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The many faces of one square

Jenny Nedosekina


THE BURIED FREEDOM THE MANY FACES OF ONE SQUARE MANEZH

JENNY NEDOSEKINA 2011


The place where politics, culture ,commerce and design intersect, a place that everyone has trodded through. We bring you the history of transformation of one very central place in Moscow during 1991-2011 - the Manezh Square. From an open space to a gigantic shopping spree we try to determine how and why the atmosphere changed.


Contents Prologue Architectural History Social History The project A guide The change


1991

2011


It has been there for decades, always used, by armies, traders, citizens. It was free, for the most part, not counting the buildings that were constructed, life was still there. But then something went wrong, an air of changes, a lot of digging, digging deep underground and then silence. Everything stopped and it lay there untouched for almost 75 years, nothing happened. Until one day a lot of noise arose, the ground was shaking, people were gathering! Life came back! But not for long, before it got silenced again and transformed into a new type of serenity, and illusion of life.

Manezh square with its long and rich history of almost 500 years had to have a grand transformation with a governmental status. While one space somewhere in the north-east part of Moscow was spontaneously appropriated, Manezh was a straight-forward top-down strategy to put Moscow on the global map. Until 1991, there was a centrally managed consolidated state budget, state ownership of land, system of state commission. General contractors and concrete producers of work were all

governmental. Moscovites at the same time played no part in solving the urban problems. After 1993 the opportunity to attract private funds for the design and construction increased. The major reconstruction of the square which set such goals as becoming a top level tourist attraction, shopping center and public space turned out to cost far more than the state could afford and the public could manage


Architectural History

construction of Manezh building to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the war of 1812

Construction of hotel “Nationale” an open competition for the construction of Palace of Soviets and the start of an active

consecration of Alexander Nevsky chapel to commemorate the victory in russianturkish war; construction of Historical Museum

first mention of the square in written documents. Prince Ivan III prohibited to build wooden constructions near the Kremlin XVI - XVIII

1883

classical concert by french the area is built up with various composer Hector Berliose constructions, including houses, performed in front of 12 thousand people windmills and the Moiseev Monastery

start of the demolishing of structures

1934

1892

1867

1817

up to 1930s the Manezh square was densily built up by various buildings

1903 construction of house of Zholtovsky

Construction of State Parliament, now part og Historical Museum

1933-1935

1931

1930

completion of demolition of the remainig structures on the square

1932 construction of first metro line and Hotel Moscow

the square in front of the Manezh building is officially renamed as Manezh Square

1993 - 1997

1938 construction of Okhonitny Riad shopping mall


Social History

Saluting Yurii Gagarin as the ďŹ rst man in space

9th of may 1945

Victory parade Huge concert with classical music

Political crisis between the President of Russia and the Supreme Concil 19th august 1991

Holiday of 1st of may, Day of Work Decision of the national question

1957

1947 IV World youth and student festival 34 thousand people from 131 countries

protest against ethnic crimes, devoted to the death of Spartak fan

2002

2010

1993

1961 1990

Attempt to overthrow the government in order to stop the collapse of the Soviet Union

Bloody riots took place in the center of Moscow immediately after the broadcast football match Russia -Japan.


The Project

Social History


In contrast with the self-organized structure of Cherkizovsky market, the Manezh Square or Okhotniy Riad is the epitomy of a direct top-down decision to commercialize a space in the very center of Moscow. By destroying the important place where people could manifest and protest, Luzhkov intended to suppress this notion and turn Moscow into a more global city. In 1990 the project of Moscow architect Boris Grigorevich Ulkin received the first award at an international competition for his project of Manezh Square. The original project had 7 underground levels, 40 meters in depth and 240 thousand sq meters as opposed to the 63 that is now. Its ground floors occupied parking places, and only a third of trade, and on the others there were cultural centers, restaurants and cafes, an underground historical city with an archaeological museum, children's theater, a canteen. But the private investors calculated the project to be inefficient; as a result we have what we see today.

