The "Green Department"
Landscape is the soil stepped on, trajectories followed, space having several dimensions, plants and animals, sounds and smells, as well as the time that changes everything. To understand the life of landscape, make it an object of study and a participant of the art process is the task of the project.
In the summer of 2012, the Green Department project was launched in the territory of Nikola-Lenivets Park to unite summer practices of students from Moscow Institute of Architecture, State Institute of Theatrical Art, All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography and Moscow State University. Supervisor of the project – architect Vasily Shchetinin. The goal of the project is to create a natural park by way of conceptual zoning of the territory; discovering unique traits and "harmonization points" of the landscape; shaping the space free from determination and strict completeness – a space perceived as a living body.

Territory of the Green Department is situated between the villages of Nikola-Lenivets and Zvizji. About 9,000 years ago, in the post-ice age period this are was the bed of the river Ugra which was then very different from what it is nowadays; it created a giant meander with a strait in the place of the present-day Zvizji ford. Over time the river has changed its flow, and the old be was replaced by a field, its outer perimeter shaped by labyrinths of forest masses, from the center of which a fascinating view opens.

The ancient bed of the Ugra left a natural geoglyph 3 km in diameter. As viewed from above, it reminds two letters of the Greek alphabet – Alpha and Omega. Such is born the fantasy of a mysterious fragile book of nature which is at the same time in the state of completed and being completed.

...Such a book needs careful reading. That is why sensitive interaction with nature is an important part of the project concept. Events organized by the Department should be temporary, all traces of human activities should be easy to remove, and objects (except for those built earlier) should be dismantled.

At the same time, bringing creative activities from the city to the nature should not be a step backwards; on the contrary, we suggest taking from the city the most state-of-the-art technologies to implement the ideas and projects that will come into existence as a result of unique working experience at Nikola-Lenivets.

Numerous restrictions relevant for the space of Nikola-Lenivets Park require that an innovation strategy for its representation be selected – large-scale involvement of multimedia. It will allow implementing vast schemes, relevant and showy, while ensuring preservation of the natural landscape.

Priorities of the Green Department are identifying landscape areas with their subsequent development and mastering of new technologies (together with multimedia artists) – of visual rather than real architecture.
Route α

Route α is a walking path 420 meters long. It emphasizes the natural geomorphology of the landscape and discovers unique viewing sites as you walk on. In the upper part of the route there is a console viewing terrace giving you a view of the hollow valley and the labyrinth meadow. The gullied part is joined together with a suspension bridge leading to the second viewing site. It gives you the view of the central part inside the route meadow, while the shed and the flooring interwoven with the natural terraces create a cozy place for contemplation and audio relaxation. In the lower part of the route there is a crossing over the main bed of the stream; it is towering 1.5 meter high above the fern meadow and is made of materials received in the course of clearing the route.
Mobius Path
Who studies at the "Green Department"

In 2012 the Green Department managed to bring together summer practices of best students from Russian and foreign architectural, art and scientific universities, colleges and institutes. Those were trans-disciplinary groups where students worked together with teachers and supervisors to synthesize various genres of art and research.

Plans for the future include inviting artists and architects to give master classes and researches to become the base for further exhibition projects.

The chief representative and supervisor of the project is architect Vasily Shchetinin, the founder of the creative settlement in the village of Nikola-Lenivets. His project in the center of "Solar Circle" meander as well as the idea of "Ancient City Reconstruction" project have been the prologue to present-day activities of the Green Department.
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