— Mitino Park – Landscape
Mitino park is a natural-historic park where unique landscaping and archeological heritage create a harmonious unity.
The culmination of silence. Silence and harmony with nature – are the natural characteristics of Mitino park and we would like to preserve and multiply them. We took three principles as a design base: to preserve, renovate, and improve.
We located all loud and noisy activities along the perimeter of the park. The low-lying area along the pond and the river is more natural and green; it is a place for contemplation, reflection, and observation of its natural landscape and birds, a place to enjoy the peaceful, rejuvenating harmony of nature.
To preserve the silence and peaceful atmosphere, the wildlife and unique historical landscape, and the archeological monuments."
To renovate the natural quality of the territory indicated types of plants and animals.
To improve entrances, walkway system, separated activity areas, and natural objects.
The Culmination of Silence
Now unlike the other projects we’ve looked at so far, this is more of a landscaping project, isn’t it?
Yes, this project was awarded 2nd place in the "Mitino Park Landscaping Competition" in Moscow, which is an international competition organized by the Moscow government and the Moscow Department of Culture. It was aimed at developing the concept for this vast and highly popular park.
Given that it is such a popular park, and used by so many people, were the public asked for their input?
The brief for the competition took into account the tastes and requests of the current park users as well as those who live nearby. Through the "Active Citizen" mobile application Muscovites had a chance to talk about the type of park they really wanted to have.
And was that information useful to you when coming up with the project?
During our detailed research, we gained lots of useful information as well as statistic data based on the numerous neighborhood polls taken. But what had the greatest influence on us and sparked the main concept, was a visit to the park on a Friday morning in Autumn.
What did you learn exactly from that trip to the park?
The pathways descending to the canyon/valley lead us to a completely different world; a world of silence and calm. We called our work "The Culmination of Silence" and that was the spark to develop the whole park story around this phenomena.
Moscow has a rich and long history. During your research were you able to learn anything about the history of the park?
The park topography was shaped back in the ice age by slow-moving glaciers. It is a mainly mild and hilly territory with vast open areas and not too many trees. It might be described as a typical "Russian landscape." There is a small canyon/valley going through it, shaped by the stream. At the turn of 13th and 14th centuries there was a trait called Volok - the portage which helped transport goods from the Klyazma to the Moscow river, using tree trunks to roll ships on. Traces of a four-thousand-year old settlement were found here and you can still make out the Kurgan Hills among the birch grove.
So how did you go about implementing your plan?
Mitino Park is a landscape park with a great deal of natural beauty: a stream, a lake, lazy winding alleys, and paths among the trees, we liked all of those and also the atmosphere the park offered. We decided we would preserve, reestablish, and complete the existing qualities.
We preserved the silence and peace, the existing wildlife, the unique historical landscape, as well as the history that is buried in the ground. In addition, we completed the pathways, the infrastructure and the greenery and the plants native to that park.
It certainly seems like you did your best to maintain the silence and privacy of the park. But what about the people who would make use of it?
We created this project with a desire to satisfy everyone who would eventually make use of the park. There are places provided where you can play football or chess, fish, jog, cross-country ski, or simply lie on the grass.
How does zoning play a role in a project like this? I mean it must be difficult to find the appropriate place for all those activities.
The proper zoning guarantees that the deeper into the park you go the quieter it becomes. Near the former settlements we’ve arranged meadows that flourish, each one in their own unique color. The community center we planned in the park is a very modest pavilion, based on the "border of silence" we created. It is the heart of the contemporary park where people meet, do things together, exchange knowledge and generate ideas like setting up a competition to upgrade their favorite park!