Парусное Судно / Nathaniel MacBain / USA, Roanoke
The centerpiece of the proposed design is inspired by the ships that have navigated the Volga for centuries. Yaroslavl’s unique situation along the Volga has brought with it both good fortune and great hardship. The historic importance of Yaroslavl and the quality of its people will never be diminished, nor will the ties that bind the destiny of this town to the irresistible dynamism of the great river be dissolved. This ship is not simply emblematic of the history of this town, but expresses the spirit and vested identity of a strong people moving forward; succeeding, innovating, and thriving in the best tradition of Yaroslavl.
The Vessel is proposed as a mixture of concrete and steel systems. Sophisticated construction methods would be required in order to achieve the integrity and beauty of the many lines which constitute the complex form of the concrete outer shell. Prominent features of the Vessel include substantial curtain wall systems and curvilinear wood panel partitions which envelope two performance spaces. The full program of the Vessel’s interior would also include three large gallery spaces for Art, Historic Artifacts, and Special Exhibits. Each space will be unique, since the design intent is to maintain structural and formal continuity between the interior and exterior of the Vessel. The height of the Vessel does not exceed 2 meters measured from the top-end of the former ravine.
The Vessel is positioned along-side a Pier which extends along the natural ravine embankment of the former athletics field. The stone-panel upper surface of the Pier connects the entryway of the Vessel to the regular foot traffic of the town. In so-doing, a sweeping and rigid public space is created. Tall posts interconnected with high tensile cable stand permanently to facilitate employment of banners, tents, or installations. The underside of the pier is glassed-in, providing all-season space for community events or large temporary exhibits. The posts of the Pier do not exceed the stated 2 meter requirement.
The main floor of the plaza is an undulating bed of cobblestones which slopes inward toward the foot of the Vessel. The many curved forms of the plaza floor define individual places on its continuous surface. The plaza wraps around the Vessel and ends at the Amphitheater.
This walkway lies opposite the Pier as a counterpart which extends north and connects with the World War II monument through a wide pedestrian tunnel beneath the Pl. Chelyuskintsev. Between the pedestrian tunnel and the monument are the proposed memorial steps. The Promenade is tiered with the lower level descending gradually as a continuous ramp, and the upper level descending at its termination with steps down to the plaza level. The length of the Promenade is cadenced with the same tall posts and high-tensile cables as the Long Pier.
Steps which rise from the level of the Promenade, to the level of the Eternal Flame are proposed. In so doing, it is intended that a strong link is created between the new plaza spaces of the Vessel, the historic axis of the two adjacent churches and the rest of the town. It is proposed that the walls bounding the steps be inscribed with the imagery and history of the people of Russia prior to, during, and following the Great World Wars – serving as a contemplative place before the ascent to the Eternal Flame.