two similar cities
The city of Vladivostok is located in the Peter the Great Bay in the south of Primorsky Kray of the Russian Federation. The shores of Vladivostok are washed by the Sea of Japan, that is separated by the islands from the Pacific Ocean. The city is founded as a military post "Vladivostok" in 1860.

The city of Istanbul is located on the border of Europe and Asia, on the shores of the Bosphorus Strait, between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. It was founded under the name of Byzantium in about 660 A.D.

What connects these two cities away from each other not only geographically, but also temporarily?
Ancient Greek city founded by Dorian colonists from Megaris in the VII (7th) century B.C. The eastern part of the Roman Empire, which existed as an independent state from 395 to 1453, was named Byzantium in historiography after this person.
Byzantine Constantinople, located on a strategic point of land between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara, on the border of Europe and Asia, was the capital of the Christian Empire - the heir to Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece. During the Middle Ages, Constantinople was the largest and richest city in Europe.
Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, the economic, historical and cultural center of the country. With a population of over 15 million people, Istanbul is one of the most populated cities in the world in 2021.
Vladivostok is a city and harbor in the Russian Far East. Political, cultural, scientific-educational and economic center of the region; the administrative center of the Primorsky Kray and the Far East of the Russian Federation.
Istanbul is an ancient city, in 2021 it will turn 2,688, Vladivostok, on the contrary, is a young city, by the date of the creation of this project it turned 161.
These two cities have quite similar landscape and configuration of straits and bays. Hills, sea on three sides, the main special shaped bay, being deeply cut into the mainland of the city, islands and history created by the sea.

When the Governor-General Nikolay Nikolayevich Muravyov-Amursky discovered the place where Vladivostok was founded, he named the main bay the Golden Horn (Zolotoy Rog), in honor of the like-named bay in the city of Istanbul, and called the strait between the mainland and the string of large islands “the Eastern Bosphorus”, also in honor of the like-named strait in the city of Istanbul, thereby emphasizing the similarity of these two places.
«It seemed to me since my childhood that the Golden Horn is a strange name, a visual image that appears when you hear or say it, does not correspond to the actual image of the bay...»
«To me, a resident of Vladivostok city, this fact seemed fascinating. Realization of the historical connection of Vladivostok with one of the most ancient cities on Earth is an unalloyed pleasure. You can literally touch the origins of human civilization by dipping your hand into the bay of the hometown having the unusual name "Golden Horn".

It seemed to me since my childhood that the Golden Horn is a strange name, a visual image that appears when you hear or say it, does not correspond to the actual image of the bay. As though it doesn’t fit into the logical range of urban toponyms, although there are a lot of Greek names which sound completely different: Diomedes Bay, Patroclus, Ajax... I think the point is that the words “golden” and “horn" are two Russian words easy to understand, and the second one, in fact, is not very pleasant and has rather negative connotations in our culture. The combination of these two words creates an unusual shade of meaning and imagery for Vladivostok.

The more pleasant was to get to know the history of the name origin.

Many residents of Vladivostok know the origin of the name "Golden Horn" and other city toponyms, but we decided to deepen this knowledge, making a project that will not only include additional facts and illustrate the details of the historical process, but also immerse the viewer into the atmosphere of both cities at the same time. It’s worth sharing the feeling of joy of recognizing the hometown in another, outlying place. It is doubly pleasant to realize that the founder of the city of Vladivostok experienced a feeling like that when he recognized Istanbul in a place on the once unexplored shores of the Sea of ​​Japan.»

Felix Mashkov co-author of the project

Origins background of the concept of the project «Proximity»
«The story described in the project is aimed to bring the inhabitants of Vladivostok closer to the great history of mankind.»

The strengthening role of cities in the worldwide context is obvious. Cities are an important unit of social and economic development. A city or a group of cities (urban conglomeration) is the best possible object in terms of the development of a complete ecosystem of possibilities and meanings. This fact is also determined by the fundamental limitation on the distance of people’s movement in space on a daily basis.

In terms of meanings, values and identity, cities are also the best possible objects: large enough to have a high diversity and cultural processes, but compact enough to form local identity and self-awareness, connected with the certain place that can be literally “touched”.

Many people perceive a city where they live as the context of an individual biography. There is a supposal that the intension, diversity and integrity of this context directly affects the quality of urban community life, people’s worldview and the choices they make every single day.

Today, as a thousand years ago, all cities of the planet Earth face all sorts of challenges: transport, education, recreation, engineering systems, ecology and medicine ... — this is a small part of a large list. To get closer to solving the problems cities are facing, it is important to rely on a certain system of values, meanings and an image of the future. Urban identity is an important part of this system of meanings, allowing citizens to foster respect and understanding of the city, to get engaged in its improvement and self-improvement within it.

