nature in the city

Keywords: nature, city, architecture, public spaces


On May 32, 1773 the Duke from my favourite film “That Very Munchhausen” said the significant words: “It is amazing… It is amazing how our people harmonize with nature!”

A bit later almost his fellow-countryman Friedensreich Hundertwasser said that happiness is merging with nature. It is possible to live happily without money. It is impossible to do it without nature. Merging with nature was crucial in the life of this wonderful man, and even in his death.

We have almost learnt to live without money. But we do not want to live without nature, and we cannot. We asked ourselves a psychoanalytical question: “Would you like to talk about it?” and then answered like honest patients: “Yes, we would”. In the context of the crisis the time is ripe for reflection, which is better to do alone with nature. This is how we approached the subject of the latest festival “Zodchestvo of Eastern Siberia” (pp. 13-46, 72-81).

The cross-cutting theme concerning the city for people is continued in this issue. It should not be thought that architects create only buildings. Architects’ materials are neither stone with its modern substitutes nor even the ivy covering construction failures. The latest Pritsker Prize laureate Alejandro Aravena says that the most important thing in urbanism is public spaces. Changeable, diverse, filled with sense and visual events, they constitute a special nature of the city. How to bring together the elements of this ‘second nature’ with living biocenoses of the primary nature? Can we always differ one from the other?

By the 355th anniversary of Irkutsk, its leading architects had worked out more than twenty different designs of squares (pp. 92-112) by the mayor’s order. Besides the future squares and pocket parks of Irkutsk, several green spaces of Moscow, Tokyo, London, Paris and German towns are presented in the issue, as well as competitive designs of the New York Aquarium and the Horse Park in Korea.

The object of the issue is a wonderful museum on the Kulikovo Field designed by Sergey Gnedovsky. The unusual architecture of the new museum makes it akin to the earth’s tectonic fault caused by an intolerable tension in expectation of the battle (pp. 113-123).

Oleg Yavein and Ilya Lezhava bring us back to the classic of the 20th century Mies van der Rohe and his unique dialogue with nature (pp. 162-175). Relationship between architecture and nature is a rich and limitless theme, like both of these substances. That is why the new Project Baikal issue contains, as usual, more questions than answers. Such is the nature of our journal.

How to Cite
Grigoryeva, E. (2016). nature in the city. Project Baikal, 13(49), 1-1.
Editorial material