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Not worse than Pritzker

Today in stylish and cozy hall of national centre for contemporary arts the exhibition of nominees and winners of Jacob Chernihov’s premium has opened. At press conference before the opening of the exhibition the chairman of the international jury, Elia Zengelis has told, that he considers the premium founded by fund of Chernihov even more important than Pritzker.

Written by:
Irina Filchenkova

13 November 2006
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The exhibition pursues the same purpose, as the premium: to connect searches of avant guarde with the work of modern and young architects (under 44 years old) and to direct them to the future after futuristic dreams of the avant guarde so - to revive spirit of 20th years of the XX century in works of architectural youth. Attempt to connect together memory of architectural avant guarde and the present was very evidently embodied in the exposition. Tablets of winners hang in the middle,- Pierre Antonio Aureli and Martino Tattara and around them the original Jacob Chernihova's schedule, architectural imaginations are exposed, and more around on walls the presentations of ten best of 55 nominees are projected. It has turned out some kind of spatial roll, allowing to estimate similarity and differences of a modern modernism and its sources. The curator of the competition became Zaha Halid - she has selected experts, among which Tom Main, Eric Egeraat, Peter Cook, and they have selected nominees for participation in the competition. The chairman of jury became British architect Elia Zengelis. He has expressed at press conference in the sense that considers the premium of Fund Chernihov even more important, than Pritzker because it is awarded to the mature architects, and here - the premium headed to the future and aspiring this future to generate. The chapter of jury has told about works of nominees so: there were many very talented participants, but many are keen by modern computer technologies, and experts searched for the bright manifest, the break adequate to military ethymology of a word "avant guarde" - an advance party forming the future. On a background of domination of formal searches that have appeared the Italians working in the Netherlands, Pierre Antonio Aureli and Martino Tattara, the group DOGMA. Young Italian-Dutchs think of themselves as Europeans in a broad sense, they are keen by ecology and social problems, are interested « in more cities, than buildings ». Their works are basically town-planning concepts of a different degree of utopianism. On the premium the project of a cemetery of the ideal city of Vema exposed on Biennial, «the city of the new Jacobins » has been presented, and which, being placed on a cemetery will be in opposition to « hegemony of a creative class » and to preach the new « way of life based on solidarity, a solitude and readiness to share vital space». It is simple to notice, that words are more than forms, though than words are all very correct. Forms - very simple, architects as they said intentionally do not trace a building, their presentations and tablets are more similar to schemes even then when represent concrete things. It would be complex to detachment and to wish from plastic searches, a greater dissimilarity with modern venerable "stars", therefore it is necessary to recognize a choice of experts corresponding the vanguard concept of the premium, it some kind of overcoming of a vanguard heritage by its means - as the manifest, the theory, denying of the become obsolete form. This architecture up to such degree shipped in the theory of innovations, that would be desirable to name it consisting of words - manifests, concepts, theories, so it becomes weightless, partly imperceptible, and to these attractive. Such verbal architecture is in a counterbalance to our paper. Architects have told, that it is more important for them to receive the Russian premium than international, very important that the ceremony took place in Moscow, because Moscow is one of the most interesting capitals of the XX century. Implied sense here should be that Moscow is one of the capitals of Russian avant guarde though if to try to measure Moscow by measures of the urbanism preached by winners it is possible to understand their pleasure as pleasure of the doctor at a view of the interesting patient - but it already remains behind the frameworks of discussion. On November, 13th in the evening the open lecture of the winners took place on which Aureli and Tattara have shown three conceptual town-planning projects, for Athenes, for scientific small town in South Korea and for the capital of Albania Tirana. At the lecture the architects have once again emphasized their great interest to the public spaces, original ideas and some coldness concerning forms of concrete buildings. The South-Korean project, for example, assumes a combination of cross houses, spaces between which should be filled with a public life. It reminds a little the uniform cells of a cemetery of the new Jacobins which project was put forward for the premium and it was simultaneously exposed on the Venetian Biennial. On November, 14th the presentation of the premium takes place - winners will receive 50 thousand Euro and a number copy of work of Jacob Chernihov. Besides the main competition a part of the premium became some additional programs - student's and children's competitions where monetary prizes were awarded (each of additional nominations - on 10 thousand). Student's competition is a visualization of architectural imaginations of Jacob Chernihov, in the sum they are called to show these works of Russian classic avant guarde as not simply graphic suites, and three-dimensional spaces. These are beautiful, professional and very modern compositions, comparable to those shown on the projection of nominees; still it is possible to argue, where it is better. Among the children's stands a pair dummy in a suit in spirit of Chernihov’s of architectural imaginations from studio " Start " certainly attract attention - some kind of « the Worker and the Farmer», but not such cheerful. From the three first premiums of children's competition one was awarded to the Italian children, and the difference is very well appreciable: while our children diligently draw abstract compositions in a greater or smaller measure, sometimes quite professional on workmanship - foreign children have a good time, connect cocoons from cords, make ships from cardboard tubes and small houses from polyethylene bags.
