A month and a half ago, Marina Lyulchuk was appointed director of one of Moscow’s largest recreation areas – the integrated space of Gorky Park, Muzeon Arts Park, Neskuchny Garden and Vorobyovy Gory. Lyulchuk plans to make Gorky Park even more active and sports oriented this winter and also to hold the longest open-air disco party to ring in the new year.
An enormous street art ice skating rink decorated with graffiti will open in Gorky Park on 17 November. It will host concerts on ice. In early December, the park will get a new snowboarding slalom with changing features and a hill for tubing. In an interview with mos.ru, Marina Lyulchuk described events the park will host on New Year’s and during the winter holidays.
— Ms Lyulchuk, you supervised all Moscow parks as the head of Mosgorpark (directorate for Moscow parks development of the Department of Culture) since 2013. Now you are in charge of one of Moscow’s most visited areas. What is Gorky Park lacking, and how do you plan to develop it?
— We have only one goal – to make our parks the best and interesting for our people. We will have to fulfil many tasks on this road. I’m certain about one thing: we won’t try to increase the number of its visitors. Our team and I want to focus on improving the quality of services and diversifying them – in entertainment, education and sports. People will come to a good place on their own will. Gorky Park has its own fans, and we want to make them comfortable.
I’d like to add more sports to the park. This is what it lacks. The concept of the park’s development until 2018 provides for the construction of several sports facilities, including Sport Point that will be open all year round. It will have gyms, changing rooms and a cafe.
We want to establish one rental centre for all sports equipment – scooters, bikes and roller skates – at the site of a former restaurant. Inside we’ll have a cafe with healthy breakfasts, lunches and snacks for athletes. All of these facilities are still in the designing phase and will have to be approved in all instances. Once this is done, we’ll be able to tell you everything in detail.
Disco parties will take place every Thursday evening. We will set up the DJ console right in the middle of the ice.
— Now that winter is approaching, what entertainment are you planning for the festive season and the New Year holidays?
— We’ll be the first to launch the winter season. The street art ice skating rink, 18,000 square metres in size, will open on 17 November. Every year the rink looks different, and this time we chose graffiti – street art that is at the peak of its popularity. Our best street artists will decorate the rink’s rental places and tills.
Apart from graffiti, artists will use popular drawings – stickers – on the interiors of rental places. There will be drawings even under the ice that occupies 3,500 square metres. We have never done this before! The ice will be illuminated in the evening and night hours by 33,000 LED lights. The rink will open at 7 pm with a performance by the Deep Fried Friends DJs, and the popular British band NZCA Lines will play for the guests at 9 pm. A food court will be open at the rink throughout the season. Skaters will be able to visit this place without taking off their skates.
There will be drawings even under the ice that occupies 3,500 square metres. We have never done this before! The ice will be illuminated in the evening and night hours by 33,000 LED lights.
We will install an artwork – the frozen fountain – in the centre of the skating rink. It is a replica of the summer fountain and has a height of eight metres and a diameter of 25 metres. We decided not to deprive our guests of their favourite fountain – the frozen replica will change colours day and night and will become an alternative to its summer version.
The skating rink will be connected by a convenient pedestrian bridge to the Garage Museum of Modern Art. This is a good combination of sports and culture.
Disco parties will take place every Thursday evening. We will set up the DJ console right in the middle of the ice. Sports training sessions and workshops with professional instructors will be organised on weekends, two or three times per week. Visitors will have an opportunity to warm up and get ready for skating.
We’ll keep last year’s ticket prices. Tickets for adults will cost from 200 to 550 roubles and for children from 150 to 250 roubles, depending on the time and day of the visit.
— Are ticket prices likely to rise?
— We’ll keep last year’s ticket prices. Tickets for adults will cost from 200 to 550 roubles and for children from 150 to 250 roubles, depending on the time and day of the visit. We have discounted tickets for some categories of visitors. Pensioners can enjoy a free session at the skating rink from 10 am to 3 pm every Tuesday. I advise frequent skaters to buy season tickets – they are less expensive.
This year, we did away with the deposit for renting skates to prevent queues for the sake of comfort. We have five rental pavilions for different categories of visitors. Those who have their own skates or the Troika travel card go to the fifth pavilion. Those who need to buy tickets and rent skates go to the first, second, third and fourth pavilions. Guests with e-tickets show them at the third and fourth pavilions. This season we added four tills, so there will be 15 in all.
A snowboarding hill will appear on Pushkinskaya Embankment. It will have several slopes from two to six metres high and 21 ramps.
