Since 2006 Erick van Egeraat advises GUTA Development in its strategic redevelopment of the characteristic industrial heritage Red October Factory in Moscow. The former chocolate factory is located on Bolotny Island in the Moskva River, in close proximity to the Kremlin, the re-built Christ the Saviour Cathedral, key cultural institutions such as the Pushkin Museum, Tretyakov Modern and the Tretyakov Gallery, as well as the recently renewed Gorki Park.
The client’s objective was to maximise the potential of the site, and to develop the value of the property in a manner that would consistently work throughout different economic circumstances. Since 2006 Erick van Egeraat and the client have researched various comparable urban developments, first local and later international developments in European cities and New York City. This research showed that during the transition from industrial use to a new integrated urban purpose, a transitional program of alternative functions (arts, restaurants and nightlife, start-ups etc.) played a key role in creating an intermediate identity and value for the area.
Such an active alternative program was introduced to the Red October grounds as well, creating an active and well-visited new scene in the heart of the capital, with relatively modest investment. The intermediate program has proven to be so successful that it is at the moment prevailing over further development of the site. In the future, it will prove a valuable basis for future implementation of additional residential, commercial and cultural program in existing and in new buildings. Due to this injection of cultural and leisure facilities, the area is now a unique and vital element in Moscow’s city life, and has set a standard that is now being repeated in Moscow and beyond.