West 8 is delighted to announce the first phase of Space Conquerors Memorial Park, which opened to the public yesterday the 12th April 2021, in Saratov, Russia. The project is a unique collaboration with the Center for Urban Studies at Lomonosov Moscow State University Led by Sergey Kapkov, and West 8. The memorial park is an epic endeavor, creating a celebration of the landing place of Yuri Gagarin, the first human to make a journey into space.
The Space Conquerors Park combines several sites associated with the landing place of Vostok 1, after it completed one orbit of Earth on April 12, 1961.
A cosmic legacy with global dimensions, the park is designed to be seen from space thanks to the light “orbit” and the light projection depicting Gagarin’s flight path, created by a line of small-sized led elements. West 8 worked at a variety of scales, from detailed material choices of the marble Wall of Fame to employing the necessary infrastructure for the new landmark location such as the new Saratov Pier/Canal and connecting bike paths. In addition, Landscape architecture was employed as a narrative driver to convey and commemorate the trailblazing aerospace engineering legacy of Vostok and the Cosmos program. From the creation of the Poplar Alleys as an internal coordination system to connect the new boat landing, Memorial Plaza and the Capsule Landing, to the (re-)creation of the original Steppe landscape of wildflowers, poppies, and field tulips, Space Conquerors Park brings to life the achievements of past, present, and future Russian cosmonauts. The new global landmark is a place for ceremony, contemplation, patriotism, and education.
Photography of the park provided by the client, © Space Conquerors Park
The opening is the first piece of the master plan, which covers the entire 240-hectare site, and includes five main areas. Located under the city of Engels, near the village of Smelovka, a remote area of the Russian Landscape, phase one of the park includes two main locations: The Memorial Plaza (the landing place of Yuri Gagarin) and the Capsule Landing area. The park design encourages a variety of visitor experiences with three distinct visitor entrances and a vast variety of atmospheres and experiences. West 8 was involved in the Concept Design, Schematic Design, DD supervision, and Construction Supervision for various elements of the design. MCU carried out work on the adaptation of the concept, implementation of design and working documentation, development of a brand book and a logo for the park, design, and production of all elements of the park, architectural supervision of construction.