The Krasnogvardeiskiye Ponds form a historical extension of the main territory of the Krasnaya Presnya Park. The unification of these two parks into a single system formed the pretext for the working out of a complex development programme, based on large-scale social and urban planning research. While preserving as much as possible of the current structure and landscape of the Krasnogvardeiskiye Ponds park territory, the creation of a comfortable space for family and active leisure is required.
The creation of a concept was preceded by sociological research prepared by the KB23 bureau. This enabled the correct allocation of functions and formats of leisure to be determined, based on the desires of residents in the adjacent buildings, as the entire territory had previously been regarded as an intimate “courtyard space”. By preserving the existing structure of the park and suitably supplementing it with new infrastructure and recreational formats, the individuality of this leisure zone has been successfully emphasised, and an increase has been achieved in environmental and architectural quality, as well as comfort and safety of leisure.
The Krasnogvardeiskiye Ponds territory extends from the Zvenigorod Highway on the north to the 1st Krasnogvardeisky Road on the south, including the cascades of three interlinking bodies of water. The ponds were made in the early 18th century as part of the park ensemble for the Studenets estate of the Princes Gagarin. The territory took on its current appearance in the late 1950s when the boulevard was created. Wowhaus bureau developed a project for the development of the Krasnogvardeiskiye Ponds territory and its organic unification with the Krasnaya Presnya Park by means of a shared navigation system, corporate style and design code for new objects and infrastructure.
All objects are realised in a unified stylistic scheme of floating structures with light latticework elements, with a shared colour scheme of shades of red, anthracite and natural timber. Special attention was devoted to planting additional greenery in the territory. Perennials were added to the existing vegetation fabric to emphasise the natural beauty of the Krasnogvardeiskiye Ponds, as well as to create а middle layer, previously absent, of various shrubs and plants specially selected for this territory.
In correspondence with the historically shaped structure of the park and the stylistics of space, as well as the proximity of residential properties and important city-planning objects, it was possible to divide the territory conditionally into five fragments, each of which has its own character and would be improved in line with its given dominant function. At the same time, a single perception of all fragments was retained, thanks to the shared stylistics of objects and greenery.
Fragment 1 – from the Zvenigorod Highway to the upper pond – a “family sporting and educational park”.
In terms of structure, this is the “wildest” part of the park, having the appearance of a natural wooded area, and the project aim here was to preserve this feeling of “naturalness” of space, while including the necessary sections and objects. The planting for this fragment was selected taking into account the natural character of the vegetation.
The idea of a “secret garden” also lay at the base of the concept for this part of Krasnogvardeiskiye Ponds – a walking route with objects and viewpoints arranged along it. Here were positioned outdoor exercise equipment, workout areas, table tennis areas, a yoga pavilion, and a large and unique children’s play area with tree houses and a ropes course.
Fragment 2 – the upper pond – a “wild” or meditative pond. A multi-layered deck was built around the banks, fitted with planters for greenery, and duck houses were set up on the water’s surface.
Fragment 4 (the middle pond) – a “romantic pond” and a logical extension of the promenade zone with gazeboes over the water, a deck, boathouses and decorative lighting in the form of spheres set up on the slopes around the ponds and on the water’s surface.
Fragment 5 comprises the lower pond and is located on the far side of Shmitovsky Road, which renders its inclusion in the general ensemble somewhat more complicated. The architects proposed the transformation of this disadvantage into an advantage, concentrating all the noisy sporting and entertainment functions here, as far away as possible from the residential buildings found elsewhere. Besides a catamaran rental point and small café, a floating stage will be constructed right over the pond, for the holding of summer concerts and festivals, facing an amphitheatre with seating for 150 persons which will become an iconic feature for the park. A large sunbathing deck is to be set up along the adjacent section of waterfront.