Alena Shlyakhovaya diploma project, 2016

Courtyard-street is a new type of urban space that combines the features of a lively city street and a lived-in courtyard. Courtyard-street consists of a network of pedestrian routes arising in places where it is necessary to increase the connectivity of urban areas, clearly define the boundaries of public and public spaces, increase the quality and functional diversity of the environment, but where due to various factors radical urban development changes are impossible and the creation of a usual busy city street is inappropriate - in the existing residential environment of the hyper- and super-city quarters on the city’s periphery.
Courtyard-street encompasses spaces of varying degrees of public accessibility, it is incredibly rich in various subjects and has a great potential for use. It is a street and a courtyard, a house and a park, for both children and adults - it is the full richness of city life.

From the review by Sergei Sitar:

"The new urban environment that arose as a result of the rapid leap in urbanisation of the 20th century, and which is quantitatively dominant in today's city, from an architectural and ethical-aesthetic perspective is not quite complete compared to the traditional, pre-industrial environment, which formed slowly, organically and in a "mineralogical manner" in a situation in which manual labour and pedestrian movement dominated over machines and motorised transport. According to the astute observation of the philosopher Martin Heidegger, the new modern environment can be for us a place for a comfortable temporary stay, but in it dwelling as the original form of existential self-realization no longer occurs. One of the main causes of this loss is the destruction of the old, organically established chain of spatial transitions between private and public worlds - namely, the traditional stepped hierarchy of interior-courtyard-street-avenue-square. The most important intermediary link has been lost from this sequence: public spaces and streets of a local, house-adjoining significance, which in the historical European city served as catalysts for local identity and a sense of solidarity on the level of neighbouring communities.

Alena Shlyakhovaya’s "Courtyard-street" thesis project proposes a very valuable methodological key to correcting this fundamental strategic error. The project is based on a detailed quantitative and qualitative study of modern life of the "hyper-quarter" - a hybrid spatial typology resulting from the spontaneous historical mixing of quarter, micro-district and spot/density-increasing  construction. The study allowed the identification of potential for formation/articulation within the hyper-quarter of a system of walk-through local public spaces, filled with a whole range of useful features and services - cultural, commercial, sport and recreation, etc. In the final project proposal the sought articulation of a network of "courtyard-streets” occurs through the introduction into the amorphous inner fabric of the hyper-quarter of a set of local public micro-constructions and innovative improvement elements, such as an outdoor cinema, a skatepark, coworking centre, a sports club, a shopping arcade, and others. All of these sensitively and wittily-invented spatial elements are designed for a specific area in the periphery of Moscow - the 93rd and 94th quarters of the Textilshiki district - but they can quite justifiably be regarded as a ready line of functionally-flexible tools for qualitatively improving the countless urban areas formed as a result of the rapid urbanisation and mass industrial construction of the 20th century. "

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MARCHI (Moscow Architectural Institute)
LOCATION Tekstilshiki district, Moscow, Russia
YEAR 2016
STATUS diploma project
PROGRAM masterplan, public space
TUTORS Yury Grigoryan, Marko Mihic Jeftic, Julia Ardabyevskaya
STUDENT Alena Shlyahovaya