Sokolniki park


Sokolniki park, in north-east Moscow, is part of a former hunting forest. Developed in the mid-20th century, it was in need of modernisation and a return to its former charm. This gave rise to an international competition in which Ilex, working with Wagon Landscaping, was a candidate.

Towards a new geometry

Ilex wanted to re-enchant the forest with a system of thematic circles that would form a complex pattern of paths. There would be multiple walkways, and, on the central avenue, a long, wide clearing that would create a vista through the trees.

Stimulating and restructuring activity, with roots in nature

The space is organised around 11 thematic rings, and in its northern part there is a health-and-wellbeing complex with cabins and dachas. There are centres dedicated to legends, sport, riding, games, discovery, winter sports, the beach and biodiversity. And the native animal species live in semi-liberty.

An increase in mobility

Cars are restricted to a small part of the park, most of which is given over to ecological modes of mobility. A shuttle service operates between public transport services and the entrances to the park. And on the northern side there are access routes to the ancient Losiny Ostrov forest.

A restoration of symbolism

Evading the « theme park » trap, Ilex opted for biodiversity and integration. The symbolic force of the forest would reconnect with its traditions and natural environment, while contemporary activities infused it with fresh new energy. Ilex would allow the site to flourish, deciphering it in such a way as to reveal and highlight its essential characteristics. This strong symbolic project would be in keeping with the location itself, and its residents.

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Summer 2014: international competition (5th place)
Client: Moscow department of culture, MosgorPark, Sokolniki park, Archpolis
Design: Ilex paysage urbanisme (team leader), Wagon Landscaping
Mission: studies and strategies for the development of the park
Area: 515 hectares
Budget: not disclosed