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Architects Rally to Save Moscow's Historic Shukhov Tower

Architects Rally to Save Moscow's Historic Shukhov Tower
Architects Rally to Save Moscow's Historic Shukhov Tower, Richard Pare, Shabolovka Radio Tower, Moscow, Russia. Vladimir Shukhov, 1922. Image © Richard Pare 2007
Richard Pare, Shabolovka Radio Tower, Moscow, Russia. Vladimir Shukhov, 1922. Image © Richard Pare 2007

Tadao Ando, Elizabeth Diller, Rem Koolhaas and Thom Mayne are among the many signing a petition to urge Russian president Vladimir V. Putin to reconsider the fate of the neglected Shabolovka Radio Tower (Shukhov Tower), “a structure of dazzling brilliance and great historical importance,” as Norman Foster once described. Designed by Vladimir Shukhov and completed in 1922, the 160-meter hyperboloid structure is a 20th-century engineering feat that has served as a landmark of modernist architecture. 

Though supporters have rallied for its restoration for years, the Russian government has paid little attention. Now, as authorities lean towards demolition and plan to announce a final decision March 24, international architects, engineers, academics and cultural leaders are uniting to demand Putin overrides the committee’s decision and spares the tower. 

“Proponents for dismantling the tower say it’s a wreck; the situation is a classic case of demolition by neglect,” described a recent New York Times article. Many believing that destruction will only “make way for reckless development.” 

Supporters of the petition, include: 

  • Tadao Ando, Architect. Osaka.
  • John F. Abel, PhD, PE, F. ASCE, Past President of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS)
  • Gorun Aran, Chair, IASS Working Group on Historic spatial Structures, Vice president of ICOMOS-ISCARSAH
  • Masato Araya, Professor, Engineering, Waseda University, Japan
  • William Baker, Engineer SOM, Chicago (engineer Burj Al Khalifa, Dhubai, world’s tallest building).
  • Sebastiano Brandolini, Architect, Milan.
  • Alan Burden, DEng MSc BSc(Eng) DIC ACGI CEng MICE MIStructE. Engineer, London and Tokyo.
  • Clementine Cecil, Director, Save, London. Founder MAPS (Moscow Architecture Preservation Society).
  • Henry N Cobb, Architect, New York and President, American Academy of Arts and Letters
  • Jean-Louis Cohen, Sheldon H. Solow Professor in the History of Architecture, IFA, NYU, New York.
  • Odile Decq, Architect, Chevalier Legion d'Honneur, Paris.
  • Elizabeth Diller, Architect, New York and Professor, Princeton University.
  • Kate Goodwin, Drue Heinz Curator of Architecture, Royal Academy of Arts , London.
  • Dr. Rainer Graefe, Univ. Prof. Forschungsinstitut Archiv für Baukunst Universität Innsbruck.
  • John Harris, Founding Curator, RIBA drawings collection, Conservator, London.
  • Joerg Haspel, Professor, Head of Berlin authorities for Conservation , President, ICOMOS_Germany.
  • Yoshiharu Kanebako, Structural designer. Professor, Kogakuin University, Tokyo. 
  • Mamoru Kawaguchi, Engineer, Tokyo, past President IASS (International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures).
  • Rem Koolhaas, Architect, Rotterdam.
  • Kengo Kuma Architect, Professor, Tokyo University, Tokyo. 
  • Phyllis Lambert, CC, GOQ, FRAIC, FRSC, RCA, Founder, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal.
  • Bertrand Lemoine, Architect and Engineer, Research Director, National Centre for Scientific Research, former Director General, Atelier International du Grand Paris, Paris. 
  • Thom Mayne, Architect, Los Angeles, Professor UCLA.
  • Robin Middleton, Professor Emeritus, Columbia University. New York.
  • Marc Mimram, Engineer and Architect, Professor, Paris. 
  • Stanislaus von Moos, Professor, Yale University. New Haven. Emeritus professor, History of Modern Art, University of Zurich.
  • René Motro, President, International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures.
  • Florian Musso, Professor, Technische Universität München.
  • Guy Nordenson, Engineer, New York and Professor, Princeton University.
  • John Ochsendorf, Engineer and Professor, MIT. Cambridge.
  • Richard Pare, Photographer, Richmond, Yorks, UK.
  • Leslie Robertson, Engineer, New York (engineer of original World Trade Center and many of the world’s tallest buildings).
  • Mutsuro Sasaki, Engineer, Professor, Hosei University, Tokyo.
  • Joerg Schlaich, Engineer, Professor Emeritus Stuttgart University, Stuttgart and Berlin.
  • Sir Nicholas Serota, CH, Director, Tate Galleries and Museums, London.
  • Isa Willinger, Film maker, Munich.
  • Hajime Yatsuka, Professor, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Tokyo.
  • Ted Zoli, Bridge Engineer, New York.

This list of signatories is being coordinated by Richard Pare. You can sign a petition here on

Cite: Karissa Rosenfield. "Architects Rally to Save Moscow's Historic Shukhov Tower" 17 Mar 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>