October results: visiting Minotaur

We continue to summarize architectural events of this month. October has seemed to pass in an atmosphere of a labyrinth - little bit confused, and also shipped in a theme of restoration and reconstruction

Written by:
Irina Filchenkova

06 November 2006

As it is known, the first known labyrinth was constructed by the architect Dedal for tsar Minos, and the son of this tsar the Minotaur lived in it. Already five years the Union of architects of Russia, awards the premium of a name of the builder of that legendary labyrinth - « Crystal Dedal » at the annual festival " Architecture ".

Expositions of "Architecture" always were complex for perception - because they consisted, with rare exception, of stands with set of pictures, and some complexity of corridors, in which these stands were built. However this year the usual complexity has amplified, giving the basis to assume, that to it aspired as to the realized effect. This is the first, and the second is in October has been arranged not one but two labyrinthes, one was at the usual place where all have got used to it, on "Architecture", and the other one took place a week earlier in The Central House of Artists on the interior exhibition Lifestyle - 2006 where a labyrinth was conceptual, all red - specially for the  kernels of a noncommercial exposition, an exhibition of the selected interiors. As it is known, there are a few interiors on "Architecture", they mismatch the scale. It has turned out so, that two exhibitions in any measure have added each other, having shown different architecture (though and not all), in a format of a labyrinth. Suspicions get stability when we learn, that the design of both exhibitions was done by the same people - architects Vlad Savinkin and Vladimir Kuzmin, having acted thus in a role mythological Dedal. It is necessary to find the Minotaur, other wards - who lives in a labyrinth?

In a labyrinth lives anyone. Less Moscow architects take participation on "Architecture". Among applicants Andrey Bokov, Paul Andreev, Alexander Asadov, Dmitry Aleksandrov, Ginzburg's workshop were present; the Mosproject-2, as well. The others were not  present, this is possible because many of them were included into jury, but the structure of jury precisely is not known. Nizhni Novgorod as always holds a rod, there are many artists from St.Petersburg .

The list of nominees turned out to be curious. The last year's winner became National Centre for Contemporary Arts by Michael Hazanov that has been amicably estimated as very positive shift in a position of jury. It seems that in present 2006 "Architecture" has continued the evolution further, having addressed to the most noble branch of architectural designing, namely, to restoration. The main prize, «Dedal», was awarded for restoration Alexandr of theatre, among « Gold diplomas » - restoration of the bottom circle of the Kremlin palace of patriarch Nikona and the Oryol almshouse.

As we know, restorers in their best do not build anything new, but preserve and keep existing, and also - dig out surprisingly interesting things in bowels of a laying. All this costs big money for the customer and its big erudition, that in the modern Russian validity meets not so often as it would be desirable. Therefore to award good restorations, to attract as much as it possible the attention - is very necessary in hope, that the situation will change, in Russia will cease to break and alter monuments, and will start to keep them. Though it is not enough one rewarding for this purpose on "Architecture".

Anyway, to see restorers awarded in the top part of the list – is very pleasant. It is necessary to tell, that the choice from these projects seems to be more complex, than usually - it is necessary to know, how all is made "inside", and it is impossible to show completely everything at the stand. In fact Tsaritsyn which has been submitted in horrifying scales, occupying several halls wasn’t awarded, that means people knew, what should be pointed out. Because of that the award given in October acts somehow very professionally - selected on professional criteria, for which one sight at a tablet is not enough . As it is not enough to choose from town-planning projects (here the gold diploma has received the project of Rostov-on-Don).

The constructions and projects noted by "Architecture" support impression of a choice professionals of professionals. These are very constrained, quiet decisions which from the first sight even uneasy to find in the general leapfrog of bent, swelled, inclined to a side forms. The sensation is created, that all of them were selected by such principle  - cleanliness and not self-loving approach. It is a little independently - the house on Shpalernaja, obvious, but on-St.Petersburg noble stylization under northern modernist style, under Lidval.

As a result the choice of "Architecture" appears to be filled with some rare restrained nobleness. The main diploma for restoration can be understood doubly: on the one hand, it is pleasant, that the restoration was supported as a branch, on the another - this branch is very specific, closed in itself, anyway does not have any attitudes to formation of modern forms. It can seem, that the modern architecture as though is not present, there is nothing to award, so the restorers were awarded. Certainly, the jury didn’t mean anything of a such kind, the jury meant to note the year of restoration and about that it was casually told at the ceremony. However it was easy to notice that not everything of the modern architecture was obviously on "Architecture". If the projects were awarded on nominations - the best restoration, the best town-planning project, thet would be clearer. And so it turns out, that not the project was awarded, but in some sense the all branch. Probably, therefore the impression of "Architecture" has left a little confused, in a unison of the labyrinth type of its hall.