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13 November 2006

Written by:

Irina Filchenkova
Headlines now
Feed ’Em All
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The Ensemble at the Mosque
OSA prepared a master plan for a district in the southern part of Derbent. The main task of the master plan is to initiate the formation of a modern comfortable environment in this city. The organization of residential areas is subordinated to the city’s spiritual center: depending on the location relative to the cathedral mosque, the houses are distinguished by façade and plastique solutions. The program also includes a “hospitality center”, administrative buildings, an educational cluster, and even an air bridge.
Pargolovo Protestantism
A Protestant church is being built in St. Petersburg by the project of SLOI architects. One of the main features of the building is a wooden roof with 25-meter spans, which, among other things, forms the interior of the prayer hall. Also, there are other interesting details – we are telling you more about them.
The Shape of the Inconceivable
The ATOM Pavilion at VDNKh brings to mind a famous maxim of all architects and critics: “You’ve come up with it? Now build it!” You rarely see such a selfless immersion in implementation of the project, and the formidable structural and engineering tasks set by UNK architects to themselves are presented here as an integral and important part of the architectural idea. The challenge matches the obliging status of the place – after all, it is an “exhibition of achievements”, and the pavilion is dedicated to the nuclear energy industry. Let’s take a closer look: from the outside, from the inside, and from the underside too.
​Rays of the Desert
A school for 1750 students is going to be built in Dubai, designed by IND Architects. The architects took into account the local specifics, and proposed a radial layout and spaces, in which the children will be comfortable throughout the day.
The Dairy Theme
The concept of an office of a cheese-making company, designed for the enclosed area of a dairy factory, at least partially refers to industrial architecture. Perhaps that is why this concept is very simple, which seems the appropriate thing to do here. The building is enlivened by literally a couple of “master strokes”: the turning of the corner accentuates the entrance, and the shade of glass responds to the theme of “milk rivers” from Russian fairy tales.
The Road to the Temple
Under a grant from the Small Towns Competition, the main street and temple area of the village of Nikolo-Berezovka near Neftekamsk has been improved. A consortium of APRELarchitects and Novaya Zemlya is turning the village into an open-air museum and integrating ruined buildings into public life.
​Towers Leaning Towards the Sun
The three towers of the residential complex “Novodanilovskaya 8” are new and the tallest neighbors of the Danilovsky Manufactory, “Fort”, and “Plaza”, complementing a whole cluster of modern buildings designed by renowned masters. At the same time, the towers are unique for this setting – they are residential, they are the tallest ones here, and they are located on a challenging site. In this article, we explore how architects Andrey Romanov and Ekaterina Kuznetsova tackled this far-from-trivial task.
In the spirit of ROSTA posters
The new Rostselmash tractor factory, conceptualized by ASADOV Architects, is currently being completed in Rostov-on-Don. References to the Soviet architecture of the 1920’s and 1960’s resonate with the mission and strategic importance of the enterprise, and are also in line with the client’s wish: to pay homage to Rostov’s constructivism.
