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Wowhaus:The adaptation of large urban areas to public spaces that are actively used by residents is not only political actions to create a comfortable environment for citizens, but also a way to strategically manage the city and its long-term development. Here’s the case of the gradual transformation of the historical center of the city of Tula.


courtesy of Wowhaus
courtesy of Wowhaus


图拉历史中心的复兴——城市复愈实践 Revitalization of the historical center of Tula – Urban Therapy practice.

Wowhaus于2018年实施的城市改造项目,最终使克里姆林宫围墙附近的一条14公顷的堤岸空间回归到大众视野,这条堤岸几个世纪以来一直处于工厂封闭区。而与之毗邻的历史街区Metallistov Street,曾一度沦为城市发展的边缘地带,现已成为旅游基础设施完备的博物馆区。考虑到现代城市中心的功能发展,我们设法挖掘这片闲置历史中心的潜力,实行片区振兴计划,并为其赋予社会功能,本项目的推行在整个城区内引发了大规模的变化。

The project was implemented by Wowhaus in 2018. As a result of the transformations in the city, a new embankment appeared near the Kremlin walls (14 hectares), which was located in the closed territory of the factory for several centuries. The adjacent historic Metallistov Street, which existed on the periphery of city life, has turned into the Museum Quarter with all the necessary tourist infrastructure. We managed to reveal the huge potential of the historical center, which was previously in a functional vacuum; revive the territory, densely saturate it with social functions, without which the center of a modern city is inconceivable. The transformation of the historic center immediately launched large-scale changes in the entire city and region.


courtesy of Wowhaus



The investment attractiveness and the price of real estate around the Embankment have grown significantly. Branches of four federal museums have opened in the Museum Quarter: the State Historical Museum, the Polenovo Museum-Reserve, Yasnaya Polyana Museum  and Kulikovo Pole Museum. Local business representatives began to reconstruct other historical buildings located here and adapt them for galleries, hotels, cafes, restaurants, coffee shops, souvenir shops and other infrastructure necessary for tourists and local residents. Courtyards on Metallistov Street revived: chamber studios, cafes, restaurants appeared there. The oxbow of the river was cleaned and filled with water, all engineering networks were brought up, which created comfortable conditions for business.


courtesy of Wowhaus



Thus, from a deserted space, the central part of the city has turned into a function-rich and popular point of attraction for citizens and tourists. Moreover, Tula, which has never been a tourist city before, for 3 years has become one of the most popular weekend trips for residents of Moscow and the Moscow region (more than 10 travel guides to Tula have been published from all leading mass media in Moscow and the Russian Federation). The total tourist inflow in the city increased from 828 thousand people (2018, the year the Kazanskaya embankment was opened) to 1 million people (2019), and in 2020, the year of the pandemic, the figure increased to 1 135 000 people.


courtesy of Wowhaus



It is quite possible that thanks to this effect, the development strategy of Tula in relation to Moscow will be able to change. And even – let’s take it more broadly – this experience will affect the relationship between a small city and the largest metropolitan area in the zone of influence of which it is located (most often they became destructive for a small city). Thanks to such consistent transformations, it seems to us that Tula has a chance out of unequal relations (Moscow pulling people and other resources) into partnerships (exchange of resources, tourism, balance between people who come and go). Given the convenient rail accessibility (3 hours, and soon it will be 1.5 hours by Sapsan high-speed train), such a balanced relationship could lead to economic growth in Tula.


courtesy of Wowhaus


城市变革实践 City Change Practice


The Kazan embankment by the Tula Kremlin was a closed industrial zone for several centuries which has practically turned into an abandoned territory, a black hole in the very heart of the city. In 2018, as a result of renovation, the historical part of Tula is set to turn into a cultural centre interesting for residents and tourists.


▼原堤岸条件 Condition of the original embankment


▼修复后的堤岸 The restored embankment

courtesy of Wowhaus
courtesy of Wowhaus


目标 Objective


To revitalise the historical part of the city: to use the potential of the embankment as much as possible and find key functions for the city centre surrounding it in order to significantly increase the quality of the urban environment. Propose simple, but fundamentally new scenarios for the residents thanks to which 15 hectares of land will transform from a poorly organized territory into a welcoming public space.


courtesy of Wowhaus
courtesy of Wowhaus
courtesy of Wowhaus


解决方案 Solution


In order to understand how a territory three times as big as the Tula Kremlin functions, it is necessary to revise the strategy of its use. The long embankment cannot exist separately to the rest of the city: the walking route along the former river-bed of the Upa river becomes a part of the new system of pedestrian areas with several semantic centres – a museum quarter, a pedestrian street with shops and cafes and also the Kremlin territory which is becoming more accessible due to a new entrance.


courtesy of Wowhaus


改造工程 Reconstruction project

克里姆林宫城墙附近的公园 Park near the Kremlin walls


The territory of the embankment with a total area of 12 hectares was used by the Tula arms factory for a long time and was closed for residents. Now it is back to the fabric of the city.The new life of the embankment had been started with cleaning and filling the former river-bed with water, cleaning the territory from weeds and chaotically built maintenance buildings. A landscape park is designed on the bank of the Upa river with easy access to the water and pedestrian bridges.


