Water and brass: Making copies of locks for Northern River Terminal Park

September 7
Culture

Brass models of eight locks and buildings of the city’s Port of Five Seas will decorate the embankment of the Northern River Terminal Park. It took a lot of time and effort to complete models of the unique navigation locks, architectural and construction masterpieces of their era. Experts did their best to convey the beauty and grandeur of these structures.

“A brook designed to look like the Moscow Canal will become a central feature of the upgraded 400-metre long embankment. Scale models of the canal’s locks will be placed all the way along the stream. In fact, the manufacture of the scale models amounts to a separate, exclusive and unusual project,” the press service of the City Department for Major Housing Repairs noted.

Brass was selected as the main material for making the lock models. This durable and corrosion-resistant metal can also withstand mechanical damage. The Northern River Terminal’s interiors also feature many brass elements. The brass lock models will make the embankment look really unique.

“First, special software helped create 3D lock models, so that specialists could single out any element, find out its size and how to assemble it. The 3D model was then split into 2D elements or flat parts that were placed on brass sheets using special software. A mill was used to make various components. Each of them was straightened and ground and later assembled,” press service officials said while commenting on the models’ manufacture.

First, workers assemble a frame and then cover it with the lock components. They use pinpoint welding to cool the metal. After that, they completely weld all parts. Once a model is assembled, its welding seams are smoothed out, and the structure is then cleaned using a sand blaster. It is later subjected to patina-forming treatment.

Each lock is unique in itself. For example, towers of the Tempy lock are decorated with sculptural groups by Yury Pommer and Apollinary Stempkovsky. Sculptures of Christopher Columbus’ caravel Santa Maria top the towers of the Yakhroma lock. Classical architecture methods were used to decorate the Dedenyovo lock. Sculptures of a male and female worker are installed on each tower of the Iksha-2 lock’s upper gate. The Northern River Terminal building is the largest canal structure.

While making the models, specialists try to copy the buildings’ distinguishing features. Windows, doors, balustrades, clocks and lamps can be seen clearly on these models. All models have die-cast 3D elements and sculptures. A plasticine model is first made, and this is used to assemble a silicon mould. A wax mould, made using the silicon version, is filled with a special moulding mixture. Once the mixture hardens, the wax is melted, and a ready-made die for casting a metal element is available.

All residue is cut off from the brass figurine which is then ground and polished accordingly. This highly painstaking work requires workers with a penchant for detail. While studying the caravels on the Yakhroma lock, experts found out that the ships were not identical. One of them is decorated with a harpy eagle, while the other one features a lion.

The park’s visitors can therefore admire the models of the original Moscow Canal locks. Each model features an inscription identifying the relevant lock. The brook will also feature scale models of the Ivankovskoye, Ikshinskoye, Pestovskoye, Uchinskoye and Pyalovskoye reservoirs through which the Moscow Canal flows.

While working on the project, experts heeded such important facts as construction deadlines and the canal’s original name. Information about this will also be available. The ready-made figures and letters will soon be installed.

The improvement of the Northern River Terminal Park is one of the most ambitious city projects in the last ten years. The entire area being improved has an area of 49 ha. The project aims to reinstate the terminal’s initial function as a transport hub and an all-year-round leisure area. Known as the Port of Five Seas, the Northern River Terminal will provide the city with an upgraded pier and unique public space with a promenade and a park.

Source: mos.ru

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