While we wandered on labyrinths, foreigners became more active. The business with Marinka Dominica Perro have settled, Moscow town-planning committee has approved the project of two towers by Zachii Hadid for Moscow-city, Luzhkov has asked to rearrange only their places. English lord Norman Foster came across  with the most difficulties as his projects for New Holland and Zariadia were coordinated, but with a greater scratch. On Petersburg town-planning committee some one complained, that the competitive task has appeared to be too easy, and now no one can rescue the building which has not the status of a monument. In Moscow, on the contrary, have noticed, that in Foster’s project not all conditions of the task were full filled – he had raised (from the 5th up to 8th floors) the buildings, trace of the streets is not restored. It would seem, should he restore it to lead the street to the closed up Konstantino-Eleninskim gate? It is not excluded, here the matter is that the pulling down the hotel "Russia" which for long years was hated, and now - again favourite became the sign certificate, from the category of parting with the past. This ideological sign pulls behind itself desire to see something so basic on this place. For example, to restore Zariadie as it was in XVI century in the form of Potemkinskaia village and to send there the guides. Many figures are stored in the Museum of architecture with such hypothetical reconstruction - to gather all of them and to make all anew … But then all useful areas should be dug under the ground.

Behind the discussion of plans on reconstruction of the street lines irrevocably lost forty years ago the present monuments continue to disappear. On October, 14th, having referred to fire-prevention safety, in the Oruzgeinom Pereulke have taken down a smithy of XVIII century. On the 31-st of October the criminal case was instituted, that probably became a step forward in business of protection of monuments, but hardly will return an original building.

After an October triad restoration - reconstruction – taken down in November, probably the present will again become alive. Some sonorous rewordings are comming: in Moscow everyone is waiting for the results of ARX award - new, but already fairly sensational architectural premium, the fund of name Chernichov plans to hand over solemnly the international premium, the premium «Archip» will be handed over the interior, also it should become known, who from the foreigners will manage a scandalous Petersburg skyscraper. In November the Venetian Biennial on which the list of winners also should be declared comes to the end - as we remember everyone, except for « the Gold lion » handed over to Richard Rogers will name before closing of an exhibition.



06 November 2006

Written by:

