Concept of urban open spaces + park in Scandinavia residential district, Moscow
first prize in a competition with international participation

  • client: group of companies А101, Moscow
  • partner: MLA+ SPb

November 2017, concept

A five-minute walk—and you find yourself on the bridge over dark waters in the forest. On the opposite side of the forest pond, there is a water complex with a sauna. Deeper in the forest, there is a funny-looking structure where martial arts are practiced. The path of wooden blocks leads to a similar building where kids play, and right beside it, there is a square where people are building a cable-stayed pillar for a feast. It smells of alder cones.


Many development projects in Moscow suburbs sell an image of living at nature sight: among brooks, forests, meadows, away from the fuss and noise of the metropolis. However, once high residential blocks are built, this core value automatically disappears.

To render this core value into a development project, it is necessary to achieve balance between the urban and the natural.

Open currents of water and fragments of vegetation form a solid ecological carcass on the scale of an okrug, and this carcass should be supported on the level of zoning urban open spaces.

On the level of design, there should be kept balance between the two priorities in each zone: preserving natural ecosystems and supporting social functions.

There should also exist a distinct design code explaining the choice of coating materials, “green” materials, and equipment.


The two key factors which are used to build contents and achieve quality for alternative social functions within the development is dense natural environment and a social center in the middle of a residential development with population of 10,000 people.

These two basic factors directly manifest themselves in the organization of the territory and within the borders of the two main objects—the neighbors’ center Snigel and the water complex Aalto. The two objects are designed to be multifunctional, to be able to perform several scenarios of their use by different social groups at the same time. The functions of these objects can also vary and scale themselves by means of various urban open spaces lying nearby.

For this reason, urban open spaces (a boulevard, glades) are also designed to serve as forms of socialization: multiple social and cultural groups and groups united by common interests can simultaneously perform their scenarios of using these urban open spaces, and do it without having conflicts.

Apart from the two basic objects allowing for a series of different forms of socialization, the project has the following ones:

  • two dog gardens in Dubovaya (Oak) and Lipovaya (Linden) Glades;
  • bouncy bridge Swart;
  • interactive railings;
  • barbecue grounds by the playgrounds of Lipovaya Glade;
  • a troll garden in Dubovaya Glade.


The neighbors’ center is placed in the center of a park and a residential development system. The population of this development is about 10,000 people.

Internal functions of the neighbors’ center are:

  • kitchen club;
  • gathering hall / neighbors’ library;
  • Fablab (hi tech workshop);
  • all-seasons sandpit.

All functional inner spaces are designated for different social and cultural groups and projects which are targeted to social life development. They are distributed relatively evenly throughout days and weeks thanks to an online booking system.

Architectural design of the neighbors’ center follows the concept of “troll gardens”. Its image reminds of a creature or a creature’s fragment which seemingly accidentally got stuck in this part of a park. The accidental character of it is marked by it “hugging” one of the trees. The surface of the construction is made of light-shaded polyurethane with gentle pebbled texture.

It serves as a canopy of the neighbors’ center, and parts of it are used in different scenarios of the playground.


The bridge solves several problems at a time. It serves as an arched walk-through, connecting Lipovaya Glade, the Aalto water complex, Berezovaya (Birch) Glade, and the boulevard. It also performs functions of social control and visual monitoring. Finally, the bridge allows it to admire and watch the state of the pond, the ecological complexes nearby and the NNN zone.

The bridge is divided into two parts representing different functions:

  • The 1.5-meter bottom path of the bridge is covered with wooden plates that are ribbed to control gliding. It is railed by pressed galvanized bars with a wooden grip.
  • The top bouncing path consists of four floors made of silk net, which allows it to hang or swing on any level over the pond. The bottom layer of a net serves to provide additional security. The net is cut and sewn to form occasional gaps within its fabric and allow for movement from one level to another. The net’s design eliminates the risk of a person falling into water.


The water complex is situated deep in the park, away from tall trees and on the lakeside. The building of the water complex and the bouncing bridge form an enclosed territory with Ivovaya (Willow) Glade in its middle. It is only possible to access this territory through entering the water complex and passing its reception desk.

Internal functions of the water complex are:

  • chambers for changing and having a shower;
  • sauna with showers;
  • lavatories;
  • tea bar.

External functions of the water complex are:

  • swimming pool;
  • leisure lagoon;
  • sunbathing terrace;
  • bench for watching landscape.

The sunbathing terrace overlooks the swimming pool and the leisure lagoon. A panoramic view to the pond and the Swart bridge opens from the bench and the sauna.


The Troll Garden in Klenovaya Glade is a bit of a hidden space, the standalone section of the park distanced from other activities. It is intended to be used by those social and cultural groups and subcultures which, for whatever reason, do not integrate with others or cannot share other spaces of the park with them.

The Troll Garden is an object of an ambiguous protoorganic shape and the size of the glade. It is coated with light gray polyurethane, and the space surrounding it, together with the holes for trees, is covered by a carmine-colored mulch.