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Infobox / project eleven

  • Architects: project eleven
  • Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
  • Architects in Charge: Igor Chirkin, Aleksey Podkidyshev
  • Landscape and Masterplan: Asse architects
  • Area: 30.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Ilia Ivanov

© Ilia Ivanov © Ilia Ivanov © Ilia Ivanov © Ilia Ivanov

The Legacy of Dictatorial Architecture in our Cities

For the latest edition of The UrbanistMonocle 24's weekly "guide to making better cities," the team travel to Moscow, Portugal and Hong Kong to examine how "architecture has always been the unfortunate sidekick of any dictatorial regime." In the process they ask what these buildings actually stand for, and explore the legacy of the architecture of Fascist, Imperial and Brutalist regimes from around the world today. From the Seven Sisters in Moscow to António de Oliveira Salazar's Ministry of Internal Affairs in Lisbon, this episode asks how colonial, dictatorial and power-obsessed architecture has shaped our cities.

Examining OMA's Two Latest Venues for Contemporary Art

In an article for DesignCurial, Shumi Bose visits OMA's new galleries in Milan and Moscow: the Fondazione Prada and the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. Noting that "the mythologies [between OMA and Miuccia Prada] have become inextricably intertwined" over recent years, "the purpose of [the Fondazione Prada] was to produce a range of spaces for the creation, display of and engagement with art; what results is the built realisation of a particular ethos, affording the protean OMA a return to form. And it was always going to be stylish." Bose's flowing description of the building and its spaces, which she ultimately praises as "a place which will bear return," leads into an equally compelling description of Garage for which she recognises its clear "contribution [...] in supporting, indeed composing, the very narrative of Russian contemporary art."

Pernod Ricard Rouss Office / UNK project

Courtesy of UNK project Courtesy of UNK project Courtesy of UNK project Courtesy of UNK project

Attic for an Architect / buro5

  • Architects: buro5
  • Location: Moscow, Russia
  • Architect in Charge: Boris Denisyuk
  • Area: 49.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Luciano Spinelli

© Luciano Spinelli © Luciano Spinelli © Luciano Spinelli © Luciano Spinelli

Nikolay Polissky Creates Towering, Handcrafted Structures Across Russia

Born in 1957 in Moscow, artist Nikolay Polissky creates impressive, handcrafted structures in the middle of Russia's vast landscapes. Mostly carried out in the town of Nikola Lenivets -- located 200 km from the Russian capital --  his works are built entirely by the area's residents, using local materials, such as branches, trunks and wooden tables. Traditional construction techniques are used as a starting point for the projects. 

His work is inspiring not only because of its imposing form, but also because he managed to re-activate a semi-abandoned village through art and architecture, involving residents in the creative process and transforming the region into a sort of open cultural center. Since 2003, his work has been part of Archstoyanie, the largest Land-Art festival in Russia.

Gates of Perm (2011). Image © Tima Radya Hyperboloid / Volcano (2009). Image Courtesy of Nikolay Polissky Lighthouse (2004). Image Courtesy of Nikolay Polissky Media tower (2002). Image Courtesy of Nikolay Polissky

The Top 10 Most Impactful Skylines

Emporis, a German company that collects and distributes information on construction and the built environment, has released a ranking of the world’s 100 most visually impactful skylines, using statistical analysis to address a topic often made frustratingly subjective by civic pride. 

To create the rankings, Emporis used data from its archives to determine the number of high-rise buildings in the cities it studied, and applied a points system that gave each building a numerical value determined by the number of floors it has. To standardize their ranking process, the points system ignores spires and other ornament, and does not include television or antenna towers, masts, bridges, or similar architecture. 

Of the top 10 most impactful skylines, seven are in Asia, while North and South America combined have the other three. Notably, cities filled with rich architectural history fail to make the list, or fall surprisingly low in the rankings; London is number 44, Paris is ranked 66, and Rome does not make the cut. 

To see the top ten skylines, read on after the break, and click here to see Emporis' complete list.

Variant Studio's Moscow Metro Proposal: The World’s Quietest Metro Station?

When thinking of metro stations, the word quiet generally doesn’t come to mind—with all of the train and pedestrian traffic, not only is noise produced in high quantities, but it is also echoed. With this issue in mind, London-based Variant Studio created their proposal for the competition to design the new Novoperedelkino station in Moscow, Russia. Although not selected as the winning design, Variant was one of five shortlisted teams. Learn more about their silent proposal after the break. 

