Community and Earth

Community and Earth / Lockhart Krause Architect / Australia, Sydney

Community and Earth / Lockhart Krause Architect / Australia


This scheme aims to provide a vibrant place for the community, and explores the idea of earth & history by cutting into the ground.

A community is a beautifully diverse and vibrant entity. Here on the Spartak site the project aims to provide a variety of activities and another rich place in the city where people can dance, celebrate and fall in love. The ground plane is comprised of two sides. The first, a open surface which is driven by a respect for the sites context, framing and supporting the beautiful church at the SW end. The large plaza is divided to create spaces for markets, celebrations, dancing, soccer, picnicking, sitting, entertainment & film. The second half of the ground plane provides programmed activities, such as ice skating, basketball, community farm/gardens, playgrounds, restaurant, bar & cafe which generate activity and support the main open plaza.

The earth contains a density of history . This history is key to a communities identity. Conceptually digging and upturning the ground reveals the past and allows the exploration of its historical artifacts. This change provides the opportunity to understand the past and move into the future. Here on the Spartak site linear lines are cut into the ground, providing light to the art gallery & museum below. The walls reflect the earth, red and warm in appearance. The museum wing sits on the NW, below the large public plaza containing both large and small spaces which house Yaroslavl’s historical artifacts. The contemporary art gallery sits beneath the ice‐rink, introducing light through the water above and provides a balance to this museums history, where artwork from the future can be displayed.

A new line of Deciduous (Acer platanoides) trees is proposed through the center of the site, strengthening the sense of a large avenue which frames the church. Underplanting of low native grasses (Sesleria autumnalis) and (Anemone nemorosa) flowers creates a softening at the ground plane and a balance in height.

The floor and seats of the plaza are proposed as hardwood timber, sourced locally, providing a softness and warmth to the large space.

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The museum and art gallery are divided into three main parts, the lines from the groundplane above cutting into the earth, introducing natural light to the two floors below ground. The spaces are organised around a central spine of circulation.

Arrival from escalators down into the first level reveals a large double height foyer which spans the length of the gallery wings. The foyer contains a linear body of water & sculptural staircase, light entering from above. This level houses the small object spaces & public learning facilities. 

The visitor then has the opportunity to move into the smaller gallery spaces, with more intimate experiences of the art or artifact. The journey continues down the sculptural staircase of the foyer and into the large object spaces where the level 1 galleries above ‘float’ like clouds over the surrounding warm red walls & floor.

In total the building houses 20,000sqm of internal space and 15,000sqm of park & community space on the groundplane.

Other museums and art galleries comparable in scale would include: Guggenheim Museum Bilboa, Spain 25,000sqm of internal space GOMA Brisbane, Australia with 25,000sqm
Ningboa Historical Museum in Ningboa, China with 30,000sqm

The Louvre in Paris, France with 60,000 sqm.

This internationally sized venue will undoubtedly contribute to Yarolslavl’s already vibrant community and propel the region into the future.


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DIAGRAM 1 ‐ The first step in regeneration of the site starts by conceptually ploughing the earth, cutting deep lines into the ground which upturn and reveal the sites history. Existing trees are maintained.

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DIAGRAM 2 ‐ These longitudinal ‘cuts’ embed the site in its context by connecting Church of the Saviour to the axis between Assumption Cathedral & Sovetskaya Square, creating a large public plaza. A new line of trees further strengthens this move.

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DIAGRAM 3 ‐ The final step is to conceptually rake the ground across the site, dividing it into smaller spaces for various community activities. Places for dancing, play, sport, picnicking & enjoying. These lines continue into the ground below providing skylights to the museum.


Using Large Deciduous trees (Acer platanoides), a large avenue is formed. These prominent trees are native to Western and central Russia will comfortable sit with the existing trees on the site.

Underplanting of low native grasses (Sesleria autumnalis) and spring flower (Anemone nemorosa) will create a woodland scene softening the strong lines created by the Esplanade and adding a height contrast at the base of the trees.

The planters also provide a screen to the adjacent public playspace but allow the visitor to views through so each zone within the space is connected.

A community garden has been added above the restaurant to once again strengthen community involvement but to also allow people to grow local produce and sell at the local market. The restaurant would use this to grow their own ingredients. Local herbs such as Buttercups, Thyme, Tarragon and Chamomile would be included.

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SITE SIZE: 180meters x 80 meters = 16,500m2


Lockhart Krause is a practice with the ability to engage in both small and large projects, with excellent fine‐grained experience & professional associations to complete large scale commercial projects through collaboration.

The team is comprised of four members:

  •   Jesse Lockhart‐Krause ‐ Registered Architect (no. 8950)
  •   Caiyen Tse ‐ Illustrator & 3D Artist
  •   Ksenia Totoeva ‐ Architect
  •   Chris Roberts Brewer ‐ Landscape ArchitectJesse is the director of Lockhart Krause Architects and currently works for Francis Jones Morehen Thorp architects, a large 80 person commercial firm based in Sydney Australia. Jesse works as a Architect on a variety of projects at the office, with indepth knowledge of highrise commercial, educational and public developments.

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