The Metropolia residential development is a large-scale project by MR Group. A team from the architectural studio UTRO was invited to develop the concept for the landscaping of the project. The main task was to fill post industrial area with natural elements and create a special space for children with art objects designed by a Moscow artist.
We wanted the territory of the complex to be densely planted with trees, so we chose birch as the leading plant: it grows faster and allows close planting. Also we planted red-leaved maples, columnar elms and poplars. During the year, the colors of Russian nature change, plants bloom and wither. And in this project, the changeability of seasons is an advantage: the picture is constantly changing.
UTRO architects managed to create a playground that has no other equivalent in Russia. Playful art objects were designed and drawn exclusively for the Metropolia project. Altogether ten art objects were created on the basis of drawings. As for functionality, the area turned out to be diverse and interesting for children of all ages.
The objective of such space for children is to involve an infant in the process of playing and creating new worlds. If a child plays with familiar elements like cars, castles, and ships, his or her imagination will work within the framework of a given theme, they use the similar play scenarios day after day, for example, traveling on a ship. But if spaces for kids don’t offer ready-made scenarios, infants would interact with abstract details which will better develop their imagination. They make up their own games depending on their moods, they don’t think by instructions, and the whole process becomes more engaging.
“It’s good when spaces for children have a character that their imagination can latch onto, not necessarily a particular one. Kids build their worlds from it. They don’t need instructions on how to play,” says Olga Rokal, architect and partner at architectural studio UTRO. — We decided to involve an artist, who came up with the abstract picture and the architects transferred it into reality.
The artist first created sketches of the figures, and the architects of the studio turned them into three-dimensional play elements and a fence pattern. The figures can resemble plants or natural landscapes, or they can be rockets. There are countless game scenarios that can be implemented on these objects.
The UTRO team put a lot of emphasis on the landscape of the playground — it became a separate play element. Thanks to the different elevations, children can run, jump from bump to bump, and hide behind hills. While the children are playing, parents can comfortably spend time nearby: there are long benches in the shade of trees around the perimeter of the playground, and a large canopy protecting from the sun near the sandbox.
Architecture offices involved in the design:
Artist and author of the drawings on the playground: Masha Somik
Light Design: studio “Kultura Sveta”
Vegetation: proposal — studio “Architecture of Living Form”,
Working documentation and implementation by Maria Kazimirskaya (Su-10)
Location: Russia, Moscow, Volgogradsky prospekt, 32
Design year: 2018-2020
Year Completed: 2021