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Strelka Magazine

Strelka Magazine is the journal of Moscow's Strelka Institute for Architecture, Media and Design – founded in 2009 by, among others, Rem Koolhaas. The Institute promotes positive changes and creates new ideas and values through its educational activities. Articles shown here are the result of a bilateral partnership between the Magazine and ArchDaily.

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Examining the Constructed World of the Blockbuster Movie "Ghost in the Shell"

04:00 - 3 August, 2017
Examining the Constructed World of the Blockbuster Movie "Ghost in the Shell", Still from "Ghost in the Shell" (2017) directed by Rupert Sanders. Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine
Still from "Ghost in the Shell" (2017) directed by Rupert Sanders. Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine

In this article, originally published by Strelka Magazine and translated into English by Alexandra Tumarkina, Anton Khitrov sits down with Julia Ardabyevskaya to analyse the urban environment and spectacular world that the blockbuster movie Ghost in the Shell creates.

Ghost in the Shell, a new sci-fi blockbuster starring Scarlett Johansson, is based on a 1992 manga comic and a more famous 1995 anime adaptation. In the film, humans are presented as obsessed with high-tech prosthetics, spending vast amounts of money on “self-improvement”. The story proceeds to show that the next step for humanity will be complete robotization; this new generation of human machines is represented by the movie's heroine – a female cyborg with an organic brain but a synthetic body. The action takes place in a futuristic city in which almost every surface is covered in holograms the size of a skyscraper, each and every one an advertisement.

Still from "Ghost in the Shell" (2017) directed by Rupert Sanders. Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine Still from "Ghost in the Shell" (2017) directed by Rupert Sanders. Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine Still from "Ghost in the Shell" (2017) directed by Rupert Sanders. Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine Still from "Ghost in the Shell" (2017) directed by Rupert Sanders. Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine + 7

10 Architecture Books to Look Forward to in 2017

04:00 - 23 February, 2017
10 Architecture Books to Look Forward to in 2017

In this article, originally published by Strelka Magazine, journalist and writer Stanislav Lvovskiy recommends ten forthcoming books (which will be published this year) on architecture and urbanism written by leading experts and scholars.

A person of prescience never renounces the pleasures (and, yes, perils) of forecasting, especially the realistic kind, and even more so after all the "bad news" of the past year. Without a doubt, the year to come has its own surprises in store. For those who still relish reading or, at the very least, find it useful, let’s now have a preview of the pleasures we can expect from the university presses in 2017.

How to Change Cities With Culture: 10 Tips Using UNESCO

08:00 - 23 January, 2017
How to Change Cities With Culture: 10 Tips Using UNESCO, "The Old Bridge in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina / Photo: ru.wikipedia.org". Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine
"The Old Bridge in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina / Photo: ru.wikipedia.org". Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine

This article, written by Svetlana Kondratyeva and translated by Olga Baltsatu for Strelka Magazine, examines the most interesting cases of the role of culture in sustainable urban development based on the UNESCO report.

UNESCO published the Global Report on Culture for Sustainable Urban Development in the fall of 2016. Two UN events stimulated its creation: a document entitled Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which emphasizes seventeen global goals for future international collaboration, was signed in September of 2015 at the Summit in New York. Habitat III, the conference held once in twenty years and dedicated to housing and sustainable urban development, took place in Ecuador in October of 2016. The question of culture’s role in urban development, and what problems it can solve, was raised at both events. To answer it, UNESCO summarized global experience and included successful cases of landscaping, cultural politics, events, and initiatives from different corners of the world in the report.

The Hidden History of St. Petersburg's Leningrad-Era Avant-Garde Architecture

04:00 - 20 December, 2016
The Hidden History of St. Petersburg's Leningrad-Era Avant-Garde Architecture, © Leonid Balanev
© Leonid Balanev

While Yekaterinburg’s avant-garde architecture is the city’s hallmark, and Moscow’s avant-garde is the subject of arguments, in Saint Petersburg the prominence of the style and its influence are somewhat harder to identify. Some researchers even suggest that the avant-garde is an “outcast” or a “non-existent style” here, and its presence in has remained largely unrecognized. Alexander Strugach sheds light on this phenomenon:

In Saint Petersburg, the avant-garde style is simply overshadowed by an abundance of Baroque, Modernist and Classical architecture, and is not yet considered an accomplished cultural heritage category. Meanwhile, gradual deterioration makes proving the cultural value of avant-garde buildings even more difficult.

Water Tower and Rope Production Facility (Kransy Gvozdilshchik). Image © Leonid Balanev Ilyich House of Culture. Image © Leonid Balanev Vyborgsky District Factory Kitchen. Image © Leonid Balanev Moscow District Council. Image © Leonid Balanev + 27

How a Group of "Partners in Crime" Restored Yekaterinburg's Constructivist-Era White Tower

05:30 - 26 October, 2016
How a Group of "Partners in Crime" Restored Yekaterinburg's Constructivist-Era White Tower, © Fedor Telkov. Courtesy of Strelka Magazine
© Fedor Telkov. Courtesy of Strelka Magazine

In August of this year the White Tower, one of Yekaterinburg’s signature Constructivist-era buildings, opened its doors to the public for the first time. Polina Ivanova, Director of the Podelniki Architecture Group gave Strelka Magazine insight into how the practice got its hands on the tower, and launched it as the city's latest cultural venue.