Boris Ulkin - author of original concept for the reconstruction of Manezh square “And I realized that I need to go from the multi-dimensional image that is associated with the Kremlin, by contrast dual-unity of adjacent areas - the Red square and the Manezh. If the first - Sovereign, with a severe state priority over human destiny, with its bloody place of execution, this Russian Golgotha, the second, Manezh, I saw as crystal blue-green, with lots of warm, subtle transitions, colors, movements of human psychology, culture, way of life .” “Shopping area occupied twenty per cent, the rest was given to cultural sites, in particular the large archaeological museum.”

Mikhail Posokhin - head of state architectural office Mosproekt-2, the executive of the final project “Manege Square - part of the established more than 200 years of architectural and historic ensemble of the city. Very close to it - the Kremlin and Red Square, Bolshoi Theatre, GUM Department Store, Hotel Metropole, the old building of Moscow State University, the National Hotel and Moscow metro Okhotny Ryad, a little farther- "Teatralnaya", "Aleksandrovsky sad", "Ploshad Revotsii". This location attracts a lot of people. Hence - to create a new retail and recreational center, the main objective was not so much as to attract visitors, but what to offer them, on whom to focus the organization of trade and catering.”


OSCAR FABER CONSULT LIMITED engineering

HOK interior design BOVIS INTERNATIONAL Ltd investors

Zurab Tsereteli - sculptor, favourite of ex-mayor Luzhkov, responsible for the interior of Okhotny Riad

To assess the project as a whole and, more importantly, to achieve its maximum economic feasibility and viability,the Moscow City Government as an expert invited the British firm Bovis International, which for many years provides construction management throughout the world. On the Russian side Mosinzhproekt was involved in the final project, which was the general designer of the complex. At the stage of assessment carried out by "Bovis' in February 1995, Architectural Studio № 11 Mosproject-2 joined the project. In March 1995, back in England, a team of Russian and British experts was organized, who after months of work, a long dispute in finding the best solutions provided an amended and revised, but rather an alternative draft of the shopping and recreation center at the Manezh Square.

“On the surface of the Manezh Square there is an extensive recreational area, an island of psychological relief with herbs, fountains, garden sculptures, with recreating the river Neglinka that once flowed here. White marble balustrade, framing the embankments, ledges down to the configuration, which was widely distributed in the architecture of Russian estates of XVIII century. Lights-lamps in the square, as a balustrade, immerse visitors and tourists into the atmosphere Ekaterina’s era.”

http://stabrovsky.ru


http://stabrovsky.ru

http://stabrovsky.ru

The initial concept of being a high-class shopping malls with boutiques failed soon enough, as it did not attract the desired customers. After the formal opening of the highly ambitious project and the cutting of the ribbon by Luzhkov, the underground center became unaccessible for the citizens. The object was off limits for journalists and protected. However, interestingly enough special excursions were held to this new “wonder” with tickets on sale for 10 000 roubles. Each level was done in it’s own style: the top level with the main boutiques is done in the art nouveau of the late 19th century, the middle one in the spirit of the 18th century , the lower one is stylised as 12th century with arches and wall paintings a la russe. The Manezh square became the second largest construction after Christ the Saviour costing the government approximately 400 million dollars. http://stabrovsky.ru


A Guide built by Emperor Alexander the First, he wanted to give Russia a constitution, and in general to develop it Western-style. But hotel "Moscow" was built by Generalissimo Stalin , he on the contrary, was developping Russia in the manner of eastern despotism. All of this collapsed, but centrism remained. That, comrades, is the architectural expression of the victory of our centrism. Yes, a clear and profound expression of the victory of centrism. The depth is about 30 meters, minus three floors, plus technical services. Fully corresponds to the So, Okhotny Ryad, this remarkable underground structure of our government - three floors and complex, which includes the finest styling of our technical services. history, done in elegant plastic, was constructed with the decision of Yuri Mikhailovich Luzhkov. The Now you have free time for shopping. Be vigilant and eighth wonder of the world , that’s what our previous if you notice abandoned things, say it out loud. No, president called it. Yes, it’s still possible to mention they will come to you yourself. Here we have the him, because he spawned the current president. And control authorities to check the passports of guests what would have happened if he hadn’t spawned - all around.” that, you can’t mention. History, comrades, does not Grigoriy Revzin, Architectural critic know the subjunctive moodv. extract from GQ magazine, 2006 So, as you can see, this complex is fully preserved. And what is to the left and right, is destroyed. And why, comrades? Manezh, among other things, was “Note: you see before you Okhotny Ryad, designed by our wonderful sculptor Tsereteli .Yes, he designs everything, because we think he’s Michelangelo. You don’t think so and we do. Are you a tourist, but this is our city, we think what we want. Stop the fuss, comrade! And do not turn away, don’t look at this Kremlin wall. This is not a real piece of the wall, the real one collapsed, and this is an imitation. And you wouldn’t tell. Look how you were staring, you couldn’t turn away.


