Renewal of the Yenisei riverfront in Divnogorsk

The name of the town Divnogorsk located 35 km from Krasnoyarsk appeared from a word combination “divnye gory” meaning “amazing mountains”. And indeed the panoramic view from the riverfront captures the imagination! The opposite bank of the Yenisei River appears in front of the audience as a high wall of the spurs of the West Sayan Mountains with expressive rock formations and pine forest.

Divnogorsk grew out of a small settlement at the time when the Krasnoyarsk Dam had been constructed here from 1956 to 1972. The town has a terraced structure descending from the mountains to the river and its lower level is a massive concrete embankment built in the 1970s. Spatial and architectural design of the embankment expresses the ideology of architecture and art of the time - the idea of the conquest of nature, its pathos and heroic spirit. Its structure is divided into several long concrete levels connected by staircases and it has some allocated platforms of different sizes. In 1976 the authors of the riverfront project received a state award for its architectural concept. Riverfront remains the most popular public space in Divnogorsk for many years.

The nature of the place has its own identity and uniqueness as well as the man-made riverfront space. And we aim to save and accentuate both these identities in our projects, to connect natural and urban environment in harmony and to create for people a space of dialogue with nature.

The concept of the riverfront renovation includes complimenting the existing space with the modern service infrastructure and elements of site improvement; renovation and creation of new spaces for active rest, sports, promenade, contemplative outdoor recreations and providing barrier-free access to different levels of the embankment.

We propose to transform the riverfront by embedding in it a network of architectural demountable objects constructed using structural building system “ADM”, created by our studio. The system possesses freedom and flexibility in shape generation, which helps to express the uniqueness of a place, to stylistically integrate various landscapes and areas, and to fit functional requests. The system consists of universalized metal joints and wooden beams and allows creating different objects from kiosks and informational stands to big pavilions and covered stages. Structurally, it can be post-and-beam, space structure or shell structure.

The first stage of riverfront improvement was realized in 2017 in the central part of the riverfront next to Pionerskaya square. We worked on the site, which was an empty viewing platform with old metal railings and a wide concrete staircase near it connecting two promenade levels of the embankment. The realized part includes a viewing platform with canopy and an amphitheater on the staircase.



The amphitheater has a concise construction of square metal pipes with planes of wooden planks on them. This space is convenient for a quiet contemplation of nature, a dialogue with moving river flow and for comfortable placement of a lot of visitors in summer, for small concerts and film screening in the open air.

Renewal of viewing platform includes creation of canopy with benches, reconstruction of railings and laying of paving slabs. The site sets the task for object to become a natural part of Divnogorsk riverfront with its pathos and natural scale. In our opinion, only functional architecture whose visual image has the qualities of the art-object is able to achieve this result. Butterfly-structured canopy was created for the place using “ADM” structural building system. We aim to create a shape suitable to the spirit of the place, but emerging numerous associations. Different angles of perception of canopy cause different visual images from falcon hovering over the Yenisei River to butterfly wings, from the leaf of a plant to the image of the flower, and at the same time the shape resonates with the background of the mountains on the opposite bank of the river.

Author, chief architect: Aleksei Miakota
Co-author: Lidiia Gribakina
Team: Marina Turovinina, Anna Yakimova