Open-air Moscow

If greenery is the theme of the year, Moscow has certainly made the trend its own. The entire city seems immersed in a relaxing, natural, reinvigorating green atmosphere. Now more than never before, the streets of the city are festooned with green, transforming the various districts into places where one can enjoy life outside, regardless of the season. It’s a trend that is now being seen in the domestic setting, where a focus on outdoor furniture – in all its guises – is increasingly en vogue.

It all stems from the 22bn-rouble “Moja Ulitsa” [My Street] project, launched by the city council in 2014 in order to regenerate the urban environment. By the end of the year, 59 streets, 49 parks and 14 recreational areas and riverside walks will have completely changed the face of the city.

The length and breadth of the project has attracted some of the big international names, not least Design Strelka. A number of renowned architectural figures have contributed to the rebirth of what is one of the world’s great capitals, including Dutch studio West 8, Okra, Snøhetta, Martha Schwartz Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Djao-Rakitine.

It is clear that the Russian capital is already moving towards a more modern, environmentally sustainable urban lifestyle. Green spaces, open areas and direct contact with nature are key elements in daily life, while in the domestic setting these have meant a boost for the outdoor sector, especially in residential projects.

While the climate of Moscow might have made it impossible to spend more time living outside, the most popular solution is that of winter gardens and verandas, with furniture brands from Italy and around the world producing a wide range of creative ideas to that effect.

Self-supporting gazebos, customisable with venetian blinds, curtains, panels and canopies, are transforming external spaces into areas interconnected with the home, allowing style and comfort to run through the domestic sphere. There is no better example of this than Pavilions, by Spanish brand Kettal, which combine stunning aesthetic lightness with structural solidity.

Tuuci’s Cabanas, available in Armor-Wall aluminium or dura-TEAK, provide similar islands of comfort.

Modulo, by Gandiablasco, provides a modern take on the traditional wooden pergola thanks to its anodised aluminium structure. The brand also presents a contemporary version of the classic “winter garden” through its Cristal Box, a fully insulated “box” which allows you to enjoy the landscape in absolute comfort.

The trend is generating a range of sophisticated furniture solutions which extend the internal living space, without compromising on care and attention to detail when it comes to design. Some external solutions are directly inspired by the style and comfort of indoors, but simply created using materials and designs that make it possible to be at one with nature. The perfect example of this is Paolalenti, who over many years in the sector have transformed the concept of outdoor living to create solutions that become an integral part of the landscape. Similarly, Exteta’s latest collection – 10th by Massimo Castagna – channels contemporary elegance into a collection defined by bold shaping and imposing materials.