Zaryadye Park in Moscow is an architectural triumph
IT IS one of the largest architectural projects to be completed in Moscow since the fall of the Soviet Union, and the first major public park to open in the city in 50 years. Zaryadye Park, 13 hectares of green space in the heart of the Russian capital, opened to the public last month after four years of construction. When fully complete, 760 trees and 860,000 perennials will frame a series of curvaceous new buildings, including two restaurants, two exhibition spaces, a new philharmonic hall and a bridge that will jut out over the Moscow river. Overlooked by St Basil’s Cathedral and sitting at the foot of the Kremlin, it is one of the most ambitious landscaping projects of the 21st century.
The park radically transforms a historically problematic area. Zaryadye was abandoned by affluent nobles when Peter the Great moved the capital to St Petersburg in 1712. When fortifications were built along the river in the 18th century during the Great Northern War, the land became clogged with sewage. Following the Fire of Moscow in 1812, it was rebuilt in a grand style but, close to docking points on the river, it became the site of the city’s largest Jewish enclave. After the pogroms of the 1880s, many Russian Jews emigrated, but Zaryadye remained a quarter for cheap housing...
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