The landscape architects have transformed a series of derelict post industrial yards and interstitial spaces into a series of vibrant spaces that serve a diverse range of users including public visitors to the art gallery, residents and business tenants. The client required a publicly accessible and outward facing landscape that linked the development to the streetscape on Leningradsky Prospekt via a welcoming entrance courtyard, whilst also providing quieter and more secluded garden spaces within the interior courtyards. The former industrial yards have been landscaped to create generous pedestrian areas, open and accessible to tenants, residents, the local community and visitors to the business centre and to the Museum of Russian Impressionism.
The transformation of the entire site is highly significant - the Factory’s return to active use is a leading example of Moscow’s ongoing revaluation of its cultural heritage. The landscape redevelopment is a successful fusion of working, living and cultural uses - within an economic hub that has enhanced the Belarusskaya district. The Museum of Russian Impressionism, set within the landscape is an exciting new cultural destination - the first major private art museum to open in the city, hosting annual exhibitions from leading international museums and private collections.
Sustainability is a fundamental design principle of the Bolshevik Factory. The project consists principally of the retention and sensitive restoration of the original historic fabric across the site and the landscape proposals aim to reflect this. Old and new elements have been sensitively integrated, linked by attractive, publicly accessible landscape. Critically, The sequence of spaces, courtyards and gardens limit vehicular movement to the perimeter, with parking concealed underground or at the perimeter of the site, leaving the landscape spine pedestrian only. Stringent fire code requirements in Russia for fire engine access was a key design driver within a constrained historic courtyard space, with fire engine access doubling as the key circulation and pedestrian routes. The entrance courtyard at the front of the building has been designed as a shared surface that is open and welcoming to the adjacent streetscape. The podium landscape within the main courtyard has been conceived as a series of blocks and planes, creating opportunities for seating within lawn and planted areas but also a design metaphor for the juxtaposition of crates and palettes that would have once crammed the main courtyard in its industrial pomp.
We believe the project is an exemplar of adaptive reuse and a landmark by which all the other historic adaption projects in Moscow will be judged: an important reconciliation and representation of Russian history and post-Soviet Russian identity. A formerly derelict site is now a thriving residential, business and cultural destination – businesses that have relocated to the Bolshevik Factory include Leo Burnett, Publicis, Saatchi & Saatchi, StarcomMediaVest, Zenith Optimedia, and the VivaKi Media Exchange Group.
The Bolshevik Factory
Heritage, culture, art
John McAslan + Partners
The Bolshevik Factory comprises a wide range of buildings, including historic elements dating from the late 19th century which were the first buildings in Moscow to boast electric light. The scheme is a model of adaptive re-use, transforming an important example of the city’s industrial heritage into a high quality, mixed use environment for contemporary use. The scheme comprises five distinct elements: office accommodation, a glazed internal ‘street’ providing connections through the complex, a new build residential element sensitively inserted within the historic building fabric, a Museum of Russian Impressionism which places culture and history at the heart of this working and creative environment, and generous landscaping which creates an inviting sequence of publicly accessible courtyards, squares and gardens to be enjoyed by office workers, residents and the wider local community.
Finalist, Landscape Institute Awards 2019
Client - 01 Properties Client's Agent, Planning and Cost Consultant - AB Development Lead Consultant and Architect - John McAslan + Partners Landscape Architect - John McAslan + Partners Executive Architect - Spectrum Lighting Consultants - GIA Equation Structural and Civil Engineering - Buro Happold M&E Engineering - Buro Happold Highways Consultant - ETC Polska Branding - Assembly Studios Contractor - City-Developer