Dubai, United Arab Emirates, February 22, 2019 --(PR.com
)-- Hussein bin Talal Park is a successful experiment in new environment creation in a predominantly Muslim region of Russia, achieved through collaboration between local authorities and Russian and international experts. Until the early 2010s, the park was largely neglected due to its location, but it had potential to become a regional center of attraction, bordered by commercial infrastructure and private sector buildings. There are seven schools within walking distance, and the 10,000 residents of the area needed a public space. Today it features a skatepark (1,200 sq. m), sports fields (1,600 sq. m), a playground (750 sq. m), recreational areas (1,800 sq. m), a pond (1,800 sq. m), an amphitheater and much more.
Strelka KB’s chief innovation in the Russian context was to spearhead local community involvement in the design process. Though such participation in spatial design is an established practice in the West, the experience was new to post-Soviet territory. Strelka KB studied the needs and interests of all population groups regarding elements from park landscaping to comprehensive territorial development strategies using groundbreaking digital anthropology methods, and brought locals into the decision-making process.
“First, we conducted a deep study of park usage, incorporating elements such as naturally-occurring footpaths into the final planning structure of the park and honoring local traditions by introducing characteristic ethnic designs into park structures. We also conducted classic in-person research with locals: for example, city dwellers expressed a need for sports equipment, workout areas and a running track — all of which were included in the final design — and separate meetings with school representatives resulted in a ‘classroom’ space in the park and a hardscape element with water,” Daria Paramonova, CEO of Strelka Architects, part of Strelka KB, explained during her presentation at the award ceremony.
“Sustainability is a key focus in Snøhetta’s projects, not merely in terms of environment, but also in the form of social sustainability,” says Robert Greenwood, Partner and Managing Director in Snøhetta. “The goal of the Hussein bin Talal Park project was to create a generous space that is accessible and open to everyone, regardless of age, social status, gender or creed. We are always striving to push boundaries and to design public spaces that benefit society at large,” added project architect Anne Camilla A. Auestad from Snøhetta.
Hussein bin Talal Park is part of the Future Cities program, launched by the Russian Ministry of Construction Industry, Housing and Utilities Sector and DOM.RF, an integrated housing development institution.