▼清理并加固河床 Clean and reinforce the embankment

courtesy of Wowhaus


▼人行天桥 Pedestrian bridge

courtesy of Wowhaus
courtesy of Wowhaus


▼亲水步道 Hydrophilic trails

courtesy of Wowhaus
courtesy of Wowhaus



Walking zones, a cafe, a summer stage, children’s and sports areas is located between the river and the Kremlin wall. The new embankment became a recreational zone of a city-wide significance, a place for fun, walking, city-wide events and seasonal fairs. The embankment has finally opened another entry to the Tula Kremlin.


courtesy of Wowhaus
courtesy of Wowhaus


Krestovozdvizhenskaya广场——步行区 Krestovozdvizhenskaya square – a pedestrian area


The square became a self-sufficient centre of attraction for residents and visitors of the city, a sort of open foyer of the museum complex of the Tula Kremlin and the museum quarter on Metallistov street. The entrance to the Kremlin from the side of the square is restored and equipped for people with disabilities so as to meet all modern requirements.


courtesy of Wowhaus
courtesy of Wowhaus
courtesy of Wowhaus


Metallistov街的新面貌 New look of Metallistov Street


Metallistov Street, the former Pyatnitskaya Street, is one of the oldest streets in the city. In the XVIII century it was among the first streets to be paved, but today it is not in the best condition and ended up on the periphery of urban events.Now the entire street is pedestrian with the possibility of passing special-purpose motor vehicles. All dilapidated communications are renewed to create conditions for the existence of the future museum quarter.


courtesy of Wowhaus
courtesy of Wowhaus



The street is filled with a large number of architectural monuments of the XIXth century. They are now being restored and the street, along with the Tula Kremlin, became an important symbol of the city and a new tourist and recreational city centre.


courtesy of Wowhaus


减轻交通负荷 Reducing transport load


In order to open the central part of the city for residents, the transport scheme are changed: the traffic streams from the Metallistov street are redirected to nearby streets. This decision is justified by a research which showed that the amount of traffic in the city centre will be decreasing in the coming years due to a new bridge.


courtesy of Wowhaus
courtesy of Wowhaus


改造博物馆 Transforming the museum quarter


The museum quarter is one of the most interesting points of the renovated centre. Representatives of the Tula region museums will form the base of the quarter. The ground floors of the other buildings were supposed to be occupied by shops and cafes, educational facilities, hotels and offices above. Now cultural institutions are finishing with construction, but before that inner spaces and courtyards were improved, these are places for children activities, additional exhibitions and special events. Do the reconstruction of the main streets in the quarter caused some local initiatives and projects that make the city vibrant.


▼原街区条件 Condition of the street


▼博物馆街区 Museum block 

courtesy of Wowhaus


▼博物馆街区夜景 Museum block night

courtesy of Wowhaus


▼堤岸夜色 Night scene of embankment

courtesy of Wowhaus
courtesy of Wowhaus


▼总平面图 Site plan

courtesy of Wowhaus


▼博物馆街区 Museum block

courtesy of Wowhaus


▼堤岸分析图 Embankment analyse

courtesy of Wowhaus




项目名称: 克里姆林宫喀山堤岸公共空间综合设计
项目地点: 俄罗斯 图拉
总面积: 14.4公顷
水体面积: 1.4公顷
绿化面积: 6.2公顷
建筑面积: 0.07公顷
建设时间: 2017 – 2018年
客户: OOO “Tulskaya Naberezhnaya”
工作室负责人: Dmitry Likin 、Oleg Shapiro
项目经理: Svetlana Salushcheva
首席建筑师: Mikhail Kozlov
建筑师: Maria Khokhlova, Anastasia Izmakova, Anna Karneeva, Marina Pakhomova, Kristina Rykova, Jan Freese
总体规划专家: Nina Smirnova, Alexandra Nikulnikova, Lyubov Peretokina
项目总工程师: Alexey Zhirkov, Alexey Pavlov
景观设计: Natureform

Project: Complex public design of the Kremlin (Kazan embankment)
Address: Tula
Total area: 14.4 hectares
Area of water bodies: 1.4 hectares
Green area: 6.2 hectares
Building area: 0.07 hectares
Construction: 2017-2018
Client: OOO “Tulskaya Naberezhnaya”
Studio directors: Dmitry Likin and Oleg Shapiro
Project manager: Svetlana Salushcheva
Leading architect: Mikhail Kozlov
Architects: Maria Khokhlova, Anastasia Izmakova, Anna Karneeva, Marina Pakhomova, Kristina Rykova, Jan Freese
Specialist of the Master Plan section: Nina Smirnova, Alexandra Nikulnikova, Lyubov Peretokina
Chief project engineer: Alexey Zhirkov, Alexey Pavlov
Landscape architecture: Natureform



审稿编辑: Simin

更多 Read more about: Wowhaus