The Change

The initial concept of being a high-class shopping malls with boutiques failed soon enough, as it did not attract the desired customers. After the formal opening of the highly ambitious project and the cutting of the ribbon by Luzhkov, the underground center became unaccessible for the citizens. The object was off limits for journalists and protected. However, interestingly enough special excursions were held to this new “wonder” with tickets on sale for 10 000 roubles. Each level was done in it’s own style: the top level with the main boutiques is done in the art nouveau of the late 19th century, the middle one in the spirit of the 18th century , the lower one is stylised as 12th century with arches and wall paintings a la russe. The Manezh square became the second largest construction after Christ the Saviour costing the government approximately 400 million dollars.

"Okhotny Riad" amazes as everything grand. Like “Titanic", the Egyptian pyramids, the Ostankino TV tower, or an elephant. It seems, Zurab Tsereteli, is indeed a gigantomaniac. Something in gold, glass, perfume, and pizza, faces questioning: is it a store or is it a museum?” (Komsomolskaya pravda) While being an attractive investment in terms of commerce and location, it fails to meet the demands of the leasers and customers alike, having little parking space and expensive rent.

“By the time the mall hadn’t reconsidered its position and did not change management, most leasers represented expensive brands, while youth dominated among the buyers , for which the goods were too expensive. Leasers also wanted to sell goods, rather than just display them. Therefore, expensive brands have transformed into shops, and here were only those products that really sold.” http://picasaweb.google.com/yelena.rodina


However the place became very successful and attracts a lot of tourists, and is the top site to see when visiting Moscow.

Okhotniy Riad Area: Commercial space: Profit: Number of visitors: Rent rates:

62711 sq. m 29400 sq.m 190 000 000 $ annually 200 000 per weekend 3000 - 10000 $ annually

“The pit at the Manezh seems like an underground parking, bomb shelter, but not a public space” Revzin, Architectural Critic

visualrian.ru

When asked what people think of the Manezh Square, ordinary passers by answer that it is beautiful and grand. “It is a nice place to hang out here after work, drink some beer”, “it’s in the very heart of Moscow, next to the Red Square and . The vast majority of interviewed people consisted of visitors and migrants from other cities. Moscovites tended to be more negative with their reception of the square, where according to their opinion mostly teenagers and a rather low-class public spent their time. “ I don’t usually stay on this square, I pass by it on my way to and from work. I used to like all kids hang out here everyday, but now it’s not my kind of place anymore”. This is yet another observation which shows that moscovites mostly avoid public spaces, whereas visitors regard them as the main sites for sightseeing. Manezh square is no longer associated with the past spirit of protests and manifestations, the rare events that did happen there are not widely known among people. It is no longer the place that draws attention to people’s rights and desires. In this sense, the goal of eliminating such a chance was achieved.


The significance of Cherkizovsky market was that it supported small businesses, for which the main obstacle was always rent. While Cherkizovsky built the trade across all of the country, Okhotny Riad focused mainly on Moscow consumers.

Markets do not only play the role of trading and working zones, but also give different people the opportunity to integrate into a society which is desintegrated by erasing the invisible borders. The environment of the informal can be designed in such away as to avoid the negative parameters and connect the infrastructure with the “civilized” world.

Markets do not only play the role of trading and working zones, but also give different people the opportunity to integrate into a society which is desintegrated by erasing the invisible borders. The environment of the informal can be designed in such away as to avoid the negative parameters and connect the infrastructure with the “civilized” world.

The significance of Cherkizovsky market was that it supported small businesses, for which the main obstacle was always rent. While Cherkizovsky built the trade across all of the country, Okhotny Riad focused mainly on Moscow consumers.

Evgeniya Nedosekina “The Buried Freedom”  

Design research theme

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