LEN — ‘Kazansky Linens’ Factory
OAO ‘Kazanskiy len’
Founded by the Russian merchant Ivan Alafuzov in the mid-1860s on the basis of a tannery, the Kazansky Len flax mill on the bank of the old Kazanka riverbed in Kazan is an industrial ensemble of indisputable historical and cultural value. It is none the worse for the far from delicate reconstruction of the Soviet period (1928-1936 to be more precise), which resulted in the loss of numerous old structures. Two cultural heritage landmarks have survived on the mill grounds: one of regional and the other of federal importance. They are a weaving department building dating from 1865, the so-called Kotelov house of 1833 and over a dozen buildings and structures from the 1870s–1890s, which deserve being preserved in one form or another. The mill went out of operation in 2008 and many structures have fallen in disrepair.
The former industrial zone redevelopment concept provides for its transformation into a sort of hybrid of an art cluster and residential neighbourhood: on the one side, art studios, design galleries, a small museum of contemporary art, open-air cinema house and skatepark, offices and co-workings and, on the other, education, community and medical centres in addition to 6- to 8-storey apartment buildings. In other words, the redeveloped site will combine the public, residential, cultural, entertainment and business functions. The infrastructure described above will line the pedestrian axis stretching from the main entrance to the neighbourhood from Gladilov Street to 1 May Street with a chain of public spaces of different types.
The redevelopment project is to be carried out in three stages. During the first and second stages eight mill buildings and structures will be dismantled, and five production and service buildings reconstructed to become offices, art studios, etc. To sum up, everything undertaken will form a new creative cluster while preserving the historical image of the mill to the utmost extent. For instance, the 1895 chimney is to become the main dominant of the central square of the new cluster. The third stage presupposes the complete demolition of Soviet period waste treatment and other facilities in the north-west of the area and their replacement with dwelling houses of stepped form, faced with glazed brick and looking upon the river.