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Staraya Russa design code

Task: to give a town back its authenticity.

Staraya Russa is a an old Russian town. It has wonderful old houses and the nature that makes you want to bring all the artists there just so they can draw it.

In short, Staraya Russa is love.

Now the town has its own design code that is infinitely gentle to the essence of this place. It preserves its postcard-like quality and authenticity but also saves from everything that is unnecessary.

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To develop a good and thoughtful design code, we conducted a huge study. Architects and designers made frequent trips to Staraya Russa, walking along its streets and parks and talking to locals about what they adore in the town and what they would like to change.

Local residents love Dostoevsky and are proud of the fact that he lived here. They appreciate the old age of the town and think it could attract tourists from all over the world who would come to see the beauty of real Russia.

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All the painstaking work culminated in creating the design code. We came up with so many rules for town improvement that the code has almost 300 pages! It is a document of a truly incredible scale.

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It’s hard to imagine any modern city without shop signs, information posters and advertising banners. The new rules explain how to make these signs discreet and unobtrusive. Buildings of Staraya Russa are going to be transformed.

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The town has wonderful old architecture that is endlessly interesting to examine. Naturally, future buildings should be just as beautiful. The new rules explain in detail what should be built, how it should look and what architectural solutions to choose.

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Another important point relates to restoration. Many façades in the town have been touched by time: they contain history, they contain old life. They need to be restored carefully, maintaining their imperfection that embodies their true beauty.

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The atmosphere of Staraya Russa is quiet, almost rustic. This atmosphere is created by nature: the river, trees and bushes, wild-growing grass.

Usually, when urban improvement projects get started, the first instinct is to level and comb down everything: let’s make sure all trees grow in straight lines! But in the case of Staraya Russa there is no need to level anything. On the contrary, this scenic beauty should be maintained and nurtured. Let the untouched (or very carefully touched) grass stay, let the wild flowers continue to grow.

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After implementing the design code, Staraya Russa will become one of the most cordial towns in Russia. A town where you would want to bring a girl on a date, where you would come to spend a couple of melancholic autumn days, where you wold want to wander and think about the eternal.

Staraya Russa will be infinitely beautiful.

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