Chief Project Architect at TPS Real Estate Artyom Okhmat took part in the Architect’s Breakfast held on May 23, as part of the XIX International Architecture and Design Tradeshow ARCH Moscow.
One of the main topics discussed by architects is quarter-wise development of Russian cities, which may replace the neighborhood principle of the urban environment organization that has so far been used. Mr. Okhmat expressed his concern over the negative perception of retail properties by general public and suggested a retail quarter as one variety of urban quarters. “Today the residential quarter represents roughly a 150 by 200 meters development spot. Talking about the shopping center, this is a quarter we occupy in its entirety, with shopping and pedestrian lanes stripped of motor traffic,” he noted. “Indoor weather conditions are always comfortable; there are entertainment zones and food courts where visitors have a high time, relaxing and socializing, not just shopping. I believe the shopping center can be rightly considered a modern quarter.”
Chief Moscow Architect Sergey Kuznetsov agreed that retail is an integral part of the urban environment, but he also mentioned the importance of its “friendliness” to the modern urban space. “It’s important for a retail quarter to shun egotism and aggressive promotion of merchandise for the sake of boosting the profits of retail property owners,” Mr. Kuznetsov emphasized. “Today even large shopping malls can be made friendly to the urban environment through the use of state of the art technologies. Retail must certainly be represented in urban development, but it ought to be organically fit into the urban environment that pedestrian traffic might not be cut off from the cityscape, confined to retail streets and properties.”