The new sports and cultural center – Nike Box MSK – in Moscow’s Gorky Park has already become a landmark of the city

In recent years, Moscow has undergone an extraordinary development process in terms of green spaces and public infrastructures. One of the main driving forces of architectural and social innovation is Gorky Park, where the recently built Nike Air Box MSK sports center, a project of 4,685 square meters designed by the Russian architecture firm Kosmos Architects, is located.

Built to further enhance the park’s sports area and help promote an active and dynamic lifestyle, the project, winner of a competition organized in 2017 by Nike and Strelka KB, is inspired by the local context, with rough modernist buildings and the traditional ‘korobki’ (literally ‘box’ in Russian), the typical urban architectures of any Russian suburb characterized by a fenced courtyard.

A ‘naked’ structure, a transparent façade and a dynamic surface make the building blend with the surrounding space and the green of the park, also thanks to the possibility of using both the roof and the sides of the structure as sports platforms. The façade clad with a 3-dimensional metal lattice acts as a membrane between interior space and the park, letting air, light and people move naturally.

The whole site around Box MSK is a continuous playground: it is clad with a magenta rubber, used for sports facilities, and includes fields, trees and hills that act as natural bleachers for spectators. This rubber also continues inside the building, thus connecting the inside with the outside. Another important space, designed as an accessible area for yoga classes, public events, exhibitions and parties, is the roof.

The ‘simple’ square plan is divided into 4 parts: entrance hall, multi-purpose hall, changing rooms and service area. The layout is divided by two intertwining corridors that create a cross-shaped path visually connecting the interior with the exterior, to allow for ample freedom of movement. [Text Annamaria Maffina – Photo Yuri Palmin]

From DDN #242, October 2018