In the middle of the last century in urban architecture there appeared a new direction – urban environment design.
This direction implies complex formation of city public areas that are situated at the level of the ground floor of city building up and provide city population with vital activity.
Basic elements that are used for city public areas formation are small and large architectural landscape elements. Historically first appeared the notion of landscape elements that treated elements of street furniture and equipment only as separate components of architecture of city public areas. But later it turned out that it is impossible to form highly comfortable urban environment with the help of separate architectural compositions and works. That is why in large cities they started to develop an idea of integrated approach to city environment design formation. The municipalities of large and small cities where growing up quickly work out programmes of complex beautification of public areas. Realization of these programmes provides for the use of modern and high-quality small and large architectural landscape elements and other elements of complex beautification for planning and designing of the most daring projects of urban environment. But already at present almost each project has the central composition solution formed with the help of monumental sculpture. Let us take a closer look at this notion.
Sculpture is a kind of art which is based on the principle of solid presentation of some subject. Mostly people, more seldom animals and even more seldom nature or things become objects of sculptural presentation. Monumental sculpture is meant for a particular architectural and spatial or natural surrounding. It usually addresses the masses and is bound to specify an architectural image and to supplement expression of architectural forms with new shades. Modern architecture adds to monumental compositions decoration function. That is why they often speak about monumental and decorative sculpture. The ability of monumental and decorative sculpture to solve complex ideological and vivid tasks opens to full extent in the works that are considered monumental. We refer to such works city monuments, memorial constructions.
Creation of monumental sculpture takes a lot of time and efforts. The process can be divided into several stages:
1. Modelling of plasticine or clay sketch, confirmation of the sketch by the customer.
2. Making of carcass for the big sculpture.
3. Work on the model in reference dimension.
4. Making a plaster cast of clay model.
5. Creation the original sculpture of stone or moulding of metal with further embossing.
All these stages are not always observed in the process of sculpture creation. But anyway most of the projects that are made to order undergo this sequence.
As an example of the role a monumental sculpture can play in urban environment design let us study Rotunda in Pushkin Square in Krasnoyarsk City.
Pushkin Square in Krasnoyarsk City is located at the intersection of Kirova Street with Mira Avenue. The square received its name thanks to neighbouring Drama Theatre named after Pushkin. The square was known as place for the youth festivals where they drank spirits. That is why in 2008 in the context of planned beautification of the city it was decided that there square would be reconstructed. The design was based on project by Areg Sarkissovich Demirkhanov and consisted in creation of a rotunda with a sculptural representation of Pushkin reading poetry to his wife Natalie Goncharova. The sculptural composition was created by Konstantin Melatdinovich Zinich. According to the author’s idea the square had to bear deep ideological meaning together with decoration function. The youth drinking spirits in the square should feel uncomfortable because of the disharmony between the wish to have a drink, to chat about trifles and the picture from the life of a famous classic poet represented in monumental architectural construction. All these should generate idea of correct behaviour, meaning of life, wish to learn more about Pushkin’s life.
No wonder that some inhabitants loathe this monument which is caused by contrast between the past of the square and the architectural idea of the renewed square. Nevertheless it is nice to see that the main visitors of the sculptural composition are couples with little children and newlyweds. First of all, this must change negative impression on the square named after the great poet that appeared among the people. Secondly, this should arouse in people interest in Pushkin’s life and creative work.
It is pleasant that modern city government has time to correct similar negative stereotypes built about some nooks of urban environment and to leave less and less places in the city that have ill fame. And it is twice as pleasant that such work is often done with the help of urban environment design that uses various architectural instruments (such as monumental sculpture and architectural landscape elements). And, vice versa, it is unpleasant that public accepts badly such care of the city government.