Ronaldo, Arshavin and Medvedeva help launch Box MSK in Gorky Park
Brazil football icon Ronaldo and Russia legend Andrey Arshavin joined Olympic figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva and hundreds of Moscow youngsters at the opening of Box MSK - Nike’s vibrant new sports and cultural centre in Gorky Park.
The innovative multi-purpose space opened on Tuesday, June 12, offering Moscow’s youth the opportunity to be more active and enjoy the new facilities which cover a wide range of sports.
The launch of Box MSK coincides with Russia hosting football’s biggest global tournament this summer and to capitalize on the increased interest in sport and Nike’s long-standing commitment to inspiring and enabling a new generation of athletes in the country.
Ronaldo, twice a world champion with Brazil, said: “With the eyes of the world on football in Russia, I can’t think of a better time to open such an incredible sports facility. I know the passion and love fans have for the game and the launch of Box MSK will inspire the youth of Moscow to play more sport.”
Arshavin, who made 75 appearances for Russia, added: “Sport has given me everything I have in life, so I know just what an impact it can have. It was great to see so many young people here at the opening of this new centre. Having a place like this here in Gorky Park can only be a good thing for the people of Moscow.”
In Russia, fewer than one in four boys and one in six girls are active for an hour a day – the minimum recommended by the World Health Organisation. Nike is committed to helping reverse this trend and Box MSK will become a basecamp for the ‘Made to Play’ initiative, a worldwide program to boost youth participation in sport.
The centre already has 7,300 hours of sports classes scheduled for the coming year and more 150,000 visits to the site are expected in the next 12 months.
Box MSK will be open all year round, including an outdoor football court inspired by the traditional Russian korobka, as well as a streetball court designed for three-on-three basketball. There are training and yoga spaces, both indoor and outdoor, while the centre will also become the base for Moscow’s Nike Running Club.
All of these new spaces are brought to life through vivid graphics and visually stunning artwork, creating the ultimate sports playground which will also grow into a hub for creativity, culture and self-expression through curated programming and partnerships.
Bert Hoyt, VP/GM, Nike EMEA, said: “Nike believes in the power of sports. We want to enable young people to play more sport and reach their full potential. Box MSK offers excellent facilities to play multiple sports for boys and girls including a range of cultural programs to really connect with the diverse and talented young people of Moscow.”
The centre was designed by KOSMOS Architects after Nike, in collaboration with Strelka KB, invited proposals from Moscow’s architectural community. The result is a dynamic interpretation of how sport integrates into the modern urban environment.
The objective was to highlight the synergy between Moscow and Nike through the lens of sport and innovation. The building’s form takes inspiration from an open shoe box, while its transparent glass walls represent the iconic Nike Air unit. External features, such as metal-gridded walls and on-court illustrations echo Moscow’s industry and infrastructure.
Also, key to the project was creating a structure which will have a lasting legacy and become a landmark befitting of its place in Russia’s most famous park.
Marina Lylchuk, Director of Gorky Park, said: “The park has always been a magnet for sport and cultural expression and this is something we have actively tried to encourage. We were happy to work with Nike to create this fantastic new facility for the people of Moscow. It is a welcome addition to the park and we are sure it will prove hugely popular.”
• Fewer than one in four boys and one in six girls in Russia get 60 minutes of physical activity each day, the minimum recommended by the World Health Organisation.
• Box MSK will become a key hub for the Nike ‘Made to Play’ initiative. So far, Nike and community partners have engaged more than 50,000 children in Moscow and St Petersburg and helped them become more active.
• Nike’s community partners in Moscow include: Tagsport, which creates free programs to help kids fall in love with football; Children Sport Foundation, which brings sport and play into schools; and Perspektiva, which uses the power of sport to unite – by giving kids with and without physical disabilities the chance to play together.
• KOSMOS Architects is a virtual architectural office, which collaborates from different continents and brings together partners who are currently based in Basel, Moscow and New York.
• Strelka KB was founded in 2013 by the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design. Their aim is to instigate a qualitative change in Russia’s urban landscape, creating a comfortable and modern environment in the cities.
• Gorky Park has been the base for Moscow’s Nike Running Club since 2014. It also hosted ‘Winner Stays’, a Nike football tournament in 2014, and a major Nike Training Club event in 2015.
BOX MSK FACTS AND TRIVIA
• The overall size of the site is 4685 sq.m, with the pavilion and its rooftop space 530 sq.m and 458 sq.m. respectively
• This summer, Box MSK will host the ‘Korobka Rebels’ football tournament, with over 3000 male and female players taking part across U17 and U21 levels.
- As the new Nike Running Club base, the site will host the club’s 300-plus members for weekly sessions.
- Box MSK includes a studio where fans can design and customise their own jerseys and footwear.
• The construction of Box MSK did not impact the park’s environment and no trees were removed.
- The centre will be a collection point for the recycling of plastic bottles. Around 75 percent of Nike shoes/apparel now contain some recycled materials.