Borovitskaya Square newly built in the very heart of Moscow is important as part of Moscow government program for the improvement of the capital city of Russia. The development of public spaces around the Kremlin - “Kremlin Ring” - was presented to UNESCO and includes Borovitskaya Square and other significant improvements - such as development of Zaradye Park.
The project of improvement of Borovitskaya Square was chosen in the result of the architectural competition held with the support of Moscow City Committee for Architecture and Urban Planning.
The monument to Prince Vladimir was approved long before. There was also the initial project of Borovitsky Square in declamatory archaic style with using granite and the lack of greenery.
It was decided to develop a new project, corresponding to the spirit of the time and the character of a dynamic Moscow metropolis. The area needed to be made as a relevant public space.
Architects had to work with the initial context, with the monument itself, to make the sculpture an organic part of the new public space. AI-architects found a laconic solution and created a perfect example of public space improvement in the heart of Moscow. The square became popular among citizens and tourists: every day and every night they walk, take pictures on the background of the Kremlin, sit on the steps.
Ai-architects created the illusion of water drop with radiating circles, drawing attention of the jury. In their project, which was based on strict technical specifications, everything was designed in details — from the place of the central monument to Prince Vladimir and walking routs planning to consideration of the exploitation of the square.
Vladimir the 1stI, byname Saint Vladimir or Vladimir the Great, (956 – 1015), grand prince of Kiev and first Christian ruler in Kievan Rus, whose consolidated the provinces of Kiev and Novgorod into a single state, and whose determined the course of Christianity in the region.
‘The project by AI-architects is the allusion that brings us to the story of the Christianization of Rus. It appears as if water is flowing around the monument: the stone steps, as planned by the architects, represent circles radiating on the water from a falling water drop’, said Sergey Kuznetsov, the Chief Architect of Moscow.
‘Initially our work was built on investigation of the site and the area, where the square lays. Idea of circles radiating on the water was performed by radial form of steps and spot lights spinning spiral round in the lawn. There are lots of constraints on the territory of Borovitsky hill: this is a protected area, which is also under Federal Protective Service’s supervision, and there are many things which cannot be done there, and the task assigned by Chief Moscow Architect is to improve the square. So, we decided to think over what is necessary to be done for people’s convenience’, said Ivan Kolmanok, cofounder of the AI-architects.
Earlier people which were heading from the metro not went round the hill but crossed it even when there was mud and ice. And architects decided to improve this route.
Today the square is crossed by steps composed of 1700 individual stone pieces, each step has reinforced concrete base with holes through which lawn can grow. 700 linear meters of diode lighting are included into the base of steps. 280 small bulbs are buried in earth, staying invisible at day-time they make an effect of twinkling grass at night. Drivers passing the square see waves of light radiating on the lawn. The spot lights have different modes of work. In ‘holiday’ mode the lights are radiating from top downward, and the second mode — standard: twinkling, imitating rips on the water surface. Lightning fixture with white LEDs 9 800 meters in radius was installed into the square foundation, located around the pedestal of the monument.
A green array of trees of the Alexander Garden near the Kremlin is connected to a new array of squares, closing into a single green veil. On the square, near the monument, the trees are molded (a clear cut is cut out) into the correct geometric shape of the semicircle around the monument, forming a solemn strict wings for the monument and focusing on it. Optionally, the edge of the area is filled with water. In winter the water warms up and soars.
Architects also wanted to install meteorological station which could read weather conditions and automatic equipment would switch lightning modes.
Architectural bureau AI-architects received an award for the development of the concept of improvement of Borovitskaya Square and contribution to the preservation of the cultural and historical appearance of the capital.