Moscow Has a New Standard for Street Design

04:00 - 25 August, 2016
Moscow Has a New Standard for Street Design, Street and Urban Public Space Design Standard. Image © KB Strelka Archive
Street and Urban Public Space Design Standard. Image © KB Strelka Archive

Earlier this year the development of a new Street Design Standard for Moscow was completed under a large-scale urban renovation program entitled My Street, and represents the city's first document featuring a complex approach to ecology, retail, green space, transportation, and wider urban planning. The creators of the manual set themselves the goal of making the city safer and cleaner and, ultimately, improving the quality of life. In this exclusive interview, Strelka Magazine speaks to the Street Design Standard's project manager and Strelka KB architect Yekaterina Maleeva about the infamous green fences of Moscow, how Leningradskoe Highway is being made suitable for people once again, and what the document itself means for the future of the Russian capital.

Has "Terror" Been an Important Factor in Shaping Russian Cities?

04:00 - 26 July, 2016
Has "Terror" Been an Important Factor in Shaping Russian Cities?, Perspective view of the Zamoskvorechye district of Moscow. Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine
Perspective view of the Zamoskvorechye district of Moscow. Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine

In this interview Nadya Nilina, a Russian architect, urban planner and educator specialising in large-scale masterplanning and historical preservation, traces the formation of Russian discourse on urbanism and discusses what goals might be set for the future of urbanisation in the country.

Alongside Prof. Dr. Ronald Wall, Nilina is curating the Urbanisation of Developing Countries course as part of the new Advanced Urban Design programme at Moscow's Strelka Institute, which will provide a detailed critical overview of Russian urban development over the last three hundred years. Urbanisation of Developing Countries is considered one of the key topics in urbanism today and represents a large and complex part of this discussion.

Perspective view of the Zamoskvorechye district of Moscow. Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine Plan of Magnitogorsk. Image via New Town Institute Moskovskoe motorway, residential block. E. Levinson, I. Fomin, 1939-1940. Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine Petrov's plan of St. Petersburg (1738). Image Courtesy of Strelka Magazine + 7

A Soviet Utopia: Constructivism in Yekaterinburg

04:00 - 22 June, 2016
A Soviet Utopia: Constructivism in Yekaterinburg, Chekist Town (1929-1936). Image © Fyodor Telkov
Chekist Town (1929-1936). Image © Fyodor Telkov

Developed early on in the Soviet era, and fully subordinate to Soviet ideology, the Constructivist movement was intended to form the foundations of a brave new world. The introduction of the Five-Year Plans coincided with the time when Constructivism was adopted as the official architectural style in the USSR. These circumstances allowed many architects to implement daring projects across the entire Soviet Union, and the Urals became one of the biggest magnets.

In this article—written by Sasha Zagryazhsky, translated by Philipp Kachalin and with photographs by Fyodor Telkov—you can take a virtual tour of fourteen of Yekaterinburg's most significant Soviet Constructivist buildings.

Soyuzkhleb (1928-1929). Image © Fyodor Telkov General Post Office (1929-1934). Image © Fyodor Telkov Uraloblsovnarkhoz Dormitory (1930-1933). Image © Fyodor Telkov Chekist Town (1929-1936). Image © Fyodor Telkov + 17

What Do 16,000 Photographs Say About Moscow?

04:00 - 5 May, 2016
What Do 16,000 Photographs Say About Moscow?, Courtesy of Strelka Magazine, Alla Shvydkaya
Courtesy of Strelka Magazine, Alla Shvydkaya

Once a photograph is uploaded to social media, it ceases to be part of one’s private archive and becomes public property – as well as an object of study for researchers. There have been many attempts to study photographs on the scale of "Big Data." Take, for example, the numerous and well-publicised projects by Lev Manovich’s Big Data Lab. Evidently, using the results of one study of the huge online archive of photographs to make conclusions about society at large, is not necessarily a good idea. It’s fair to say that our society is not evenly represented online: a 19-year old woman may be posting her selfies daily, but it doesn’t mean that same goes for a sixty-five year old man. That said, we can learn a lot about cities and their inhabitants from the results of studies such as these.

À La Izba and Faux Stone: Moscow's Age of Wooden Architecture

04:00 - 5 April, 2016
À La Izba and Faux Stone: Moscow's Age of Wooden Architecture, Pogodin’s Izba, Moscow. Image © Gleb Leonov
Pogodin’s Izba, Moscow. Image © Gleb Leonov

A total of 150 eighteenth and nineteenth century listed wooden buildings remain under protection in Moscow today. Modern city dwellers see only remnants of pre-revolution Moscow, which stayed almost entirely wooden until the early seventeenth century. This is one of the reasons why the Museum of Architecture and Kuchkovo Pole publishing house have joined forces to release a two volume set named Wooden Russia: A Glance Back From the 21st Century.

The first volume contains stories of expeditions and research projects studying the early period of Russian architecture, reports from open-air museums and articles on religious and traditional architecture practices. The second book focuses on neo-Russian architectural style, club architecture, Soviet intelligentsia dachas, and modern park buildings. Shchusev State Museum of Architecture researchers Zoya Zolotnitskaya and Lyudmila Saigina—experts on eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth century architecture—agreed to share the stories of ten wooden buildings which managed to survive in the centre of Moscow to this day.

© Gleb Leonov © Gleb Leonov © Gleb Leonov © Gleb Leonov + 23