The city’s reflection is its symbol. Canonic views of cities such as New York, Sydney or Venice are inseparable from their reflection in a body of water.

Through the reflection of Kazan in its lakes we propose to envision the growth and development of the city. The proposal consists of two strategies for the formation of the lakes’ coastline and their use.

The first strategy is referred to as ‘the coastal silhouette’. A new treasure map of the Kaban lakes is created by enhancing their architectural identity. Dominant focal points appear among the lakes creating a distinct image of Kazan as a vibrant, vigorously evolving city.

The next strategy is referred to as ‘Kayma’. Kayma is a word which exists only in Russian and Tatar, and translates as a beautiful ornamental strip along the perimeter of a textile or carpet.

In this case Kayma is the coastline of the Kaban lakes. By colourfully defining this border, we draw attention of the inhabitants of Kazan to the Kaban lakes and create a recognisable system of identity. The proposed Kayma pattern is influenced, though not borrowed, from traditional Tatar motifs.

Several colours and patterns are used to distinguish various functions of the coastline. The patterns include materials such as paving stones, greenery, water, wood decking and other landscaping elements which are combined in an unusual order. Each lake has its own ornament, which becomes part of a comfortable navigation system.

Collaboration: Burgos & Garrido, Russian Research Group
Architecture: Olga Treivas, Vera Odyn, Irina Mihailova, Rustam Nasriddinov, Elena Borisova, Denis Agafonov, Julia Semkova, Asya Baranova, Vlada Radionova
Client: Republic of Tatarstan
Project Status: Competition
Year: 2015

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  • Since old times the lakes are surrounded by mystery. There is a legend about treasures that lie on the bottom. People were trying to find them by looking into abyss. We have found this legendary treasure — it wasn’t under the water, but on its surface. The treasure of Kaban Lakes is Kazan’s reflection itself.

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  • Every lake has its own unique look. Like a mirror one can see what Kazan is famous for: culture and art at Nizhny Kaban,sport and business at Sredny Kaban and beauty of nature in Verkhny Kaban

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  • The idea is illustrated best in the concept of stage one. It can be seen in the improvement of enbankments, squares, Kamal’s Theatre, Millenium of Kazan park, Khadi Takasha Enbankment reconstruction.

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