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Design

In Putin's Moscow, an Urban Wilderness Emerges

Architects Liz Diller and Charles Renfro talk about their latest high-profile commission, a weather-bending (and politically charged) city park in the heart of the Russian capital.
A rendering of Zaryadye Park, now under construction in the Moscow. "You can lose yourself in the park and the city disappears," says co-designer Charles Renfro.
A rendering of Zaryadye Park, now under construction in the Moscow. "You can lose yourself in the park and the city disappears," says co-designer Charles Renfro. DS+R

At their hangar-like office in Manhattan, the architects Liz Diller and Charles Renfro click through a slideshow displaying enormous, fantastically shaped structures embedded into a hilly landscape. The renderings depict 32-acre Zaryadye Park in Moscow, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), the studio they lead with partner Ricardo Scofidio. The celebrated architects enthusiastically describe the various cultural and civic amenities now under construction, which will include a large glass concert hall for the city’s philharmonic, an open-air museum that will feature multimedia displays of Moscow’s history, and a grassy outdoor amphitheater capable of seating 5,000 people.

Zaryadye is the first major new park built in Moscow in the past 50 years; with a price tag reported to land between $390 million and $480 million, it will be