Architecture inherently appears to be at odds with our mobile world – while one is static, the other is in constant motion. That said, architecture has had, and continues to have, a significant role in facilitating the rapid growth and evolution of transportation: cars require bridges, ships require docks, and airplanes require airports.
In creating structures to support our transit infrastructure, architects and engineers have sought more than functionality alone. The architecture of motion creates monuments – to governmental power, human achievement, or the very spirit of movement itself. AD Classics are ArchDaily's continually updated collection of longer-form building studies of the world's most significant architectural projects. Here we've assembled seven projects which stand as enduring symbols of a civilization perpetually on the move.
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.
Yuri Grigoryan founded Project Meganom in 1999 in Moscow with his partners Alexandra Pavlova, Iliya Kuleshov, and Pavel Ivanchikov. Together, the group all graduated from Moscow’s Architectural Institute, MArchI in 1991, the year of the Soviet Union’s collapse, and then practiced at the studio of Moscow architect Alexander Larin. Today Project Meganom is headed by Grigoryan, Iliya Kuleshov, Artem Staborovsky, and Elena Uglovskaya, and keeps in close contact with the theoretical side of architecture: Grigoryan teaches at his alma mater and until recently he was the Director of Education at Strelka Institute, founded in 2009 under the creative leadership of Rem Koolhaas, while in 2008 the practice was involved in the Venice Architecture Biennale with their San Stae project for curator Yuri Avvakumov's “BornHouse” exhibition. All of this gives Grigoryan an interesting overview of Russia's unique architectural context. In this interview from his “City of Ideas” column, Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with Grigoryan about the issues facing Russian architecture and how Project Meganom has responded to those challenges.
Vladimir Belogolovsky:You travel often and participate in student critiques in the West and in Russia. Do you notice any particular difference in approaches?
Yuri Grigoryan: First, the West is not homogeneous. For example, in the late 1980s, during what was then a very rare trip to the USA I had a chance to visit some of the leading studios and schools. I remember how during our visit to the IIT in Chicago the students would sit and methodically place four pieces of paper, forming laconic spaces precisely following Mies van der Rohe’s principles. That was very strange and I did not see any influences coming from outside of that particular school of thought. I could say the same about Russia. At the height of the Constructivist movement, the teachings of our great educators Nikolai Ladovsky and his students Ivan Lamtsov and Mikhail Turkus at Vkhutemas lead to the situation where the figure of a teacher lost its meaning; it was replaced with methodology that was to be obeyed as if it were a sort of religion.
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.