Diller Scofidio + Renfro won the international Zaryadye Park competition in 2013, which meant they were tasked with building the first public park commissioned in Moscow in 50 years. At the time, Inhabitat reported that the architecture firm was being given the opportunity to develop the 35 acre park by Vladamir Putin to "project a new image of Moscow and Russia to the world." Safe to say that four years later, people sure do look at Russia differently—and they also have a new park!
According to Inhabitat, the Zaryadye Park has just opened, and its focus is on creating a wilderness in the heart of the city that recreates microclimates from around Russia, rather than depending on imported flora. But keep in mind that Russia is a huge country with many different types of terrain. Designers incorporated areas that mimic the region's steppes, forests, wetlands, and even the tundra.
Most of Moscow's older parks are highly regimented and symmetrical. Zaryadye Park has no paved walking paths, and functions as an open green space. Diller Scofidio + Renfro wanted the area to be an “unscripted park experience," meaning they didn't want paths to dictate where people wandered through the area.
“It is a park for Russia made from Russia…it samples the natures of Russia and merges them with the city, to become a design that could only happen here. It embodies a wild urbanism, a place where architecture and landscape are one,” explains architect, Charles Renfro.
Maintaining the microclimates outside their usual location does require some intervention. There are temperature control systems, daylight simulation and wind elimination aspects to the design that keeps the tundra howling all year long. There are also entertainments for people who don't want to simply wander the green hills, including two amphitheaters and a philharmonic concert hall. Zaryadye is a place to get lost in, both mind and body.