The aim of the project is to identify and illustrate explicitly several aspects of Vladivostok's urban identity, drawing an analogy with the glorious city of Istanbul additionally. The story described in the project is aimed to bring the inhabitants of Vladivostok closer to the great history of mankind, hence the name of the movie.

Perhaps this project can bring an unexpected shade to Istanbul residents local identity, who knows?..

mechanics of project implementation
We got to know that the main bay of Vladivostok is named after the Golden Horn in Istanbul a long time ago, that’s an interesting fact. We’ve been dreaming of making a story out of this fact, filling it with details, but we needed a spark, that would give a sense of authenticity to the project.

And it finally happened.

«In August 2021, I had a training module in Turkey (Istanbul, Ankara) within the foreign training module of Архитекторы.рф program, and we realized that it was high time for it. Vadim took the tickets and we went together. In the afternoon I was at the program, and Vadim, together with Anastasiya Ozlu (Borisova) made contacts with local residents in search of a suitable wall for our object.
Anastasiya and I studied in the same group at the Institute of Architecture, later she moved to Istanbul.»

Felix Mashkov co-author of the project

«As soon as I came to Istanbul, I rushed to find a suitable location for our project at once, there was very little time, just four days to get things done.

The first day we didn’t succeed with finding the right place. The next day, a classmate of Felix, Anastasia, who lives in Istanbul now, offered to go to the “Balat” area. This is one of the oldest buildings in Istanbul: narrow streets, low-rise historical and modern buildings, cafes, shops on the first floor – that was exactly what we needed. It was there that we found the "ASIR" cafe, which facade perfectly fit our idea.

We shared our idea to the owner of the building where the cafe was located, and got the permission to install the object. It was a success! Unless we had to pay a security guard for supposedly illegal parking lot, his name was Abi and he perceived the time of our installation as parking the riser in two parking slots.

Entrepreneurial spirit is definitely a trait that unites the residents of Istanbul and Vladivostok.»

Vadim Gerasimenko co-author of the project

«The project is symbolic to me.
When I moved to Istanbul, I was amazed by the similarity of the relief and happy with seeing the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, because they reminded me of Vladivostok.
Two cities at a distance of 7897 km and this not a reason for them not to be incredibly similar.
The process of searching for locations, choosing a wall and setting up an object was an inspiration. I am happy that this similarity can now be shared through the video.

Let as many people as possible know about it.»

Anastasiya Ozlu (Borisova) partner of the project

«By the way, Vladimir Petrosyan from the St. Petersburg team of architects-parametrists of Unit 4 took part in the installation of the object, and Alexandra Chechetkina, curator of Архитекторы.рф program, came to the filming of the final scene of the movie.»

Felix Mashkov co-author of the project

Information on the objects

In order to integrate the idea of a common toponym for the two cities laconically, as well as the similarity of their geographic configuration, we compared the street-road schemes of the cities, connecting the shores of Vladivostok and Istanbul using common “Golden Horn”.

One panel was installed in the Balat district in the city of Istanbul, the other one was installed in Vladivostok on Posyetskaya Str. Thus, the cities were connected with a sense bearing bridge.

The panel in Istanbul depicts the northern coast of Vladivostok, while there is the southern coast of Istanbul opposite, the Vladivostok panel is depicted vice versa.

To make the transportation easier, the Istanbul object was divided into 15 parts, while the Vladivostok one was divided into only 5 parts. Logistics is easier in a home-city.

Illustration of the project fragmentation

To transfer such a number of parts to the facade, a special paper backing was used with construction lines for installation. The fixing arrangements were stainless, since both cities are located by the sea and have an extremely corrosive environment for metals.

There is a QR-code next to each object leading to the project website.

We managed to find two places similar in their atmosphere and intimacy for the project, what made the picture more complete. Nice, lively streets adorn the cities.

Filming and animation

The video sequence that concludes the story is a selection of scenes filmed at almost the same time in Vladivostok and Istanbul. In the process of filming, we managed to communicate with different people from these two cities, that we need to understand both places deeper. Making a movie is a good excuse to talk to random people.

The stop-motion technique was used to illustrate the historical facts. Each frame of the work is printed, photographed and animated so as to look substantively and paper-like.

Sounds of the cities

While being in Istanbul, we were looking not only for places to place the object, but also sound textures for further use in the sound design of the project. We hoped to find authentic sound of the city.

The last day of the trip, in Ankara, we managed to record a street musician at the top of the city fortress. We spent there 30 minutes recording various traditional tunes.

«Felix and Vadim returned from Turkey and brought a lot of recordings.

In the process of working on the material I found an interesting fragment and made an initial sketch of the soundtrack of it. All the team was listening to it and we realized that this was a good find.

It was also important to complete the basic workflow process connected with the creation of the main sound design. The video was filmed with a quadrocopter, so we didn't have a “native” sound from the location, all the sound had to be recreated.

