The uniqueness of the place and the ethical and aesthetic responsibility for living in the place in parity with nature are realized by the authors as a strategic worldview based on natural processes that are sustainable in their development.
The language of architecture of the viewing platform, addressed to the nature of the living, is a biomimetic aesthetic that has an artistic potential, which is a bridge that allows one to explore and combine the natural and the artificial. The most important object of our perception in this place is nature itself: the Yenisei River, the spurs of the Sayan Mountains, and a cozy pine forest through which we get to the riverside.
These key magnets, in which unique and large-scale man-made objects are inscribed—a hydroelectric power station, a ship lift, and an automobile bridge—form a meaningful, emotional component of the territory. The site is adjacent to the R-257 “Yenisei” highway, along which regional tourist routes pass, including visits to the site near the hydroelectric power station. The arrangement of the territory is provided from the highway to the bank of the Yenisei.
There is a parking lot and a public toilet along the road. On the landscape ledge, there is a platform for visitors with a pavilion of cafes and souvenirs. The walking path, starting from the cafe, descends by a ramp with a comfortable slope to the main level of the embankment to a wide walking alley, which is directed to the key compositional axis of the object. The alley passes through a pine forest saturated with the aroma of pine needles, preparing visitors for the panoramas of the riverside.
The architectural composition of the object is based on the relationship between two structural systems of different materials: a metal spatial structure and a reinforced concrete base, a podium. The image of the viewing platform, generated by natural associations, and its biomimetic metal structure, conditionally defined in space as a Möbius strip with the descent of one of its stairs down and the rise of the other up, are formed as a certain scenario of visual activities connected with the process of movement along the viewing platform.
Walking along it, we start with a view of the automobile bridge, then, with a change in viewing angle, we look at the opposite bank with the route of a unique ship lift located on it, and further along the movement, we turn to the hydroelectric power station itself. Completing the movement along the ring of the viewing platform, we go down. Here, the metal structure interacts with the base, inscribed in a kind of landscape consisting of large rocky stones scattered along the coastal strip.
The complex solution of the podium combines the foundation supports of the viewing platform and several zones in space that make up the elements of the environmental eventfulness of walks along the lower level: an amphitheater and a staircase to the water; a kind of “delight” zone under the “arch” of the viewing platform console; and a place with an information wall dedicated to the history of the construction of hydroelectric power station.
This concrete wall is adapted into a pile of shore stones, creating a protected corner, which is proposed to be completed with simple sawn timber elements that act as benches, creating a cozy area for contemplation or a solitary dialogue. From the coastal level back to the upper one, we climb another staircase leading to the central alley and again find ourselves in a pine forest.
Each of the space elements of the two structures has its own different properties, viewpoints, and states, thanks to which, on the site, as in a “theatre”, a performance of interaction with the place is played out, filled with the maximum amount of emotions, meanings, and impressions.
Having tactilely felt natural textures and felt the breadth and energy of human deeds in the form of a long linear “wall” of a hydroelectric power station that unites two banks, perceiving linear visual connections of such a scale, we will be filled with content in a new way by the words “Siberia”, “Yenisei”, “Sayan Mountains” and “Taiga”.
The cantilever structural-spatial parametric design of the viewing platform is formed from integrated horizontal and vertical spatial frames made of steel elements, profiles, and pipes. The design solution allows the steel frame to be divided into seven assembly segments and fabricated on slipways in the factory, ensuring the quality of parts manufacturing and quick prefabricated assembly at the construction site.
The floor grating, tubular handrail, and glass railing fasteners are made of aluminum and assembled to the steel frame on site. The viewing platform has architectural lighting and individual lighting design programs that form everyday and festive scenarios of dynamic lighting in accordance with the composition of the object and the rhythms of the movement of visitor.
Location: Yenisei River, Russia
Author, chief architect: Alexey Myakota
Co-author, architect: Lidiia Gribakina
Chief engineer: Elena Elizarova
Project Year: 2022-2023
Images: Courtesy of OOO “ADM”