Knowledge Park masterplan, buildings and landscape, VDNKh | Мастерплан, архитектура и благоустройство Парка Знаний, ВДНХ

RIBA stages 0-3
Year 2015-2017
Masterplan and landscape area 5.9 ha
Building area 22000 sq m
Project budget £50 million

The rigid and formal layout of the Vystavka Dostizheniy Narodnogo Khozyaystva (Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy) is defined by exuberant Stalinist buildings and strict axial arrangements delineated by later piecemeal and somewhat aloof structures. After developing a comprehensive masterplan for part of the site, covering 83 existing buildings and over 900 trees, the first stage is a new creative education campus comprising of five new and six existing buildings within a new public landscape and infrastructure. This phase is due to completed summer 2018.

The latent yet reticent character for the Knowledge Park site, with several protected heritage buildings and restrictive below ground services layout, provides a distinct spatial structure and aspect that each new building must address. The adjusted and inflective massing aims to create an ensemble piece that encloses an enfilade of loose landscape courts with views across and between them and the social, informal learning, exhibition and commercial spaces within each building. Furthermore the distorted and mannerist layout allows teaching spaces, workshops and laboratories to have multiple views while service cores let onto each room.

View between new and existing buildings

The architectural language of the buildings and landscape is deliberately loose and general with an emphasis on a generosity of spirit and scale and can adjust to the vagaries of the Russian approach to procurement and construction. The simple pigmented mineral render facades either have a combed or dimpled surface finish with a precast concrete ribbon separating the piano nobile teaching spaces from the public and commercial spaces below. Above the 'tutti-frutti' artificial marble decorative panel with concealed ventilation perforations, the one very particular element in the project, a muscular transom give the facade a staccato rhythm.

Scale facade study model

Massing study model for one building

First floor plan for teaching buildings

Study view of one of the building entrances

First floor plan for the performance and digital media building

View accross part of the site

First floor plan for workshop and art studio buildings

View of study models for internal and external spaces