How will Moscow look in the distant future? How will the Russian capital appear to our grandchildren and great grandchildren?
Some believe that in the future there won’t be cities, just one big global city. Others see only apocalyptic scenarios in the future: underwater worlds, cities in space, huge tower cities...
Incidentally, a tower city can be seen in The Tower of Babel, a painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder from 1563. Nearly 450 years on this idea continues to stir the imagination of architects.
Mikhail and Yaroslav Usov, the directors of the DESIGNUS architectural studio, have suggested that in the future cities will develop vertically, rather than horizontally, and their idea is not limited to already familiar skyscrapers. The Usovs have designed a whole tower district called Termitnik, which is supposed to be located next to Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro. According to the architects’ idea, Avenue Atlantica should run smoothly into the pedestrian spiral of the skyscraper, forming a vertical street along which the residents will be able to climb to the very top of the multi-level complex.
The complex itself consists of two parts connected by passages. Between the parts is a platform with gardens. The foundation of the building rests on supports above the surface of the Earth, thus preserving the existing plants on the site. In the first half of the tower is office space and in the second hotels and apartments. The building has atriums with gardens serving as recreational zones for employees, and on each floor there are open terraces. On the lower levels there are shops and public services for the city. Restaurants and a viewing platform are located on the upper level, and after every 14 floors is a public space with a cafe and gardens.
But in their project ‘Moscow 2050’, the DESIGNUS architects have gone further, suggesting that a city may consist of numerous such buildings joined into a single urban system, which will be situated above the ‘old town’.
Smog, transport collapse, and a lack of historical heritage, and architectural and cultural identity are some of the possibilities of the city’s degradation in 40 years’ time. In the project the architects propose the construction of a new vertical city over the remnants of the old capital. Their idea is for a network of tall vertical structures accommodating municipal and private housing, public services, parks and gardens. Bridges over the ‘old town’ will connect the structures.
This is just one of an infinite number of possibilities for the development of the city. It is quite possible that Mikhail and Yaroslav Usov will next come up with a design for an underwater city.
You can find the full version of the article in MosBuild Magazine #5