“Slowdown” World’s longest temporary play installation

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Client: Moscow Mayor

Location: Moscow, Russia

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $60,000

Project Team

Artist

Peter Fink

Landscape Architect

Mathew Childs

Mathew Childs Design

Overview

The large scale temporary three week transformation of Tverskoy Boulevard, a main historical thoroughfare in central Moscow presented many formidable challenges both in design and logistics. The 850 meter/ 3000 feet long section of one of the busiest places in Moscow was transformed for into a destination for playful activity.

Through colour and play, the ‘slowdown installation’ was conceived with the aim of increasing social interaction. It encouraged children and adults alike to take time out and play. 70,000 people visited the installation – that’s 70,000 people having fun!

Goals

When initially contemplating the design of the installation Peter Fink and Mathew Childs noticed that people generally moved directly through the boulevard at speed reflective of the modern pace of life rather than stopping to socialise or linger.
The full 850m of tree-lined Avenue was festooned from every tree with a colourful curtains formed from kilometres of vertically hanging ribbons. The progression of colour from tree to tree created a breeze activated festive wave as well as strong colourful narrative for the individual play zones.
The narrative path was further marked giant footprints that either contained plants or different play activities in addition to specific play activity islands.

The true joy of the installation however came from the expansive array of play activities from trampolines, to play ball and sandpits, craft areas, tunnels filled with an eccentric display or artificial Flora, climbing frames, balancing logs, playful learning and much more.
Reflecting the heavy usage by children the installation had to overcome considerable logistic, safety and performance challenges.

Process

The project involved an extensive collaboration between an artist Peter Fink, architect Richard Marfiak and a landscape architect Mathew Childs. The true success of this collaborative installation was not only its design, horticultural or aesthetic contribution, but the fact the space was living and breathing fun.

Additional Information

The project was part of the 2018 Moscow International Landscape Festival. Only in its second year is putting itself on the global map of garden festivals with over 1500 realised professional projects selected through an international and national competitions. In addition 1100 small amateur gardens were constructed throughout the city.