When it comes to urbanism these days, people’s attention is increasingly turning to Moscow. The city clearly intends to become one of the world’s leading megacities in the near future and is employing all necessary means to achieve its goal, with the city government showing itself to be very willing to invest in important urban developments (though not without some criticism).
A key player in this plan has been the Moscow Urban Forum. Although the forum’s stated goal is to find adequate designs for future megacities, a major positive side-effect is that it enables the city to organize the best competitions, select the best designers, and build the best urban spaces to promote the city of Moscow. The Forum also publishes research and academic documents to inform Moscow’s future endeavors; for example, Archaeology of the Periphery, a publication inspired by the 2013 forum and released in 2014, notably influenced the urban development on the outskirts of Moscow, but also highlighted the importance of combining urban development with the existing landscape.
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.
At the recently concluded Moscow Urban Forum, Renier de Graaf shared his opinion on a range of topics, from UK’s Brexit and the EU identity to OMA’s work in Russia, particularly in shaping the recent growth of Moscow. De Graaf is a partner at OMA and as director of the firm’s Think Tank, AMO, he produced The Image of Europe, an exhibition hoping to portray a “bold, explicit and popular” European Union. Thus, it comes as no surprise that De Graaf, along with Rem Koolhaas, is particularly outspoken about the recent events within the European Union.
On the 1st of July Moscow Construction and Fit-out Association, MCFO opens online submission for MCFO Awards, which defines excellence in office space in Moscow. Entries can be submitted by any member of a project team through www.mcfo-awards.com.
Moscow's Strelka Institute has launched a series scholarships that will cover expenses for its first joint master’s programme with the HSE Graduate School of Urbanism, called ‘Advanced Urban Design’. Three scholarships will be granted to remarkable emerging leaders in the spheres of urban design and research to fully pursue a two-year study.
Since its first version in 2011, the Moscow Urban Forum has become an important international platform devoted to the development of megacities, and improvement of the quality of life of urban residents in the world, Moscow and Russia. Over the years, it has developed into a major international project that brings together the people who come up with ideas to improve the quality of urban space, and the people who implement these ideas: mayors, politicians, urbanists, and architects from all over the world.
The topic of the 2016 Forum is "Fast-Growing Megacities: Technologies for Dynamic Development." Why is it so important to discuss growth and development of megacities at this time? What are the rules that determine their existence?
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.
Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has announced a new project in Moscow, winning a competition to design the Sberbank Technopark at the Skolkovo Innovation Centre. This is the firm’s first announcement of new work since the untimely death of Zaha Hadidlate last month. As the market leader of the Russian banking and economic circulatory system since 1841, Sberbank’s new 131,000 square meter facility will accommodate 10,000 to 12,000 workers in the sectors of marketing and information technology.
At last year's Moscow Urban Forum, Charles Renfro discussed Diller Scofidio + Renfro's design for Zaryadye Park in Moscow. Located in the heart of the city, the park employs Wild Urbanist principles, which seek to emulate Russia's diverse landscapes – tundra, steppe, forest, and wetland – against a backdrop of architectural landmarks that includes the Kremlin, Red Square, and St. Basil’s Cathedral.
The Russian contribution to the 2016 Venice Biennale has been revealed to be "an account of how the V.D.N.H. (the 'Exhibition of Attainments of the National Economy’)—a unique complex in both scale and architecture—is being transformed into a multi-format cultural and educational space, accessible to all." Entitled V.D.N.H. Urban Phenomenon, the show will examine the park's global significance "given that the whole world is concerned by the question of how to develop society’s intellectual potential and how to create effective mechanisms for cultural assimilation." Following the Biennale, the exhibition will be permanently relocated to the V.D.N.H. in Moscow.
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.
We are pleased to announce a new content partnership between ArchDaily and Moscow's Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design in which we will share a collection of critical essays, interviews and articles on urban events, studies in urbanism, and urban technologies which are currently taking place in Russia. ArchDaily's Editors will be working closely with those of Strelka Magazine, which was launched in 2014, to translate and publish ideas and opinions from their expert team of local writers.
http://www.archdaily.com/784794/strelka-institute-and-archdaily-partner-to-bring-critical-commentaryAD Editorial Team
The aim of this International Competition is to design a new Circus School in Moscow to serve as an academy for aspiring circus performers. The architecture of this new building should reﬂect contemporary design tendencies. The proposal must not only attend to the speciﬁc function but also take into consideration the urban context and impact.
A two-day event will be held on Saturday, March 19, and Sunday, March 20, 2016, in Moscow, Russia, to celebrate the 94th anniversary of the Shukhov Tower and the official launch of a petition to save the Constructivist landmark, which faces a "looming threat of demolition." The tower is on the 2016 World Monuments Watch, as well as the World Monument Fund’s biennial list of at-risk cultural heritage sites worldwide.
Built between 1919 and 1922 by Vladimir Shukhov, the tower is a landmark in the history of structural engineering, and “is an emblem of the creative genius of an entire generation of modernist architects in the years that followed the Russian Revolution.”