Strelka Unsettled: A New Future for Moscow’s Most Neglected Architecture?

Courtesy of Squadra Komanda

The Strelka Institute, Moscow’s most innovative school for architecture and urbanism, “might be soon forced to leave its current venue in the heart of the Russian capital” due to proposed redevelopment of the area. Faced by the threat of this possibility, the school formed a competition in order to collect ideas for the relocation. The winning proposal, developed by Squadra Komanda, proposes a “visionary program of development for the disputed and immense architectural legacy from the late-Soviet period.”

Late Soviet architecture constitutes “almost two third of all buildings in .” As it represents “an unpleasant reminder of the recent past,” many Russians dislike this kind of building. As a result, the Strelka Unsettled, with the possibility for collaboration with the outdated cultural institutions hosted inside the building of the All Russian State Library for Foreign Literature (built in 1966), seeks to offer new scenarios for this “neglected kind of architecture.”

Archaeology of the Periphery: Moscow Beyond Its Center

In Archaeology of the Periphery, a publication emerging out of the Moscow Urban Forum, a variety of specialists tackle the issue of a strategy for the development of Moscow’s metropolitan area. As one of the best examples of urban concentric development, teams of engineers, architects, planners, economists and sociologists, studied the Russian metropolis with a pointed focus on the periphery—specifically the territory between the Third Ring Road and the Moscow Ring Road. Using an “archaeological” approach, the study reveals entrenched and hidden planning structures in order to increase the awareness and attractiveness of the periphery. Archaeology of the Periphery argues that examination of the city’s fringe requires different methods of analysis than would be applied to traditional city centers.

“As the centre sets a certain quality of life and serves as a benchmark for the entire city, the high “gravitation” of the centre makes the signs of urban life invisible on the outskirts. Different optics are required in order to work with the non-central urban space. The tactic of “taking out” the centre and “sharpening the focus” on the peripheral territory will reveal what has been obscured and help identify the processes that take place, study potential, support or control the current forces at play.

The term “periphery,” which is based on the opposition to a semantic centre is used in a wide range of scientific fields. The myriad of approaches underlines the ambiguity of the phenomenon and at the same time provides a base for an multidisciplinary research. This research was performed by experts in sociology (S), politics (P), architecture and (A), culture (C), economics (E) and big data (D). Methodology — SPACED — allows a broader view of the actual and potential intersections, going.”

Venice Biennale 2014: Full List of National Participants Revealed

A few hours ago in Venice, Rem Koolhaas presented his curatorial vision for “Fundamentals” in a live-streamed opening press conference. As we reported last year, “Fundamentals” will focus on architecture rather than architects and history rather than contemporaneity. Koolhaas will not just curate an exhibition of his own, but will be coordinating the “collective effort of all national pavilions.”

This year’s exhibition features the participation of 65 countries–including 11 first-time participants (Azerbaijan, Côte d’Ivoire, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, New Zealand and Turkey). See the complete list of national participants–which includes collaborations with Jacques Tati, Hans Ulrich Obrist, , Iñaki Ábalos and others–after the break.

Click here to see all of ’s previous coverage of the 2014 Venice Biennale. And stay tuned… we’ll be bringing you on-the-ground reports from Venice when the Biennale launches in the first week of June!

Three Finalists Announced for Moscow’s Ukraina Hotel Entryway Competition

. Image Courtesy of Entryway > Hotel Competition

The Ukraina Hotel, with the support of the non-state educational institution Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, have announced the finalists for the Ukraina Hotel Entryway competition. Designs from ABD Architects (Russia) in cooperation with Werner Sobek Moskwa (Russia), TPO Lesosplav (Russia) in cooperation with Malishev Wilson Engineers (UK), and Studio 44 (Russia) have been chosen from a total of ten competing proposals, one of which will now be implemented by the client. Offering the chance to design a new entrance to one of Moscow’s foremost landmarks, the winning scheme will provide a rare opportunity to work with an unique example of Stalinist architectural heritage.

Strelka Institute Crowd-Sources Urban Design Ideas with “What Moscow Wants” Campaign

The Cultural Navigator. Image Courtesy of CITIZENSTUDIO bureau

Among the biggest challenges facing city planners is to implement plans which are not just needed, but also popular. In a bid to address this common problem of democratic city design, the Strelka Institute developed What Moscow Wants, an online platform designed to crowdsource ideas for the development of Moscow.

What Moscow Wants consists of a three-step process: residents first propose ideas on the website (ranging from the prosaic suggestion of a standardized city-wide parking bollard, to the outlandish idea of an underwater museum in the River); next, local architectural practices chose suggestions which they felt they could contribute a solution to and posted their proposals to the website; finally, the most popular choices were presented by the architects at the Moscow Urban Forum from the 5-7th of December.

Read on after the break to see a selection of the most popular projects

Strelka Institute Education Programme 2013/14: Urban Routines

The Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design opened its doors three years ago. 110 students, 30 teachers and over 200 international experts took part in developing a radically new intellectual and physical space in . This collective effort resulted in a unique research, educational and public center, looking at the complex problems of a Russian city. Strelka Institute studied urban environment and the nature of its transformation, as well as changed the world around us.

