VDNKH square

Public space for a Science festival at VDNKH

11. Streetscapes



In 2014, Nowadays Office was commissioned to design a temporary installation for the Science Festival held at VDNKh — a monumental all-Russia exhibition center in Moscow built in 1935-1939. Temporary facilities were located on the octagonal Square of Industry that has a copy of the ‘Vostok’ space rocket (the one Yuri Gagarin circled the world in) and a fountain in the middle. In order to design the installation that compliments the monumental architectural backdrop, Nowadays office analyzed the geometry of the place, its structure and surroundings. Classical symmetry of the square was the key to the optimal solution — arranging all the parts of the installation according to the principle of kaleidoscopic symmetry. Kaleidoscopic pattern of the installation isn’t really perceivable at human scale but is clearly seen on the plan view: this gimmick is an homage to the geometrical traditions of constructivist building design and, simultaneously, a subtle attempt of ‘interaction’ with the ornate architecture of the VDNKh.

The square had to be a place of leisure for visitors of the VDNKh territory as well as event space for the Science festival. Nowadays has designed several types of objects and street furniture: wooden walkways, bike rental racks, stands, podiums, kiosks, deck chairs, benches, beds, canopies, tables with attached seats, windmills. Wood was the most obvious choice of material for this kind of objects: it is green, tactile, doesn’t overheat under the summer sun. All wooden structures were painted gray to match the monumental architectural environment but unlike the solid surroundings they were temporary, ephemeral, mobile and offered variative interaction patterns.