The industrial company Mazda-Sollers public space “City inside the city” concept is based on the idea of creating a place which will meet the users’ request for urban environment quality in this industrial area. The number of persons employed is prominent and amounts to 1500. The social survey was conducted to develop the project program, and it helped to find out some hidden, but important regularities, interconnections, processes and behavior patterns. Some of the remarkable requests were open-air daily briefings and other corporate events, lunch break walks, positive attitude to music on the factory site, sympathy for Japanese culture. The informational support helped to make highly reasonable decisions in the design process.
The discovered tendencies do not obliterate the diversity of user types and activity patterns (also affirmed by the staff members) and this is making a factory resembling a small city in its community structure. This idea formed the basis for the whole project and is reflected in its name – “City inside the city”. Space comprises three archetypical areas which can be found in any city around the globe – the Street, the Square, and the Public Garden.
“The Street” is represented as an arranged transit with a parking space adjacent to pedestrian routes but not overlapping with them. The client organization supported our initiative to organize the driveway and pedestrian path from the nearest bus stop. The measures for implementing this included curb stones replacement, setting up zebra crossing with the safety island and marking for cars and lorries. The public space of “the Street” area is intended to be used for the vibrant communication in the groups of people; its territory is adjacent to a parking space but is separated from it with greenery in the concrete planters. The hardscape element “World Cultures” is placed in this area: the central garden-bed with a huge willow tree is surrounded by the seating places with variable width which can be occupied by several groups of people for the conversation in a friendly environment (with an opportunity to sit knee to knee). Copper medallions with the largest car companies’ logotypes and their founders’ quotations engraved on them are integrated into wooden and concrete covers. The location atmosphere is supported by the sound of an internet-radio, which changes the broadcasting station randomly from the given multilingual list every 10 minutes.
The next area – “Square” – is a space in front of the entrance to the factory building designed for running corporate events, such as traditional for Mazda-Sollers company Family day where the employees are cheerfully taking part with their children, family members, and dear ones. There is a stage, which can be used as a seating place when it’s not used for its intended purpose. The square is accented by three tall two-headed street lamps. Also, there is a large fir-tree planted here to be decorated during the New Year holidays. The bordering transit has a draw-in for dumping loads and placing food trucks during holding events. Stainless steel electrical distribution boxes are placed here and near the stage to plug-in equipment. The square is separated from the traffic area by the sakura parkway: two rows of trees are planted checkerwise to achieve the visual density while saving transparency. Some of the trees are placed into circular planters with seating surfaces and built-in lighting.
The concept of the third area – “The Public Garden” – is based on the idea of Russian-Japanese collaboration and cultural exchange. The image of the landscaping elements is replicating the sceneries from the pictures of famous Russian and Japanese painters: Isaak Levitan, Ivan Shishkin, Arkhip Kuinji, Koukei Kojima, Katsushika Hokusai, Gensou Okuda. Garden pathways are represented as an oddly shaped flooring structure for “wandering” walks and rest. The main transits leading visitors from the bus stop to the main entrance are made in concrete. The designated smoking area with a windscreen is provided aside from the main routes, closer to the facade. And the jewel in the crown of this area is a canopy with bleacher seatings for holding daily briefings and other meetings.
The company products information panels are also included in the public space area. It should be noted that the area is open for citizens even though it’s a factory’s private land. All the objects and structures are designed and manufactured by the Concrete Jungle company. The best practices of algorithmic design and digital production are used in work performance.