Within three years of its existence, Strelka’s educational programme developed several broad themes. In their projects students researched “Public Space”, “Design”, “Preservation”, “Thinning”, “Urban Culture”, “Hinterland”, “Megacity”, “Information”, “Education”. Student projects and research, while remaining inherently student work, made a significant impact on the evolution of public discussion in Moscow, helped introduce the notion of public space into the Russian context and focus public attention on the theme of urban development.

In 2013-14 Strelka will select the theme of its research & design studios differently. We are radically shifting perspective and in the framework of intensive three month research studios are focusing on very concrete, real and seemingly familiar matters.

Applications for this program are open until July 26th. Read more about the program:

AD Interviews: Alexander Mamut

The construction of the city is something that goes beyond architects and planners. It involves the government, the citizens and the private sector. For the ArchDaily Interview series we have interviewed many architects with very different backgrounds, and we have started to include people outside the field that have played an important role either for our profession or the city.

During our last trip to , we had the opportunity to interview Alexander Mamut, businessman and investor who is involved in projects such as the Pioner Cinema, the Waterstone book chain, the blogging service LiveJournal  and other projects related to culture, media and the city. He is also one of the founders of the Strelka Institute, a post graduate school located at the Chocolate Factory in the heart of Moscow and using the city as a laboratory, with an ambitious plan to raise the quality of architectural education in the country.

The founders of Strelka (who also include Sergey Adonyev, Dmitry Likin, Ilya Oskolkov-Tsentsiper and Oleg Shapiro) invited Rem Koolhass to design the curriculum for this new school, who under the AMO research arm prepared the educational programme for Strelka, with a research agenda based on design, energy, preservation, public spaces and thinning. The institute brings together professionals from different disciplines to have a comprehensive approach to city and architecture, from architects to urbanists, writers, designers, scientists, and journalists.

The city of Moscow is facing tremendous challenges, due to the growth and changes it has undergone in the past few years, which will only accelerate as the result of its vibrant economy. The city is expected to double its population in the coming years, and many competitions, including the masterplan for the city’s expansion, are being held with this objective in mind.

Courtesy of Strelka

In this scenario, architecture education is key in order to form the new generation of professionals that wil face the critical issues of contemporary Russia. And this is why we wanted to include Alexander Mamut, whose passion for the city led him to invest in the city in a particular way, in our interview series. He is a good example of what can be done from the private sector to develop cities with a long-term vision.

During the interview, we discuss with Alexander Mamut the future of Moscow, how education can improve the quality of life of its habitants, the importance of the private sector in the development of cities, and more.

Venice Biennale 2012: Strelka Institute to host discussions on shaping tomorrow’s cities

Courtesy of the Strelka Institute

Russia’s leading creative think tank, Strelka Institute, is hosting a series of discussions with preeminent voices in architecture and urban design in the pre-opening days of the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale. Inspired by the Biennale’s theme of Common Ground, the conversations will focus on how architecture and design can drive the physical, social and economic regeneration of urban environments. Using Russian cities as a starting point, the talks will explore wider issues in urban design around global metropoles. Featured speakers include ’s Reinier de Graaf, Teddy Cruz, Stefano Boeri, and more.

The discussions will take place on August 27 and 28 at the Strelka Palazzo. All events are free to attend, but space is limited. Please email venice@strelka.com to reserve a seat.

Strelka Palazzo Program:

ArchDaily lecture series in Moscow, Russia

After great lectures at the Escola da Cidade in Sao Paulo and the Center for Architecture in New York, this week ArchDaily is heading to Moscow to lecture at three important institutions: The High School of Design (May 31st), the State Museum of Architecture (June 1st) and the Strelka Institute (June 3rd).

More information about the lectures after the break, including links to register for each event.

We look forward to meet and connect with Russian architects and architecture students in Moscow!

Rem Koolhaas’ opening lecture at the Strelka Institute

A year ago we told you about the Strelka Institute, a postgrad school for media, architecture and design in Moscow. The school focuses on a series of themes aimed to reshape Russia’s current role in the world: from the preservation of the urban environment and migration to the future of energy and the role of virtual space.

The curriculum for the first academic year has been developed together with AMO (OMA’s think tank) as a framework for these creative investigations. Research projects will be led by OMA head Rem Koolhaas, AMO director Reinier de Graaf and cultural advisor Michael Schindhelm.

On the opening lecture (video above) Rem Koolhaas explains the program (first 40 minutes), addressing several global issues. Koolhaas’ interest in Russia will now play a vital role in shaping the next generation of architects.

Strelka Institute / OMA + AMO

Strelka Construction Site © Strelka

It was just announced that OMA + AMO  will collaborate with Strelka, a postgraduate school for media, architecture and design in Moscow.  The new school is launching an educational program where a select group of students will work intensely and innovatively on a series of themes aimed to reshape Russia’s current role in the world.  In an attempt to raise the ambition of the creative industries in Russia, the institute will challenge students with a variety of projects.  The students will guided by the expertise of both Russian and international creative leaders.

More about the collaboration after the break.