Paveletskaya Plaza Part 1

Developer: MMG
Architecture: 5+design
Lead Designer: APEX Project Bureau
Project: Paveletskaya Plaza
Location: Moscow, Russia
Photo: Kirill Gorozhanin

I recently had a conversation with the team of architects from APEX Project Bureau and developers from MMG about the progress of the construction of one of Moscow’s main long-term projects, located in the square in front of the Paveletsky Railway Station. The project started during Luzhkov’s time and has since been passed from hand to hand until it met a team that could not only implement it but also raise its overall standard to a benchmark of reference (or, if you like, iconic) architecture. Given the importance and uniqueness of the site, I found the dialogue extremely interesting. I’m eager to share it with you. Representing APEX Project Bureau in the dialogue was Evgeny Bykov (E.B.), Head of the Business Process Management Directorate, and from MMG— Alina Strelkova (A.S.), Director of Development and Commerce at Mall Management Group.

Completion of the Long-Standing Construction?

GJ: As a resident of the Paveletskaya area, I’ve witnessed its rapid transformation over the last 7−8 years. Sadovoe, the adjacent streets, areas near the metro, Paveletsky Railway Station itself, and business centers around the square have all evolved before our eyes. The only constant was the square in front of the station. This area reminded me of my hometown Nizhny Novgorod, which, before the arrival of the last mayor Nikitin, people jokingly called "Sinezaborsk". The ambiance of the central square of Paveletskaya reminded me of that eternal fence with no information about when and what would be built there. However, in the last couple of years, the situation has drastically changed. The site now buzzes with numerous machines, and the fences are covered with exhaustive visual information about what the construction project will look like. But before we move on to this truly impressive beauty, I would like to clarify what caused such a long wait before the start of visible activities on the site?

A.S.: Unfortunately, Paveletskaya Square had been closed to the city’s residents for many years and became one of Moscow’s most famous long-term construction projects. In 2018, the right to construct the project was transferred to Mall Management Group, marking a new chapter in the project’s history. Together with the international bureau 5+Design, our company developed a new concept for the square’s development, taking into account the lifestyle and needs of modern city dwellers. A landscaped park will be created on Paveletskaya Square, with a three-level underground shopping center underneath, unparalleled in Russia.

Construction of the project began in September 2019 and is ongoing around the clock. Currently, the construction work is 90% complete, the park’s beautification is nearing completion, and the long-awaited opening of the project is scheduled for the fall of 2021. We believe that the convenient location of the shopping gallery and the creation of a new urban park will make Paveletskaya Square another center for meetings and relaxation for Muscovites.

Project Concept

GJ: Tell us more about the architectural concept of the project.

A.S.: As I mentioned, the shopping complex will be located underground, allowing us to avoid cluttering the area and conflicting with the surrounding buildings, while from Sadovoe Ring and the station, the site will appear as a well-maintained park. The architects' vision is for the landscaped park to connect the shopping center with the surrounding urban environment. The park will feature a fountain and an amphitheater for city events, walking areas with wooden benches, spaces for both active and quiet rest, as well as cafes and restaurants with cozy terraces.

The project’s architecture is built on the fusion of open and closed spaces, natural and artificial lighting, a landscape park, and underground shopping galleries. In other words, the urban park is just the tip of the iceberg. The complex is designed using the semi top-down technology and occupies an area of 73,000 square meters. Most of the buildings visible from the street seem to be submerged in the ground, with underground levels beginning at the surface.

The two entrance pavilions are made in the form of glass domes and are intentionally elevated above the ground to maintain a dialogue between the shopping galleries and the park. The eastern entrance to the shopping center is surrounded by a landscape that transitions into an inner courtyard, while the western entrance is located under a green lawn. From the west entrance of the mall, visitors will have a panoramic view of the gastronomic space located on the -2 floor. The height of the eastern atrium is 16.8 meters, and the western one is 22.6 meters, creating a sensation as if you are still in the park, not in a shopping center.
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