Text description provided by the architects. Khokhlovskaya Square was developed by Strelka KB in collaboration with the landscape architecture studio Djao-Rakitine. The authors of the project wanted to create a new type of public space for Moscow which would radically change the approach to cultural heritage. In place of a construction pit that had already been around for 20 years, a small archaeological park appeared: the new amphitheater frames the old, preserved part of a White City wall section. In addition, trees were planted in the square and information stands, benches and street lamps were installed.
Denis Leontiev, CEO of Strelka KB
“One of the fundamental principles of Strelka KB is that the cities are not only built but are also fine-tuned. The reconstruction project of Khokhlovskaya Square reflects one of our key values. Because it is necessary to fine-tune the relations between urban communities and citizens, between activists and city services, including when it comes to historical heritage. It is precisely joint work that allows us to make such successful projects. I hope that sooner or later everyone will come to visit Khokhlovskaya Square and that they will like it.”
The transformation of an archaeological find into the central element of a public space has become an excellent example of a careful and thoughtful approach to the preservation of cultural heritage. In addition, Khokhlovskaya Square has become a new urban center that attracts both the local community as well as tourists and has also given a boost to local businesses. Khokhlovskaya Square was also a victory for the city against a long-term construction site. In the early 2000s, an underground car park was planned for this spot, but the works were stopped in 2007 after the discovery of a section of a 16th-century White City fortress wall that marked the border of medieval Moscow. The abandoned construction quarry had long been an obstacle for pedestrians walking along the Boulevard Ring. This new urban space was implemented within the ‘Moscow Street’ program awarded by ISOCARP and Qatar Sustainability Award 2018.