Irina Filchenkova
Headlines now
A High-Rise Erector Set
In this article, we are examining one of the projects submitted for a closed-door competition for a housing complex to be built in the north of Moscow. The KPLN architects proposed a simple volumetric pair of 100 meter high towers, united by a common sculptural design based on laconic contrast, yet dramatic at the same time. Another interesting thing is an oval yard that is “carved out” in the stylobate roof.
The Leisure Culture
In the new extra building of the Klyazma resort center, whose project was developed by KPLN, the aesthetics of Soviet modernist architecture is combined with modern ideas of how leisure activities should be organized.
The White Grove
This project by “Ginzburg Architects” scored first place in the international competition for a draft project of a Cathedral Mosque in Kazan, dedicated to the 1100th anniversary of the adoption of Islam in Volga Bulgaria. The concept of a “white garden”, which the architects presented in modern shapes, interprets the rules and notions of Islam and refers to historical figures. Below, we are examining the project in detail.
Triangle Function
The eccentric shape of this thin slab that expands upwards is not a formal gesture but the UNK architects’ response to the site’s requirements and the technical and economic performance specifications. The solutions are modernist, cost-effective, and functional. The building is terraced, the side ends are accentuated with a “slab” shift, and the wide facades are composed of triangular bay windows.
The Shelter of a Digital Wanderer
The apartment hotel that GAFA designed for the central district of Moscow offers its guests living the habitual routine through a new spatial experience, and claims the status of a new landmark as well.
The Takeoff of a Multifunctional Approach
ASADOV architects presented a concept of developing the old airport in Rostov-on-Don. A four kilometer long boulevard stretching in the stead of the former runway and the block housing, multiplied by a wide range of business and public functions, possibly including the governmental one, will allow this area to claim the role of a new attraction point with a high level of self-sufficiency.
A Ringlet Bridge
The project of a pedestrian bridge, proposed by the architectural company ATRIUM, headed by Vera Butko and Anton Nadtochiy, for the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan, became the winner of the A+A Awards organized by the Architizer portal in the “Unbuilt Transportation” nomination. The bridge is indeed a stunner: a “hanging garden” in concrete tubs of columns, suspended over a city highway, is fitted with ringlets of wooden ramps, which in the bridge’s key point form an element of national ornament.
​Consistency of the Method
Marking its 35th anniversary, Reserve Union (officially named OOO TPO Reserve in Russia) used the venue of the Arch Moscow convention to showcase its hitherto unannounced projects. We asked Vladimir Plotkin a few questions, and we are showing a few pictures – without any captions yet.
Vladimir Plotkin: “Our profession is complex, vulnerable, and sometimes defenseless against...
As part of the editorial project devoted to the high-rise and high-density construction that Moscow is seeing in recent years, we spoke to the leading architect of CU Reserve Vladimir Plotkin, the author of many grand-scale – and high-profile – buildings of this city. We spoke about an architect’s role and his tasks in the mega-construction process, about the drive of the megalopolis, about the strong sides of mixed and multifunctional construction, and about the methods of organizing big forms.
Upping the Stakes
The concept of a housing complex in Samara from T+T Architects: a new landmark in the cityscape, view of the Zhiguli Mountains, and VR technologies.
The Book Sanctuary
Reconstructed and renovated by Studio 44, the building of Vladimir Mayakovsky Public Library received modern technical content, at the same time becoming closer to its authentic image from the times when it was part of the compound of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra.
In Tune with Mendelsohn
The “Kersten House” standing next to the “Krasnoye Znamya” (“Red Banner”) factory fits in with the tactful course adopted by Anatoly Stolyarchuk studio: it allows of no historical stylization, yet at the same time is quite respectful of the surrounding context.
​Foothills and Peaks
Developed by OSA, the concept of revitalization of the territory of Stankoagregat plant combines two scales: extreme-high towers and relatively “human-friendly” urban villas. In the conditions of ultra-dense construction, this solution makes it possible to vacate territories for public spaces and trees, as well as adapt the project for the conditions of the changing market.
City in the Stream
The books by Genplan Institute of Moscow, published for the Institute’s 70th anniversary and for the coinciding exhibition, are the most amazing three-volume edition that I ever saw: the books are totally different, yet packed in one box. This, on the other hand, is justified by the specifics of each of the volumes, the diversity of approaches to processing information used in them, and the complexity of the material as such: town planning is a multifaceted science, bordering on art.
Stop the [special operetion]!
The collective letter Russian architects was published here the 26.02.2022. Now, 04.03.2022, it's text is edited according the new law of the Russian Federation. All the signatures, more than 6800, are deleted, as well as weblinks. But we coserved the edited text for the history.
​Shape of the Winery
In this article, we are telling you more about the development of the shape and the implementation of the “Skalisty Bereg” (“Rocky Shore”) winery, designed by Alexander Balabin and his company “Severin-Project” in the Krasnodar Territory, and one of the finalists of WAF 2021.
​An Architectural Reality Show
Roman Leonidov, the well-known architect of luxury countryside residences, about which Archi.ru repeatedly wrote, launched a new online project called “Build YOUR House” on his YouTube channel.
​Buyan and the Court Quarter
The news about cancellation of the Tuchkov Buyan park has been stirring the minds of people of St. Petersburg for a week already. In the absence of any verified specific information, we discussed the situation with the architects of the park and the Court Quarter: Nikita Yavein and Evgeny Gerasimov.
​The Possibility of Flight
The project of the airport, which ASADOV Architects developed for the city of Tobolsk, and which won in the architectural competition, was not implemented. However, it is interesting as an example of designing an airport building of a very small scale, where the main challenge is the optimal organization of space and infrastructure without compromising the imagery component.
​The Wavelength
Built in the town of Pushkino in the Moscow area, the “Turgeneva 13” housing complex, while fitting in with the surrounding context, differs from it with the rhythmic austerity of its dual composition, a slight wave of the façade, and the color design, in which one can see two images, winter and summer, both “growing” from the specifics of the place.
​A Shell by the Sea
Designing the Sports Palace that will determine the development of the entire northern part of Derbent, ASADOV Architects turned to the architectural legacy of Dagestan, local lore, and ancient layers of history.
​Christmas Skyscrapers
Karen Saprichyan is wishing everyone a merry Christmas, presenting a series of letter-shaped skyscrapers. The architect has long since been working on this theme, and has calendars of various years in stock. His latest development is a group of towers designed for the city of NEOM, which will be built in Saudi Arabia.
​Parade Order
The three brick blocks of the “River Park” housing complex gaze at the water with their terraces. Each block forms a backdrop and two wings, while the residents-only yards turn into “stages” perceived from the river. The landscaped embankment, accessible to all the city people, complements the hierarchy of private, semi-private and public city life that is formed here.