Kazan, 2018—2019, Project Group 8 + PARK
White Flowers Boulevard
White Flowers Boulevard is a public space in Kazan on Absalyamov street, designed with the residents of the district in 2018. The park is located on site of a former parking lot. The constant conflict between cars and pedestrians was dangerous, as there was no pedestrian route from houses to bus stops and the school. Within the project, a landscape was formed, fertile land was brought and more than 1000 large-sized trees and perennial shrubs were planted. At all stages of the project, local residents, communities, teachers and students from local school took an active part. The key events of the participatory design process were two large city-wide meetings — a meeting for the preparation of the design assignment and discussion of the preliminary concept.
Residents of the area, built up with typical panel houses in the early 2000s, really wanted the Boulevard to acquire its identity. It was named "White Flowers" in honor of the iconic novel by the classic of Tatar writer Abdurakhman Absalyamov, after whose name the street is named. The project has many references to the legacy of the writer, Tatar literature and Kazan of the 1960s.
The project deliberately was made not as a standard boulevard. Since it is a local public space for local residents, not a city park, there are many different usage scenarios, routes and sites: a square with a cafe, a fountain with a shadow canopy, recreational "living rooms" with parquet, floor lamps and furniture. Then the nature "captures" the boulevard — in the area of "secret garden" people can walk with a stroller, relax in silence, play on the playground or work out on special grounds with sports equipment and exercise equipment, protected by canopies from rain.
Children's play space is called "Nature of the game" and is filled with natural elements: hills with tunnels, small forest, nests. All the main elements are made of natural materials: wood, vine, wood chips. The game complex is made abstractly to develop children's imagination and not to limit them in one way — in their game it can be nests, hives, and towers of the fortress. For the site in a residential area, it is important that children would not get bored by the every-day gaming equipment. All the space of the boulevard was developed from the position that the child was interested in coming up with games on their own.
The boulevard is designed so that it was possible to hold events. Regional events, festivals and fairs in the square with cafe, place for the Christmas tree and multi-functional shed with a deck, that works like a stage. Small local events, children's parties or sports training — in the area of the universal green lawn among the trees, which also provides sockets and a canopy. Winter functioning of the boulevard is also thought about — the hills work as snow slides, it is possible to warm up in the cafe, and a variety of lighting pleases citizens at winter and night time.