The Northern Thebaid
The central part of Ferapontovo village, adjacent to the famous monastery with frescoes by Dionisy, has been improved according to the project by APRELarchitects. Now the place offers basic services for tourists, as well as a place for the villagers’ leisure.
Brilliant Production
The architects from London-based MOST Architecture have designed the space for the high-tech production of Charge Cars, a high-performance production facility for high-speed electric cars that are assembled in the shell of legendary Ford Mustangs. The founders of both the company and the car assembly startup are Russians who were educated in their home country.
Three-Part Task: St. Petersburg’s Mytny Dvor
The so-called “Mytny Dvor” area lying just behind Moscow Railway Station – the market rows with a complex history – will be transformed into a premium residential complex by Studio 44. The project consists of three parts: the restoration of historical buildings, the reconstruction of the lost part of the historical contour, and new houses. All of them are harmonized with each other and with the city; axes and “beams of light” were found, cozy corners and scenic viewpoints were carefully thought out. We had a chat with the authors of the historical buildings’ restoration project, and we are telling you about all the different tasks that have been solved here.
The Color of the City, or Reflections on the Slope of an Urban Settlement
In 2022, Ostozhenka Architects won a competition, and in 2023, they developed and received all the necessary approvals for a master plan for the development of Chernigovskaya Street for the developer GloraX. The project takes into account a 10-year history of previous developments; it was done in collaboration with architects from Nizhny Novgorod, and it continues to evolve now. We carefully examined it, talked to everyone, and learned a lot of interesting things.
A Single-Industry Town
Kola MMC and Nornickel are building a residential neighborhood in Monchegorsk for their future employees. It is based on a project by an international team that won the 2021 competition. The project offers a number of solutions meant to combat the main “demons” of any northern city: wind, grayness and boredom.
A New Age Portico
At the beginning of the year, Novosibirsk Tolmachevo Airport opened Terminal C. The large-scale and transparent entrance hall with luminous columns inside successfully combines laconism with a bright and photogenic WOW-effect. The terminal is both the new façade of the whole complex and the starting point of the planned reconstruction, upon completion of which Tolmachevo will become the largest regional airport in Russia. In this article, we are examining the building in the context of modernist prototypes of both Novosibirsk and Leningrad: like puzzle pieces, they come together to form their individual history, not devoid of curious nuances and details.
A New Starting Point
We’ve been wanting to examine the RuArts Foundation space, designed by ATRIUM for quite a long time, and we finally got round to it. This building looks appropriate and impressive; it amazingly combines tradition – represented in our case by galleries – and innovation. In this article, we delve into details and study the building’s historical background as well.
Molding Perspectives
Stepan Liphart introduces “schematic Art Deco” on the outskirts of Kazan – his houses are executed in green color, with a glassy “iced” finish on the facades. The main merits of the project lie in his meticulous arrangement of viewing angles – the architect is striving to create in a challenging environment the embryo of a city not only in terms of pedestrian accessibility but also in a sculptural sense. He works with silhouettes, proposing intriguing triangular terraces. The entire project is structured like a crystal, following two grids, orthogonal and diagonal. In this article, we are examining what worked, and what eventually didn’t.
An Educational Experiment for the North
City-Arch continues to work on the projects that can be termed as “experimental public preschools”: private kindergartens and schools can envy such facilities in many respects. This time around, the project is done for the city of Gubkinsky, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District. A diverse educational and play environment, including a winter garden, awaits future students, while the teachers will have abundant opportunities to implement new practices.
Alexandra Kuzmina: “Working is easy when the rules are the same for everyone”
The subject matter of Moscow Region’s booth and presentations at Zodchestvo Festival was the concept of “Integrated Land Development”, and for a good reason: this task is very challenging, very relevant, and Moscow Region has already accumulated quite a formidable experience in this regard. In this article, we are speaking to the main architect of the region: about master plans and who makes them, about where you obtain resources for creating a comfortable environment, about her favorite projects, about why there are so few good architects, and what we should do with the bad ones.
