Mikhailovskaya Embankment: Bringing New Life to Novosibirsk

Adaptik-A | Strelka KB

Architects: Strelka KB and Adaptik-A
Location: Novosibirsk, Russia
Year: 2018

Novosibirsk is the capital of Siberia and one of Russia’s largest cities, with a population of more than 1 million. This meeting point of Russian traditions and modern industry is bisected by the Ob River and the Mikhailovskaya Embankment running alongside it. The embankment is a two-part terrace park, divided by transit bridges, and the whole territory is delineated by the river, a cargo port, and a major highway. In 2018, a team from Strelka KB, together with Strelka Architects and local architectural bureau Adaptik-A, reimagined the embankment as a center of attraction for the heart of Siberia.

The Mikhailovskaya Embankment creates new leisure opportunities for locals and visitors alike. The embankment was divided into quiet and active zones, providing both opportunities for calm relaxation and a venue for major events, from Novosibirsk’s 125th anniversary celebration to the 2018 World Cup.

The main promenade now features a pedestrian zone, leisure area, and bicycle parking, with improved lighting and additional apple and linden trees. The promenade was made accessible: a ramp was included for those with mobility restrictions, and a bike path with pedestrian crossings as well as tactile pavement for the visually impaired were added.

The active zone now features a large stage for holding major local and national events, such as the 2018 World Cup fan zone. On the stairs leading to the stage, wooden planking was installed which can accommodate thousands during concerts and other events. A design code for the park was developed by local architects together with Strelka KB, which included specifications both for information stands and signage.

The lower promenade was connected with the others with various mid-level footpaths. One of them, a “path of impressions,” features different types of activities for visitors. The quiet zone is made up of five round “rooms,” each stimulating one of the five senses through a pattern on the surfaces. Around the perimeter of the “touch” space, new greenery with different textures was planted: soft and fluffy lungworts and platelike mahonias.

On the middle promenade, an inclusive children’s playground and sports zone lets children of different ability levels play together. Both levels are connected by a gently-sloped access ramp, and multiple types of lighting instruments help illuminate the nearly 100 new trees along the embankment. Finally, a wooden dance floor with a river view provides an additional space for various events, from public lectures to weddings.

The Mikhailovskaya Embankment in Novosibirsk was developed as part of the Future Cities program, organized by Strelka KB in cooperation with DOM.RF, an integrated housing development institution, and the Ministry of Construction, Housing, and Utilities of the Russian Federation.