Lonely Planet Writer

A new wild urban 32 acre park has opened beside Red Square in Moscow

Moscow’s huge new Park Zaryadye, the Russian capital’s first major new park in 50 years, is officially opening for the City Day celebrations on 9 September. It is located by the Moscow River, just a stone’s throw from Red Square and the Kremlin.

A view of Moscow’s Zaryadye Park under construction near the Moscow Kremlin. Image by Marina LystsevaTASS via Getty Images

The 32-acre Park Zaryadye was a huge project that cost US$223.9 million, according to official figures. It was designed by  a consortium of international architects inclduing  Hargreaves Jones (USA), Citymakers (Russia), and Diller Scofidio + Renfro (USA), known for using the ‘wild urbanism’ technique to merge historic city streets with wild natural habitats. The park has four different areas representing Russia’s main geographic zones – tundra, steppe, forest and wetlands – and featuring the typical micro-climates of each zone. In addition to that, there’s an ice cave (where the temperature will be kept below freezing year-round) featuring creations of Arctic ice artist Alexander Ponomarev.

A post shared by ⓨⓤⓛⓐ (@s.yulia.world) on

Another much talked-about feature of Park Zaryadye is a so-called ‘floating bridge’, which spans the Moscow River and its embankment without support and loops back to the parkland. There will also be a large outdoor amphitheatre and a Philharmonic Hall, built into the hillsides. Other facilities include the interactive Media Centre and a 4D cinema where the history of Russia will unfold on a 360-degree screen; travel within Russia and its various national parks will also be promoted through videos and exhibits.

Remains of a street that was part of the medieval Kitay Gorod neighbourhood were excavated during the construction of the park, on the site of the old Rossiya Hotel, and various archaeological findings will now be exhibited in an underground museum within the park, including items such as old coins and medieval weapons.

Russian people visit Moscow’s new Zaryadye Park with St Basil’s Cathedral in the background in Moscow. Image by Getty

The first element of the park to open to the public was the glass-dome Zaryadye Park Pavilion, created by architect Sergei Kuznetsov and presented at the 2021 Venice Biennale of Architecture. With QR-code décor, this so-called observation deck provides a virtual overview of the park’s development, and will remain as its information centre.