Nike Box MSK — new sport and cultural center designed by KOSMOS Architects and Strelka KB
Box MSK in Moscow’s famous Gorky Park becomes a landmark building of the city.
“Nike is excited to create a new benchmark facility in a world-famous park and leave a legacy to Moscow youth. Partnership with local talents and a focus on sport and culture allowed project to become significant for the city and keep a unique local connection” – comments Andy Walker, VP Creative Director, Nike EMEA
Context of the site: Moscow and Gorky Park
In recent years, Moscow has witnessed a tremendous development in terms of the city’s green and public space. One of the key catalysts for architectural innovation and experimentation is Gorky Park, where the new sports center Nike BOX MSK is located.
Gorky Park, Moscow’s Central Park, was initially designed as an exhibition of industrial achievements, and since then has always been a place for the most experimental and cutting-edge architecture. Most noticeable landmarks of recent years — Garage Museum by OMA and Shigeru Ban, are located right next to the site of new Nike BOX MSK. Besides art, culture and leisure, Gorky Park has always been popular for those who like sports and active lifestyle, one of the best places for morning jogging or yoga in the park.
Nike Box MSK is built to further enhance sport infrastructure of the park and help promote sport and active lifestyle among park visitors and Moscow residents.
4700 -square-meter site will be open all year around and provide free access to sport facilities and coaching. Box MSK includes outdoor football and streetball courts, indoor and outdoor spaces for training and yoga, it will also serve as a the base for Moscow’s Nike Running Club.
Box MSK will also grow into a hub for creativity, culture and self-expression through curated programming and partnerships.
Image and inspiration: new technologies and local context
The image of Box Msk embraces several various themes and inspirations. The overall image of the building refers to anonymous, utilitarian and infrastructural architecture; transparency and modularity of the building takes inspiration from membranes and their technologies.
From the other hand, the project is inspired by the local Russian context: rough and brutal districts of panel modernist houses, and the traditional “korobkas”. “Korobka” (Box in Russian) is a courtyard playground, caged by protective fences, is a typical urban detail of any periphery of a Russian city. Introduced in the absence of other urban places to play, “Korobka” symbolizes the minimal infrastructure necessary for sports and the rough, yet romantic, street sport culture.
The appearance of the building is defined by its 5 main design principles: transparency, openness, activation of the whole site, integration in the park, and inspiration for sports.
‘Naked’ framework gives the building its bold, fair aesthetics of “sports infrastructure”. Transparent facade and open plan provide openness of the building and integrate it in the park’s greenery. Inclined “flaps” activate the whole site, allow people to use the rooftop and differentiate the activities on the sides of the building. Vivid magenta landscape and interiors give energy and inspire for sports achievements.
The facade with its 3-dimensional metal lattice functions as a membrane between interior space and the park, letting inside the air, the light and the people flows. ‘Naked’ structure, of BOX Msk is see-through and transparent and reveals all the processes inside: even the MEP room with all its installations and cores is completely visible from the street.
Besides creating visual transparency, the openwork frame allows the trees to freely grow through the building, which allows integrating the structure in the park without harming nature. On sunny days the building’s flaps provide sun protection and cover the landscape around the facade with intricate ornamental shadows.
The whole site around the building is a continuous playground. It is covered with magenta red sportive rubber and it incorporates sport fields, trees, and hills of spectator seats. The rubber continues inside the building as well, creating a unified experience both inside and outside the building.
Another important public space, besides the magenta playground landscape, is the rooftop of Nike BOX Msk. In order to maximize the space for public activity, and give back to the park the whole footprint of the building, it was designed as an accessible space where yoga classes, public announcements, exhibitions and parties can take place.
Plan and organization of the interior space
Simple square plan of the building is divided into 4 clear parts: entrance hall, multi-purpose hall, dressing rooms/closet zone, utility block. The layout is organized by two intersecting corridors, which create a cross-shaped free path, visually connecting the interior with the exterior and allowing people to circulate inside-out freely.
Transformable partition enables to unite the entrance hall and the multi-purpose hall for specific events, while transparent walls of the facade visually unite the interior with the surrounding park.
Nike BOX MSK design was result of a competition organized in 2017 by Nike and Strelka KB which has been seeking for future of urban sport in Moscow.
Winning concept proposed by KOSMOS Architects was evaluated and selected by an international panel which included Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli (OMA partner), Andy Walker (VP creative direction, Nike), Varvara Melnikova (CEO, Strelka Institute; Partner, KB Strelka; CEO, Afisha), Denis Leontiev (Partner and CEO, Strelka KB), Marina Lyulchuk (Gorky park director), Anton Belov (director of Garage museum of contemporary art), Giovanna Carnevali (architects and urbanist, director of competition department at Strelka KB).
KOSMOS architects, Strelka KB
Krimsky Val, 9, Moskva, Russia
KOSMOS Architects team
Artem Kitaev (partner), Leonid Slonimskiy (partner), Alexander Alyaev, Marina Skorikova. Dmitriy Prikhodko
Strelka KB team
Daria Paramonova, Andris Rubenis, Anastasia Krotova, Daria Grudinkina, Andrey Manakin, Artur Makarov, Alexey Tsarev, Sergey Lebedev
Nike Interior Design team
Eri Pontikopoulou, Greta Mozzachiodi