Metro Platform. Image Courtesy of Variant Studio Metro Tunnel. Image Courtesy of Variant Studio Courtesy of Variant Studio Courtesy of Variant Studio

Critical Round Up: OMA's Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Founded in 2008 and named after the constructivist bus shelter that was its first, temporary home, the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art is Russia's first private, non-profit art foundation. Relocating from a semi-industrial neighborhood on the northern edge of Moscow to Gorky Park, the Garage Museum's conversion of a Soviet era canteen and social club into Museum of Contemporary Art by OMA has so far been overshadowed by its more glamorous OMA counterpart which opened last month, the Milanese distillery conversion for Prada. Nevertheless, since opening last Friday the Garage Museum has attracted attention for Rem Koolhaas' shift towards preservation, something that has startled the critics. Find out more about what they thought after the break.

Yuri Palmin. Image © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art Yuri Palmin. Image © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art Yuri Palmin. Image © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art David X Prutting. Image © BFA.com

Bagritsky / Ruetemple

  • Architects: Ruetemple
  • Location: Moscow, Russia
  • Architect in Charge: Alexander Kudimov, Daria Butahina
  • Area: 80.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Ruetemple

© Ruetemple © Ruetemple © Ruetemple © Ruetemple

10 Highlights from Guardian Cities' "History of Cities in 50 Buildings"

All good things must come to an end, and Guardian Cities' excellent "History of Cities in 50 Buildings" series is sadly no exception, with only a few more left to be published before they hit 50. The whole series is definitely worth the read, bringing in the best of academic and architectural writing from guest authors and the Guardian's own Cities team, but if you're strapped for time - and if you're an architect, it's fairly likely that's true - we've rounded up 10 highlights from the list to get you started.

Amazonas Theatre, Manaus. Image © Wikimedia user Leaderfo Narkomfin Building, Moscow. Image © Wikimedia user NVO Ponte Tower, Johannesburg. Image © Flickr user fiverlocker Byker Wall Estate, Newcastle. Image © Flickr user George Rex

Reveley Classroom Building / Patano Studio Architecture

  • Architects: Patano Studio Architecture
  • Location: Moscow, ID, USA
  • Area: 2130.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Patano Studio Architecture

Courtesy of Patano Studio Architecture Courtesy of Patano Studio Architecture Courtesy of Patano Studio Architecture Courtesy of Patano Studio Architecture

Proekt Agency / Iceoff

  • Architects: Iceoff
  • Location: Moscow, Russia
  • Area: 108.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Iceoff

Courtesy of Iceoff Courtesy of Iceoff Courtesy of Iceoff Courtesy of Iceoff

House in the Moscow Region / M2 Architectural Group

  • Architects: M2 Architectural Group
  • Location: Moscow, Russia
  • Architect in Charge: Alexander Zhidkov
  • Area: 275.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Eugene Kulibaba

© Eugene Kulibaba © Eugene Kulibaba © Eugene Kulibaba © Eugene Kulibaba

URALCHEM HEADQUARTERS / Pedra Silva Arquitectos

  • Architects: Pedra Silva Arquitectos
  • Location: Moscow, Russia
  • Architect in Charge: Luis Pedra Silva and Maria Rita Pais
  • Design Team: André Góis, Dina Castro, Hugo Ramos, Hugo Ferreira, João Alves, Paulo André, Ricardo Sousa
  • Area: 3370.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Moscow's High Rise Bohemia: The International Business District With No Business

Moskva City. Image © Kirill Vinokurov
Moskva City. Image © Kirill Vinokurov

The Moscow International Business Center (Also known as Moskva-City) was meant to be Russia’s ticket into the Western world. First conceived in 1992, the district at the edge of Moscow’s city center is intended to contain up to 300,000 inhabitants, employees and visitors at any given moment and, when completed, will house over 4 million square meters of prime retail, hotel and office space to create what the Russian government desired most from this project: an enormous financial district that could dwarf London’s Canary Wharf and challenge Manhattan. Twenty three years later though, Moscow-based real estate company Blackwood estimates that as much as 45% of this new space is entirely vacant and rents have plummeted far below the average for the rest of Moscow. The only press Moskva-City is attracting is for tenants like the High Level Hostel, a hostel catering to backpackers and other asset-poor tourists on the 43rd floor of the Imperia Tower, with prices starting at $25.50 for a bed in a six-person room. This is not the glittering world of western high finance that was envisioned back in the post-Soviet 90s; but what has it become instead?

Moscow's Third Ring Road, the main road link to Moskva-City. Image © Flickr user kishjar? Moskva-City, with the City of Capitals towers on the left and the Imperia Tower on the right. Image © Pavel Kazachkov Moskva City. Image © Flickr user kishjar? © Flickr user Jay