How can the shoreline of the city of Lomonosov (aka Amber Beach) be transformed into an attractive, inclusive and sustainable public space? The coastline at Lomonosov, a city near St Petersburg, is an isolated area that lacks a sense of ownership. The local residents want to turn this 'space into a place'.
By using the language of imagination, the methodology of place-making and through storytelling, the Waterfront project (Street Art Research Institute) in St Petersburg and artist collective Observatorium from Rotterdam are, step-by-step, transforming the present and future of the Amber Beach and together with local residents turn it into the Sea of Orange.
Stories become objects.
Objects turn a space into a place.
The place is owned by the local people.
The people clean up the beach.
The beach becomes a new waterfront park.
The park is called 'Sea of Orange'.
The goal of the project is to raise curiosity for contemporary public art and its different meanings and to adress a new urban ecology. It is about providing knowledge and hands-on tools for creating works in public space of a high quality in accordance with local dreams and experiences. We subscribe to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The Sea of Orange is the prelude to the future transformation of the site into a recreational and cultural spot on the waterfront with a new kind of biodiversity (what is good for flora & fauna is good for people).
Although we had to postpone the project for over a year, the world wide Covid 19 pandemic made us realise, all the more so, how important it is to take care of our planet and our fellow citizens.
The Palace of Menshikov and its park in Lomonosov were built hundreds of years ago and one was only permitted to enter if he was a part of the rich and famous class — the nobility. The buildings and the park had no direct access to the sea. The Sea of Oranget is about creating, what Observatorium calls, a 'built proposal': a first imaginative step in transformation.
The Sea of Orange will be the counterpart of the Menshikov Palace and park. Open for all people and with easy access to the sea and the waterfront. The similarity between the old and the new, however, is that through the park/landscape design, the artworks and the pavilions, both places will trigger the imagination. We will build a landart project and thus create a new seashore park that addresses the rising sea-levels and biodiversity.
The history of the palace and the city of Lomonosov is being transferred by books, poetry and storytelling. For the Sea of Orange we will start a collection of stories that will become the heritage of the future and, at the same time, a guide for future additions to the park. All the team members envision that through the Sea of Orange project ultimately the waterfront will be adorned with extraordinary artworks and/or pavilions set in a contemporary, biodiverse maritime parkscape.
The objective is to create a 'tidal park' in which a new kind of biotope appears (as an example for the whole region and especially the city center itself). The tidal park as the counterpoint to the the ponds in the palace park. A visit from 2021 on to Lomonosov will entail a visit to the Old Palace and the New Park by the sea.
The Sea of Orange project is also a cultural exchange between Russia and the Netherlands, between the sister-cities St Petersburg and Rotterdam, between the Waterfront project and Observatorium. It is a project to learn from each other and to give new insights in how to deal with waterfronts around cities and how to transform them with local residents into attractive, inclusive and sustainable public spaces.
One day a fantastic ship appeared on the horizon of the sea. It was in 2020, near the city of Lomonosov, that once was called Oranienbaum. The ship was loaded with color, light, sound and 'crazy people'. The ship’s name was: the Sea of Orange. People set foot on the beach and started to build a fire, a tree, a slide and at night they had a festive barbeque. After one week more ships arrived and people from all over the world came to admire all the ships and boats. The Sea of Orange attracted many people, and they wondered about the imaginative way how the 'crazy people' turned a once desolated and dirty beach from 'a space into a place'.