The Cemetery: Inside and Outside
The workshop organized by the Genplan Institute of Moscow scored one of the two first places at the “Open City” festival. Its subject is reorganization of municipal cemeteries. Two action plans were proposed, diametrically opposite: one for the downtown and one for the suburbs.
Our Everything
Who is Alexey Shchusev? In the last couple of weeks, since the architect’s 150th birthday, different individuals have answered this question differently. The most detailed, illustrated, and elegantly presented response is an exhibition held in two buildings of the Museum of Architecture on Vozdvizhenka. Four curators, a year and a half of work performed by the entire museum, and exhibition design by Sergey Tchoban and Alexandra Sheiner – in this article, we take you on a tour of the exhibition and show what’s what in it.
For Mental Reboot
At the architectural competition held in 2023 in Novosibirsk, the project by GORA Architects – a pedestrian bridge leading to the town of Bor – was awarded the “Golden Capital” prize. In this country, more than a hundred pedestrian bridges are constructed each year. What makes the Bor bridge different?
Gold Embroidery
A five-story housing complex designed by Stepan Liphart in Kazan, responds to the stylistically diverse context with its form, both integral and agile, and as for the vicinity of the “Ekiyat” movie theater, the complex responds to it with a semblance of theater curtain folds, and active plastique of its balconies, that bear some resemblance to theater boxes. Even if excessively pompous a little bit, the complex does look fresh and modern. One will have a hard time finding Art Deco elements in it, even though the spirit of the 1930s, run through the filter of neo-modernism, is still clearly felt, just as a twist of the Occident.
Reconciliation
The restoration of the Salt Warehouse for the Zvenigorod Museum, on the one hand, was quite accurately implemented according to the design of the People’s Architect, and, on the other hand, it was not without some extra research and adjustments, which, in this case, was quite beneficial for the project. The architects discovered the original paint color, details of the facades, and studied the history of rebuilds of this building. As a result, the imposing character of the empire building, the oldest one in the city, and the differences of later additions were accurately revealed. Most importantly, however, the city got a new cultural and public space, which is already “working” in full swing.
From Moscow to Khabarovsk
This year, the works submitted by the students of the Genplan Institute of Moscow included a proposal for revitalizing Moscow’s “Pravda” complex with its structures designed by Ilia Golosov, landscaping an East Siberian town, located a 12-hour drive away from the nearest big city, and three versions of turning a derelict “pioneer camp” into an educational hub, similar to “Sirius”. Two sites out of three have an interested client, so chances are that the students’ works will be ultimately implemented.
Harmonization of Intentions
We met and talked with the chief architect of Genplan Institute of Moscow Grigory Mustafin and the chief architect of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Maxim Efanov – about how the master plan of the city is formed. The key to success: gathering data, digital simulation, working with the city people, thinking infrastructure, and presentation.
​Cité for Naro-Fominsk
The new neighborhood on an island in the center of Naro-Fominsk continues the ideas of developing the territory of the silk-weaving factory, around which the city actually formed. The authors skillfully mix different formats of mid-rise development and make the most of the island location, offering a variety of formats of interaction with water, available to all citizens. No wonder that the project is considered exemplary and worthy of duplication in the region. It is also an example of rare synergy between the client and the architects.
A Tower and a Manor House
The concept of a high-density residential district replacing a set of outdated privately owned houses in Yekaterinburg preserves the street grid and, in some cases, even the scale of construction. OSA Architects combine towers with townhouses and other types of housing, orienting the silhouette composition towards a pedestrian boulevard. Through non-linear routes and spatial diversity, the residents will see their neighborhood in a new way every day.
​The Warm Stone
The housing complex in Zelenogorsk is interpreted by Mayak architects as a scatter of stones. The unconventional outline of houses with a pentagon plan not only helped to form the image part of the project, but also facilitated the architects’ work with the density of construction and insolation of the apartments.
For All Times
The modular technology combined with the building material of glued wood allows the architectural company Rhizome to create quick-mount hotels (no less!) that are highly rated by the architectural community: last week, the new hotel “Vremena Goda. Igora” scored three awards. Below, we are examining the project in detail.