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Olive Beach, a recreation area by the water in the city center, Gorky Park, Moscow, Russia by Wowhaus

Project name:
Olive Beach
Architecture firm:
Gorky Park, Krymsky Val, 9, Moscow, Russia
Ilya Ivanov, Dmitry Karpov, Yogastan
Principal architect:
Dmitry Likin, Oleg Shapiro
Design team:
Heads of Wowhaus: Dmitry Likin, Oleg Shapiro; Architects: Darya Listopad, Artem Ukropov
Built area:
Site area:
Design year:
May 2011-July 2011
Completion year:
July 2011
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Environmental & MEP:
Tools used:
ArchiCAD, SketchUp
Gorky Park
Public Space › Beach, Waterfront, Landscape, Park Renovation, City Therapy


1. To mark the ‘unofficial’ entrance to Gorky Park, making it more friendly and just as popular as the main entrance.
2. To create an accessible recreation area by the water in the center of Moscow.


Wowhaus came up with an idea for how to create an alternative to the main entrance to Gorky Park. By way of contrast with the granite and marble that are the dominant presence at the front entrance, we have used wood for the ‘welcome zone’ leading from Pushkin (Andreevsky) Bridge. On the desolate embankment of the River Moskva, we have created a proper leisure zone with a beach, showers, and a bar. The wooden beach is a symbol of the renewed Gorky Park.

The diversely angled surface of the solarium does the same job as myriad deck loungers, resulting in a great saving of space on the river embankment. The solarium has been constructed in such a way that visitors can sit or lie down on almost any of the wooden surfaces which meet each other at different angles and descend to the water’s edge. On a hot summer’s day this democratic spot is extremely popular with sunbathers. All kinds of activities and events are held here.

Since swimming in the River Moskva is not advisable, we came up with the idea of a water feature for visitors. The shower consoles stand outside the solarium area, above the surface of the river. Water from the showers collects in trays underneath and drains into the sewerage system. Next to the solarium is another universal recreational space – under a canopy which offers protection from the blazing sun. This canopy takes the form of a complex pergola and has space for a DJ. Under the bridge we have designed two bars with wooden terraces and canopies in an original shape.

By Liliana Alvarez

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