Schelokovsky Hutor Forest Park

Schelokovsky Hutor Forest Park

Ardatovsky District, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Russia
Project Year
Dima Chetyre

Schelokovsky Hutor Forest Park

OGOROD as Architects

The territory of the forest park is a natural monument and a part of a unique landscape inside a growing urban environment. The territory is actively used for recreation, which often causes damage to nature due to lack of appropriate infrastructure.

The project began as an initiative of the Ogorod team, who created the landscaping concept as a part of their project called “Ogorozheno” together with architects from NNGASU and project group of HSE marketing department experts.

This project has become one of the first initiative participatory projects in Russia. Its core idea is the participation of all stakeholders (i.e. citizens, administration, experts, businesses) in the development of urban territories. 600 people participated in the research, which became the basis of the preliminary concept of the development of the territory. Solutions chosen to be included in the concept required minimal construction and maintenance costs, but created an impulse for functional and infrastructural development of the forest park. The results of the research were published in a local newspaper called “Seledka”. Citizens and experts were then invited to a public discussion of the concept.

In 2018 a new stage of the project began, including infrastructural research and a new series of public discussions, which resulted in creation of the preliminary landscaping concept. The project got funded and the work continued. Our team made a brief for the developer, who then prepared submittals.

Currently, the first stage of the landscaping (an embankment of one of the three lakes) has been finished. The second stage began in 2019.

The idea behind the development of the forest park is “Nature + Culture”.

The goal of this landscaping project is to create an infrastructure for comfortable recreation while preserving the unique nature of this territory. Shelokovsky Hutor is a part of a forest where rare species of birds and animals live. There’s no territories like this in Nizhny Novgorod anymore.

The territory of the forest park is used by several groups of people, such as sport enthusiasts, nature lovers, families, tourists, etc. The concept suggests all-season scenarios of using the territory. The main functional areas are located close to the lakes and include sports, technical, swimming and other zones.

Special technical and design options were used in the project to minimize the impact on the environment. To preserve the trees' root systems, some pathways were made of wood and mounted on screw piles, point-based on the local relief. Wood is also the main material for urban furniture, playground and sports equipment, flooring, pontoons. All elements have natural colours.

Pathway system is made of wood and pebbles. In places used by both pedestrians and service vehicles, tracks will be made of concrete lawn grids filled with small-fraction gravel.

Urban furniture and lighting will be installed alongside pathways. Playgrounds for kids of all ages, changing cabins, first aid stations, lifeguard towers, WC modules, sunbeds, all of them accessible, will be placed in the beach zones. Throughout the park, navigational and informational stands were added, telling visitors about the flora and fauna of the park, rules of behaviour near the water, the importance of being respectful to nature.

The project has a limited budget, so optimal solutions were selected, such as using local materials and working with local businesses. By joint efforts of administration, contractors and local experts, a comfortable space is being formed for people to relax in harmony with nature. Hundreds of people from all over the city gather here on summer weekends. The forest park has become a city-wide point of attraction.

Project team
Amager Bakke / Copenhill
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