Vernadsky will be read in a new way

Resource: newspaper «Moscow Perspective»

Residents praised the renovation project by a consortium of a Russian bureau and a Spanish architect

According to the results of public discussions held in December on pilot renovation projects, one of them - the consortium of the Russian architectural and urban planning bureau MASTER'SPLAN and Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill - took the lead. The consortium proposed its variant of building in Vernadsky Prospekt. The leadership is still conditional, but the professional jury will give its verdict, and its decision will be final.

Julia Zubarik, founder of the architectural bureau MASTER'SPLAN, told the correspondent of "Moscow prospect" about the project and internal "cuisine" of competitive procedures, in which the public takes part by decision of the mayor.

How did you get into the contest?

- In spring, the renovation programme was announced, and in summer, the international architectural competition for the best architectural and urban planning project was held. For this purpose, the organisers - Moscow City Architecture Committee and BRTRUS - selected five pilot sites. There were about 130 applications from various consortiums, including our MASTER'SPLAN and the Ricardo Bofill architectural bureau. After reviewing the candidates' portfolios and determining experience in architectural urban design, we made it to the finals of the competition. We got the site on Vernadsky Prospekt.

How long has your consortium been formed?

- It happened a year ago. We were developing a 86-hectare territory planning project for PSN Real Estate on Ryazansky Prospekt. The bureau Ricardo Bofill was developing the volumetric architecture, and we were developing the parts that were directly connected with urban planning. We formed a good tandem right away. It worked the first time. We listened to each other, we reasoned things out, and the result was that the project was successful and was accepted by the developer. Although the problem with consortiums is often that a strong authoritative player doesn't listen to his partner's opinion. This has never happened to us.

This is the way our work is shaping up at the moment as well. On the first stage, we gathered all the data, all the background information, including the constraints, prepared the calculation of technical and economic indicators, we estimated how many kindergartens, schools, etc. are required, what should be the permeability of roads, the density of the street and road network. We analyzed what kind of functions are missing in the area. The project in Prospekt Vernadskogo is different in that there is no structure there, we developed it and proposed it. In other words, we prepared everything that was necessary for the development of the master plan, which was done by our Spanish colleagues. They designed the districts, the height of buildings, they proposed the apartment scheme. The next step was to work together in Barcelona where we had a workshop. We checked and double-checked each other, re-thinking some details and putting them into the project. Then we published a booklet which included several parts: architectural, technical calculations (including the stages of relocation, flatography) and economic. We calculated at what options the project will be profitable.

When we invited Ricardo Bofill to participate, he didn't understand what we were talking about. The project is so significant that it is very difficult to evaluate it, especially for a European. Probably only in Russia are used to dealing with such a scale.

How did it turn out that the project was in the lead?

- On December 26 of last year all four projects of Vernadsky Prospekt were discussed. Ours turned out to be the best. It was determined by the amount of votes left by the residents, by the nature of their comments. At the next stage of the professional jury will express its opinion.

What has so attracted residents to your project?

- In addition to the European-level architecture, our consortium offered the shortest timeframe for the implementation of the program in the area. It is important for the residents that the neighborhood will be rebuilt within 10 years. In four waves of resettlement, we will resettle all the participants of the program. The second plus is that we offer a variability of relocation: a person has a choice where to move to. The next distinctive feature is the clear structure of the neighborhood, the location of the roads and streets. Our set of social infrastructure facilities - schools and kindergartens - is supposed to compensate completely for the deficit in this neighborhood. According to our concept, the number of schools and kindergartens will increase from six to 12.

And will the old schools fall out of the European development?

- We don't just envisage extending the block, but propose the reconstruction: renovation of the communications in the kindergartens, capital repair inside, renovation of the facades in accordance with the character of the new development. It is impossible to do only with the extension. Then the kindergarten service will be ineffective.

In addition, we are creating a new green frame. There will be two new squares; there has to be a place where people go out on holidays, where they put a Christmas tree and where festivals of district significance are held. Many Moscow districts lack that. There will be one square near the metro and another square opposite MGIMO. It seems to me that this will also contribute to good neighborly relations.