LDA Design has won a major international design competition to rethink Gorky Central Park, on the banks of the Yenisei River in Krasnoyarsk, one of Siberia’s largest cities.
Our vision, developed with partners MAP architects and Sarner, will transform 15-hectares of green space originally laid out in 1828, creating a park for all ages and all seasons.
Once considered one of the best parks in Russia, numbers using Gorky Central Park have dwindled. We set out to make it a destination for everyone with a design that draws on Krasnoyarsk’s heritage and the Taiga, the stunning boreal forests of Siberia. Our focus was on health and wellbeing, and culture.
The Park today has a mix of settings and historic features, including a children’s railway and fairground. We wanted to celebrate the children’s railway and make more of it so that it becomes a major attraction in the area, bringing new footfall to this important city green space. Our vision sees the park become a place of adventure and belonging, from a fun sunken ‘bears’ den’ for children to enchanting fire pits nestled into the woodland. A new fitness loop wraps around the site, making the park part of the everyday for active Krasnoyarsk residents.
Benjamin Walker, a director at LDA Design, commented: “Competitions are an enormous team effort at the best of times, and never more so than in 2020 when we are all working remotely. So, this win is truly special for us. We loved the park, the aspiration of the brief and the commitment of the city and the client to do things better. We can’t wait to develop this with all our partners.”
Planting will become important once again and trees native to the Taiga will rewild the site. Other attractions making Gorky Central Park a park for the 21st century, and giving more people more reasons to be there, include a sculpture park, museum, cabins and stalls for winter markets, and an ice-skating track. At the heart of the park is the new ‘Gorka’ tower, a striking new landmark with views over the Yenesi River, the fifth longest in the world.
The competition received 43 entries, with LDA making the final shortlist of three. It was run by CENTER, Moscow’s Agency for Strategic Development, with support from the administration of Krasnoyarsk and client, RUSAL.
Gorky Central Park
Images and Text: Courtesy of LDA Design