For a complete reconstruction of the atmosphere of the video, I went hunting for the sounds of city. The process of collecting material for making the sound took several days. There were several tasks: re-recording of synchronous noises, recording atmospheric sounds, recording typical sounds of Vladivostok. While everything is clear with these two tasks, the third one required a more creative approach and a certain luck.

One of the Recording sessions of atmospheres was conducted at the Vladivostok ship embankment. It’s a specific place with many objects, emitting sounds characteristic of Vladivostok (laughs).

There were recorded the main sounds: the sound of market, the sea station, seagulls. At the end of the big catch, Viktor Leontyev, a musician who played the button accordion not far from the city square, was caught into my nets. This day I recorded a number of classic Russian compositions up to Victor's choice.

To complete the soundtrack, we organized a studio recording session. There were recorded cool drummers performed by Igor Petrov. We also invited Viktor Leontyev, a button accordion player, whom I was filming at the city square. In the process of recording the button accordion, we found interesting, unusual textures for this instrument.

After collecting all the material, we have finally formed a vision of the soundtrack as a direct continuation of the project's concept of comparing the cultures of the two cities.»

Denis Kazakov producer, composer

From left to right: Igor Petrov (drums, Vladivostok), street musician (baglama/saz, Ankara), Victor Leontyev (button accordion player, Vladivostok).


The movie shows how two different cultures, being put into the similar conditions, acquire a number of common features, both in everyday life and in urban planning art.

The movie about a city and people, the movie about the sounds of cities, the movie that shows we are much closer to each other than we think ...

Project team

The team Concrete Jungle worked on the project / cjungle_urban

Concrete Jungle team:
Felix Mashkov: director project manager, co-author of the idea
Vadim Gerasimenko: co-author of the idea
Denis Kazakov: producer, contributor of the project
Anastasiya Potapenko: co-author of the idea, analyst
Anastasiya Mashkova: editing and great patience
Valeriya Guseva: organization of the presentation
Elizaveta Antonova: animation, design
Evgeniy Silin: visualization of the planet Earth
Konstantin Rasulov: panel installation
Nikita Gorulko: panel installation
Vasilisa Korolyova: production manager
Denis Korolyov: engineer of the mechanical working department

Script, text:
Felix Mashkov

Camera-, video work:
Igor Boltov: cameraman, Vladivostok
Alexander Khom: photographer, Vladivostok
Bakhtiyar Tagaev: aerial photography, Istanbul

Mikhail Shekunov: aerial photography, Vladivostok, @shekunov13

Editing, color correction:
Denis Kazakov

Denis Kazakov: idea, acoustic backing, sound mixing, sound design
Victor Leontyev: button accordion player, Vladivostok
Igor Petrov "DrumLP": drums, Vladivostok

Ankara street baglama/saz musician (Turkish folk string instrument). We subscribed to his Instagram in the hope to get in touch with him after the project but, apparently, he deleted the account. We will try to find him.

Yuriy Gilev: website development, Ethics studio

Alexander Kolomeyets: website development, Ethics studio

Prepared the panel:
Anastasiya Goncharuk
Anastasiya Kharchenko
Veronica Mishchenko
Danila Sukovykh
Kseniya Gareyeva

Nikita Ivanov: SMM, target, media

Dmitriy Yeremeyev: SMM, target, media

Vladivostok city Administration:
Konstantin Shestakov: Head of the city of Vladivostok, help in coordinating the project with the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Istanbul
Arseniy Krepskiy: Head of the city of Vladivostok Assistant, help in coordinating the project with the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Istanbul
Pavel Shugurov: Head of the Department of architecture and design of the urban environment of the Vladivostok Administration, help in selecting the facade for the panel placement

We kindly thank the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Istanbul for hospitality.

Checking the historical authority of the text:
Viktor Shalay: Director of the V. K. Arsenyev Museum of History and the Vladivostok Fortress Museum-Reserve, project consultant on history
Vladimir Kalinin: military historian, deputy chairman of the regional branch of the Russian Geographical Society, project consultant on history

Marina Barinova: Researcher of the Russian Geographical Society, Project History Consultant, editing

Help in realization of the project:
Anastasia Ozlu (Borisova): architect in Istanbul, invaluable help in making the project

Vladimir Petrosyan: architect, general director of studio, help in panel installation in Istanbul

Special thanks to Архитекторы.рф program team:
Alexandra Galanina
Alexandra Chechiyotkina
Alina Bortnik
Andrey Kolesnikov
Varvara Melnikova
Daniil Antonov
Elizaveta Zhurova
Nataliya Alabusheva
Olga Lyubchenkova
Olga Moskovskaya
Juliana Maltseva

We are grateful to the owners of the coffee houses who allowed to install panels on their facades:
cafe "ASIR", Istanbul, Balat, Yıldırım Cd. No: 66, 34087 Fatih / İstanbul

coffee house "Sista Feels", Vladivostok, Posyetskaya Str., Bld. 23a st.2