"The Age of Megacities: Exploring Global, National and Local Priorities" is the name of the Moscow Urban Forum 2016 which will be held on June 30 – July 03, 2016 in Manege Central Exhibition Hall. It is a leading international event devoted to development of megacities, improvement of the quality of life of urban residents in the world, Russia and Moscow.
Architectural design office UNK project has won a competition to design the Atomic Energy Pavilion in Moscow’s Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy (VDNH), an area that has been in the process of redevelopment and growth since 2013. The pavilion aims to share the “history of the native nuclear industry” and its “contribution into modern economic development," according to competition organizer ROSATOM.
Of the six competition entries to advance to the final stage, the UNK project design, was the only that “decided not to pursue the literal associations with the atom and atomic energy in the hardware of the pavilion, but rather dispersed it in its software," according to the architects.
Strelka KB has announced two Russia-based design teams, Timur Bashkayev Architectural Bureau and BuroMoscow, as the winners of the design competition for two Moscow metro stations. The stations, Nizhniye Mnevnik and Terekhovo, are both located to the northwest of the capital. These two new stations, which include designs for an outdoor pavilion, a street underpass, a ticket booth and a street underpass, will extend the Moscow Metro network and are expected to be fully functioning in 2018.
Moscow’s Chief Architect Sergey Kuznetsov has announced the winners of the Open All-Russia Competition for a Concept of Redevelopment of two modernist cinema theaters: Varshava and Voskhod. An initiative of ADG Group, in collaboration with the Committee on Architecture and Urban Planning of Moscow City, the competition awarded one winner for the Voskhod theater, and two winners for the Varshava theater. The organizer of the competition is the agency for strategic development "CENTER."
Over the past 20 years, the urban environment of Moscow's Paveletskaya Central Station has been degrading, suspending potential development of the area. Early in 2015, it was placed on a list of 256 transport hubs to be developed in Moscow, resulting in the Paveletskaya hub –- a proposal by WALL Architectural Bureau to redevelop the train station.
Commissioned by the Polytechnic Museum, P-Cube by Marcos Zotes and his studio UNSTABLE is a temporary pavilion at the center of VDNKh Park in Moscow, Russia. The project is a nine-meter tall, nine-meter wide cubic structure, that uses a scaffolding system covered in translucent fabric to create an experience that changes with the time of day.
Though the ahistorical dogma of modernism would seem a perfect fit for the Soviet Union’s mandated break with traditions, the architectural history of the USSR was somewhat more complex. Stalin’s neoclassically-inflected socialist realism superseded the constructivist heyday of the early Soviet Union, only to be replaced by a return to modernism under Khrushchev, facilitated by an opening to the West. Architectural photographers Denis Esakov and Dmitry Vasilenko recently used a drone to capture photographs of several landmark structures of the Khrushchev-era return to modernism, focusing on how these aerial views reinforce their rational geometries and regimented forms. Until the recent advent of satellite imagery and commercially available drones, these were views that were only ever seen by the architects, and the officials who reviewed the plans. Even so, the photographer notes that these methodical forms must have been very attractive to the state officers tasked with implementing Khrushchev’s mandated aesthetic.
The photographs, taken in and around Moscow, include works by several prominent Soviet architects. Leonid Pavlov’s long career spanned the full spectrum of state-sponsored architectural styles, starting as a constructivist, and moving into more historicist designs under Stalin, before emerging as one of the Soviet Union’s most prominent post-war modernists. Similarly, Yuri Platonov’s work received extensive state recognition, earning him the title of “People’s architect of the USSR,” as well as awards such the Silver Medal of the Arts Academy of the USSR, the USSR State Prize, and the State Prize of Russia.
In 2010, following the election of a new mayor, the Moscow city government began to work towards a comfortable urban environment in which citizens would feel like residents rather than mere users of the city. The emphasis was on creating public spaces in which Muscovites could fulfill their potential and feel that the city was their home.
Gorky Park was at the forefront of the changes. During the 1990s, the "Central Park of Culture and Leisure" accumulated a collection of fairground rides and became a sort of amusement park popular principally among visitors from other cities; Muscovites hardly went there. Three years ago, the city government made it their mission to overturn the park's image and bring Moscow's residents back. A full-scale reconstruction and restoration began in spring 2011.
Today, Gorky Park is a new level of urban space – one centered around people and boasting a scrupulously conceived infrastructure. All of the changes were aimed at creating a comfortable environment for life - for strolling and sport, work and study, culture and leisure. Moreover, in a short time the park has developed an effective economic model whereby it receives one half of its budget from the city and generates the other half itself.
