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 site 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 sport. We want to enable young people to play more sport and reach their full potential. Box MSK offers excellent facilities to play sports and a range of cultural programs, design workshops and exhibitions to really connect with the diverse, talented and adventurous 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 addtion to the park and we are sure it will prove hugely popular.”