems consultant), Mark Camley (director of Royal parks in London), Yury Saprykin (journalist) and Anton Belov (director of Centre for contemporary culture «Garage») discussed the functions of the park. With a couple of brief presentations participants shared their experience in exploration of different kind of parks — from big festivals (Afisha Picnic) to horseback riding (in English parks). But everyone agreed that the most important services in the park are the most simple ones: Yury Saprykin was telling about the luxury of «doingnothing» and Anton Belov suggested a concept of three major things one may want to do in a park — sleep, snack, and pee.

On Friday, May 20, the main issue of discussion was the importance of making people feel «just good» in a park. The discussion with participation of Adriaan Geuze (architect, founder of West 8 bureau), Joop de Boer (member of Environment Institute in Amsterdam), Ilya Ruderman (graphic designer, specialist in navigation and typography), Yury Grigoryan (architect and Education director at Strelka) was moderated by Ilya Oskolkov-Tsentsiper — president of the Strelka institute.

Before drawing conclusions, Adriaan Geuze showed projects of his bureau West 8, which works with public spaces all over the world — from Canada to Korea, Joop de Boer talked about his blog Pop-up City, where he gathers together interesting solutions for public areas, and together with the audience experts discussed several barest problems, including accessibility of the park which recently became free of charge but is still fully enclosed.