The project in the central metropolitan area of Moscow was concerned with the transformation of a large-scale monumental driveway into a public boulevard. Lined by historic buildings – such as churches and formerly Soviet edifices from the 60’s and 70’s – as well as newly constructed high-rises, the 6-row Arbat Street presents a rich urban context. Our approach formulates an update of the site’s characterising conditions. First, the dualist condition of the two sides of the street, one of which is distinctly homogenous and monumental in character, while the other is equipped with loose structures and greater variation. And secondly, the road’s large dimensions would be maintained, concurrently allowing for a stronger urban and public site with especially pedestrian-friendly features being envisioned.
Expanding the identified structural values of Arbat Street, our design formulates two individual typologies. On the eastern site, an arrayed grid of trees allows for the interjection of a human scale in the large structures. An elongated wooden bench, references the surrounding scale, which especially alludes to the high buildings while creating an extended seating area. Walking and parking areas were united by a coherent paving and hence propose a shared space for pedestrians and cars. On the other side, green platforms and informally arranged vegetation integrate the existing trees. Small benches find place on a soft terracing structure with stairs and ramps, which evens out the formerly edgy terrain and blends with the adjacent neighbourhood.