What are the characteristics of preservation-worthy architecture? In his book "Belyayevo Forever: A Soviet Microrayon on its Way to the UNESCO List," Kuba Snopek finds uniqueness in the seemingly generic Belyayevo microrayon, and argues that in spite of its pattern-book design it is worthy of protection. In this excerpt from the book's first chapter, Snopek examines Belyayevo's predecessor - the Ninth Quarter of Cheryomushki, which was constructed in the 1950s as an experiment that would transform Soviet housing policy - finding it to be a place which challenges our preconceived notions about architectural heritage.
A foreigner’s first contact with Moscow might begin with Google Earth. Its virtual tour through Russia’s capital starts with a view of its radial-concentric plan: loops of circular roads radiating from the Kremlin are cut through with the straight lines of prospects (avenues) and streets leading from the center towards the outskirts. This general scheme is familiar to any European architect: many other cities have circular boulevards, straight avenues and ring roads.
ProjectNext communications agency and White Gardens business center announce an open international competition for architecture, structural-engineering, and design firms with the aim of finding the best concept for White Gardens Arcade.
Arcade is a public space between the two blocks of the White Gardens business center, which is located in the well-known White District business district. The glass-roofed space of the Arcade contains restaurants, cafes, and bars. During the warm months of the year visitors may sit out on open verandahs and listen to concerts. Arcade has a floor area of more than 800 square meters and is intended as a place where both people working at the business center and the general public may come to relax.
Participating ArchitectPeter Kostelov
A consortium led by Sergey Skuratov Architects (SSA) was selected over Steven Holl Architects and Miralles Tagliabue EMBT to develop a concept for a multi use complex on Moscow's Sofiyskaya Embankment. Planned for a historic area on the Moscow-river bank, opposite Kremlin, the winning concept calls for three "longitudinal units with roofs of different types and heights" that produce a "picturesque outline" and offers a "gentle transition" from the "old buildings to new."
Read on for a glimpse of the winning and two runner-up proposals.
Architect in ChargeAlexander Kudimov, Daria Butahina
PhotographsCourtesy of Ruetemple
The V-A-C Foundation has selected Renzo Piano Building Workshop to re-develop a two-hectare area in Moscow, converting a former power station into a center for contemporary arts and culture. Located on the Moskva river in the city’s Red October district, the GES2 power station was built in the early 1900s and once supplied energy to the city. The project envisions the recuperation of the power station’s original form as well as the reconfiguration of the entire site into a 150 meter by 150 meter square.
Photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has shared with us images of OMA's recently completed Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow. The museum project repurposed the 1960s Vremena Goda restaurant in Gorky Central Park and transformed it into a modern exhibition space adorned with Soviet era tiles, mosaics and bricks preserved from its previous life.
"The building offers a wide range of interior conditions for the exhibition of art beyond the ubiquitous “white cube,” described OMA in the project's description. Scroll down for more images of the museum by Ghinitoiu.
The annual Moscow Urban Forum is right around the corner. To be held from October 16-17, the theme of this year’s forum is “Moscow as a Dynamic Megacity: Flexible Management Practices.” The forum will feature two days of conferences, exhibitions and lectures with a focus on issues surrounding the development of Moscow. While in past years the conference focused on issues related to megacities in general, this year for the first time the forum will just focus on the capital city.
“The international political situation influenced the key aspects of the country’s life, bringing internal goals and tasks to the foreground. That is why we have decided to concentrate only on the Moscow agenda this year, and to dedicate the Forum to the presentation and discussion of projects related to the capital, a search for new Moscow development centres, outlining the problems and challenges faced by the megacity during the crisis, a search for the most optimal and effective solutions for further successful development of the city,” said Marat Khusnullin, the Moscow Deputy Mayor for Urban Development and Construction and the head of the Moscow Urban Forum executive committee.
Today in Moscow, Asymptote Architecture unveiled plans for the new Hermitage Modern Contemporary, alongside a 150-meter tower planned for ZiL - the city's oldest industrial area and former Soviet automotive factory. The State Hermitage Museum's newest outpost, the 15-story satellite facility was said to be inspired by El Lissitzky's "Proun" painting, which informed the building's "terraced interior."
“With so much museum work over the years, we’ve dress-rehearsed for the Hermitage,” Hani Rashid of Asymptote told the New York Times back in July. “We’ve done a lot of thinking about how art might be seen in the future, about how the museum building itself can provoke artistic responses.”