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Alphabet City

Alphabet City is a practice founded by Anna Andreyeva and joined by Maria Ashkova. We are a young practice with a focus on sophisticated, naturalistic planting design. We love designing minimalistic public spaces, residential landscapes and gardens, which we fill with planting that is emotionally uplifting and objects that evoke memories. Based in Moscow, a city still dominated by Victorian-style annual planting of beds, our goal is to overturn tradition in favour of naturalistic planting that is both appealing to city residents and far more sustainable. We are seizing every opportunity to introduce exciting vegetation into our city. We pioneered New Perennial style planting in Moscow four years ago, and it is now a new trend for Russia’s capital. Anna Andreyeva fell in love with perennials at an early age at her parents’ dacha, and she has never ceased researching them.

Our planting schemes – crystalized meadows of the New Perennial wave – are popular with the city’s residents, but all of them are threatened by poor maintenance. As maintenance issues with our city projects have become apparent over the years, we realized we needed to develop a new, Moscow-specific plant palette that would still fit with our planting and artistic philosophy. This year we started new research into local plant communities outside the city that we can recreate – meadow communities that would be stable and require little weeding and watering. A topic much investigated in other countries, this is completely new to Russia. We are hoping we can continue to expand our knowledge and continue to create exciting new spaces for the city.

THE SCHOOL MEADOW AT MUZEON PARK

CLIENT: MUZEON PARK
SCOPE: PLANTING DESIGN
COMPLETION OF CONSTRUCTION 2012

TYPE PARK – Public Space

TEAM: Anna Andreyeva

LOCATION: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
SIZE: 600 sq.m. of perennial meadows

In 2012 Anna joined the newly created Moscow City Authority for Parks, or Mosgorpark, as the landscape architect. The new authority launched a regeneration of city parks and introduced new aspects such as quality playgrounds, workout zones, ping pong tables, toilets, and last – but not least – a new approach to planting. Instead of spending lots of money on annual bedding schemes reminiscent of the Victorian era, Anna introduced New Wave perennial planting to three of the parks. The most successful scheme are the meadows surrounding the School Pavillion at Muzeon Park. The overall project costs – including the planting material, grasses and bulbs – was even lower than the previous cost of planting beds annually. The meadows feature a matrix of molinia grass interspaced with meadow and steppe plants such as salvias, geraniums, alliums and many others.

Krymskaya Embankment

CLIENT: WOWHAUS
SCOPE: PLANTING DESIGN
COMPLETION OF CONSTRUCTION 2013

TYPE PARK – Public Space

TEAM: Anna Andreyeva

LOCATION: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
SIZE: 4,5 HA
PERENNIAL MEADOWS: 6500 SQ.M.

In 2013 Anna collaborated with Moscow-based Wowhaus, an architectural practice, and developed planting for the Krymskaya Embankment. This new, 1km long pedestrian space has over 5,000 sq.m. of meadow planting and is the biggest showcase for the New Perennials in Moscow. The project, a former four-lane road, was turned around in record time – a little over 6 months – in one of the city’s most popular spaces. Crystalized meadows here feature two matrix grasses – molinia and deschampsia – planted with perennials and bulbs. The grasses and fruits of ornamental crab apples continue to embellish the park into the winter.

Triumphalnaya Square

CLIENT: BUROMOSCOW
SCOPE: PLANTING DESIGN

COMPLETION OF CONSTRUCTION 2015

TYPE SQUARE – Public Space

TEAM Anna Andreyeva, Olga Drozdova 

LOCATION Moscow, Russia
SIZE 0,6 ha
MEDOWS: 800 sq.m.

A meadow at Triumphalnaya was commissioned by Buromoscow architects in 2015. The plants were selected for their drought-tolerance and colour. The matrix grass is deschampsia, which grows in wet meadows but is very adaptable to dry conditions. Other key plants are achilleas, salvias and liatris. The meadow is an outburst of colour in this slightly gloomy part of the city.

The Edible Garden

CLIENT: DOMAINE CHAUMONT-SUR-LOIRE

CONSORTIUM: ALPHABET CITY + EGHT LINES
SCOPE: CONCEPT (AC+EIGHT LINES), PLANTING DESIGN AND INTERIORS (AC), GREENHOUSES (EGIHT LINES)
COMPLETION OF CONSTRUCTION 2016

TYPE FESTIVAL GARDEN – Public Space

TEAM: Anna Andreyeva, Maria Ashkova, Alexandra Sokolova, Boris Kondakov (AC), Anton Kochurkin, Lisa Tsaplina (EIGHT LINES)

LOCATION: CHAUMONT-SUR-LOIRE, FRANCE
SIZE 0,6 ha
MEADOWS: 800 sq.m.

The Edible Garden is a nostalgic memory of the tiny Soviet dacha plots where without much advanced agricultural technologies people gardened not just for fun, but to survive through the years of deficit. It’s been quite a while since survival gardening has been abandoned at least around our country’s capital and the vegetable beds and greenhouses have mostly been replaced with lawns and flowers. Yet we see that this type of gardening will make a comeback both due to an urge to grow your own organic vegetables and the looming economic crisis. The old dacha plots may be overgrown now and taken over by nature, but they are a distant memory that is suddenly very alive. In our garden five glasshouses are partially filled with vegetables, and partially taken over by the Russian meadow planting. All the plants are native to the Russian meadow. The matrix of blue moorgrass is filled with wild plants such as verbascum, salvias, geraniums, trifolium and achilleas. The meadow is occasionally dotted with masses of cosmos – annual that belonged to the typical of an old dacha. The greenhouses are overtaken by the meadow, but in some of them you can still see raspberries or beans, or a lost tomato plant. Weathered furniture pieces are also of the same area. The vintage chairs made in Checkoslovakia invite you to sit down and feel the nature taking over. A unique sound installation, written by Russian sound artist for this project will also convey the sounds of an old dacha.

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