Year: 2021

Location: Kaluga Oblast, Nikola-Lenivets

Client: Competition

Area: 35 sq.m.

Status: Concept/ short-list

Team: Sergey Markov, Aleksey Afonichkin, Rita Selkova, Katya Mezentseva, Anastasia Medvedeva


The art installation “Starting point” was developed for an open competition held by Nikola-Lenivets Art park of Russia and made it to the short-list. The project was presented as a children's illustrated book (full title is "Nick in Nikola Or the "Starting point"") — in order to begin a conversation about serious things, yet avoid ambiguity. 

Starting a conversation about inclusion, we are primarily referring to the value of a human life. The main goal behind the “Starting point” is to encourage visitors to reconsider things that seem to come naturally: the environment, the way of life and all the things that are being taken for granted. 


The name of the object is a metaphor: the installation intends to become a “point” of reference of the park function in gas an exclusively accessible environment for different people with different needs and abilities.


The “Starting point” is an architectural object, available for tactical, visual and sound perception. Due to the variety of the object’s comprehension ways, every visitor, regardless of abilities, age or origin is able to be engaged with the ideological content of the structure, to one extent or another.

The object’s own features and the references to the recognizable symbols of the Art Park form its perception, which absorbes the whole Nikola-Lenivets and starts a new lap in its development (twig-vine refers to the most famous objects, the Bobur to mention one, the white color reminds of the Brodsky Rotunda, the black color in the interior is a dispatch to the Bernaskoni Arch, the “pyramids” of acoustic foam prompt to Villa PO-2; everyone is free to suggest their own interpretation).

The dimensions and materials of the facility ensure its accessibility and safety. 

Contrasting materials solutions visually enhance the effect, and different textures are engaging by touch. The bearing structure is performed as a wooden frame, the interior is faced with acoustic foam panels to achieve utmost soundproofing effect.

Inside the structure, a visitor finds themselves in an unusual condition in a state of semi-darkness and complete silence. A sudden change in the environment sharpens all the senses of perception; this is an isolated place where a person is in absolute emptiness.

The story of the tale hero, Nick, in a way that all the children’s books do, conveys an important life lesson: it is essential to remember that no matter how different we come into the world, or however diverged we become–a person’s life is equally precious and unique.