This is the first serious publication of the ABD architects work. The book has two volumes: the first is the Book of Buildings, the other is the Book of Interiors. Actually this reflects the particularity that the office has two departments, of inferior design and of architectural engineering. The books are of fine quality; the SpringerWienNewYork is specialized in art and scientific literature. So, the ABD’s book is among the best. The publisher said that actually they did not want to deal with the Russian material at first. But after they had a look on the architecture to be published, they changed their mind totally. Once again the ABD managed to assure the West in their competence. This is confirmed by the review on the SpringerWienNewYork’s website: ‘…surely one of the most innovative and respected architectural practices in Moscow of today” – the two best praises for the modern architecture: is being characterized as innovative and respected by the western society, is very significant.
The introduction is written by Andrey Kaftanov and Andrey Gozak, the two architect-researchers of postwar modernism. The texts are mainly devoted to the new works of 2005 year. Accordingly, the architecture of ABD appears natural to our ‘local’ context, and holds on the Russian avant-garde meeting the challenge of post-Soviet city. And this is quite unexpected. Because we must admit that least of all, we may think of it as the context creation. On the contrary, it is more natural to consider it a kind of foreign-like, a cultivation of the smooth-running process, steadily and purposively generate high-grade architectural ‘product’ at all points.
But the book says this is a shallow contradiction. Or rather, it is not actually a contradiction. Because competently organized work is a system, an instrument. But creative content is belonging to one’s culture, deep inside. Just like the deluxe edition is a mean of resuming the work done by the ABD for the 15 years. The book shows off the done architecture like a frame serves as a foil to a painting. It helps to realize that the roots both of modern Russian and western architecture comes from avant-garde, including Russian, and then belongs to post-war modernism. And that any self-confident modern architecture firstly does it best to harmonize with surrounding, any context it has to have, avoiding mimicry and copying.
Well, what we have at the end is ‘just’ one of the leading architectural studio in Russia. This makes the country ‘just’ one of the civilized and comfortable place for work like any other. But one can hardly imagine what it took to achieve that. Well, It is true that the book appears as the resume of the success work.