— What else will there be among the park’s winter novelties?
— This winter, aside from DJ parties and figure skating workshops, we will offer our visitors snowboard slalom. A snowboarding hill will appear on Pushkinskaya Embankment in early December. It will have several slopes from two to six metres high and 21 ramps. But the most important thing is that it will be a hill with different course layouts. Every month we will change its configuration to give our permanent visitors the feeling of a brand new track. Professional snowboarders will conduct training sessions to music mixed by DJs.
A five-kilometre ski track will open at Vorobyovy Gory as soon as the snow cover is deep enough. And starting on 1 December, a tube slide consisting of two slopes, six metres and 12 metres high, will open at Muzeon. People will be able to borrow tubes at a rental point near the slide, or they can bring their own tubes and ride free of charge. Our plans also include a super long ski track from Vorobyoby Gory to Neskuchny Garden, though, in all probability, it will only appear next year.
Врез: For the first time, our main Christmas tree will be horizontal, not vertical, and will literally hover in the air. A structure with fir-tree branches fastened to it will be hung between the columns of the main entrance. It will sort of pierce through the colonnade and sail in the air.
— How will Gorky Park receive its guests during the New Year holidays?
— By the New Year holidays, all of the park’s areas will be decorated with festive illumination, lanterns and garlands. An art Christmas tree will be the park’s main attraction. For the first time, our main Christmas tree will be horizontal, not vertical, and will literally hover in the air. A structure with fir-tree branches fastened to it will be hung between the columns of the main entrance. It will sort of pierce through the colonnade and sail in the air. The hovering Christmas tree, 30 metres long, will be adorned with garland lights. There will be none like it in the city.
To greet the new year, we will stage a grand disco party. The DJ console will be installed right beneath the viewing platform at the main entrance, and Lenin Square will become a huge dance floor.
To greet the new year, we are planning to stage a grand disco party. The DJ console will be installed right beneath the viewing platform at the main entrance, and Lenin Square will become a huge dance floor. The fun and dancing will continue until 3 am.
New Year markets will keep their doors open for customers both on New Year’s Eve and during the entire New Year holidays, offering alcohol-free mulled wine, tea, honey, warm mittens and lots of New Year souvenirs.
— Last winter, Moscow parks launched the Night on the Ice Rink event when ice skaters could come and skate free of charge at night. Will we see it again this season?
— I hope that this wonderful tradition will continue. The Night on the Ice Rink will be conducted in late February or mid-March. The date is being finalised, as we need to coordinate it with all parks. Last year, this event turned out to be very popular. The night ice skating in Gorky Park, for example, drew more than 8,000 skaters.
We are planning to restore two rotundas and the musical arbour in the historic part of Gorky Park. In addition, we will restore two hothouses and complete Golitsyn Pond’s upgrade.
— And what park improvements are being planned in 2017?
— We are planning to restore two rotundas and the musical arbour in the historic part of Gorky Park. In addition, we will restore two hothouses and complete Golitsyn Pond’s upgrade. And at Vorobyovy Gory we want to repair part of the road and footpath network adjacent to the Southwestern Administrative Area, and renovate the bicycle path from Vorobyovy Gory to Neskuchny Garden. There won’t be any cardinal changes at Muzeon. All improvements there were finished last year. So what we need to do now is to ensure proper maintenance. We aren’t planning any global changes at Neskuchny Garden either. It’s a cultural heritage site with its own historical atmosphere, a wonderful place for a stroll. This year, for example, three pedestrian bridges there have been restored, becoming part of a new pedestrian route. Decorative lighting has been installed, and trees have been planted. The place has regained its authentic appearance. Next year, we will start upgrading Catherine Pond. Bringing entertainment infrastructure or sports facilities to Neskuchny Garden would only cause harm. I have no such plans.
We are currently working on navigation signs for Gorky Park, Neskuchny Garden and Vorobyovy Gory. They are likely to share a common design concept, but the colour pattern may vary depending on where a sign will be installed.
— What about common navigation signage for park areas? Will we see it soon?
— At Muzeon, navigation signs have already been installed, and we have no plans to change them. We are currently working on navigation signs for Gorky Park, Neskuchny Garden and Vorobyovy Gory. They are likely to share a common design concept, but the colour pattern may change depending on where a sign will be installed. To make it clear for our guests whether they are at Neskuchny Garden or Vorobyovy Gory, all navigation signs will be both in Russian and English.