Sergei Tchoban: Bridges & Spires - Drawing Reflections on Past and Future

Sergei Tchoban: Bridges & Spires - Drawing Reflections on Past and Future

All architecture remains a fantasy up until the moment when it is fully materialized and ready for its intended use. Testing new spatial possibilities is a never-ending process. Physical scale models and sophisticated computer-generated renderings are widely used by contemporary practitioners to explore this creative endeavor. Undoubtedly, these will remain necessary tools in architects’ investigative pursuits. They are efficient, effective, and convincing. Still, there is something particularly authentic and candid about traditional hand drawing that other techniques can’t quite capture. They transmit artistic visions with the right balance of clarity and interpretation, and engage our wildest imaginations helping us envisioning new ideas and dreams in architecture.

“Fantasy drawing for the project of the Museum for Architectural Drawing in Berlin or Evolution of form 3”. Image © Sergei Tchoban

German-Russian architect, artist, and collector Sergei Tchoban’s new exhibition Bridges & Spires: Reflections on Past and Future presents over 60 large format drawings and watercolors of existing and imaginary structures and ruins, as well as futuristic fantasies of context and gravity defying urban pasts and futures. The exhibition gathers Tchoban’s diverse oeuvre of drawings – from his travels throughout Europe, America, and Asia to urban fantasies that inhabit imaginary underwater canals in St. Petersburg and Venice, and the skies over Berlin and New York. The drawings on view, which span from 1983 to 2016, many exhibited for the first time, present the artist’s continuous pursuit, which is independent of his professional practice.

“Saint Petersburg of the future. Vision 3”. Image © Sergei Tchoban

Sergei Tchoban (b. 1962 in St. Petersburg, Russia) received his education at the Repin Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in St. Petersburg, graduating in 1986. He moved to Germany in 1992 and in 1995 became managing partner at NPS Nietz – Prasch – Sigl. Since 2003, the office is known as nps tchoban voss and is based in Berlin. Parallel to his practice in Germany, in 2006, together with Sergei Kuznetsov, Tchoban co-founded SPEECH, an architectural office in Moscow. In 2008, the partners started architectural magazine under the same name, SPEECH. In 2009, the Tchoban Foundation was initiated in Berlin to celebrate the lost art of drawing through exhibitions and publications. The Foundation’s Museum for Architectural Drawing was built in Berlin in 2013 to Tchoban’s design.

“The snow-covered city becomes finally a mystical place under the water surface”. Image © Sergei Tchoban

The architect has built residential, office, commercial, and sports complexes throughout Germany, Russia, and Eastern Europe, including the AquaDom commercial complex in Berlin (2004), Palace of Water Sports in Kazan, Russia (2012), the Multi-Media Center for the Olympic Games 2014 in Sochi, and Russia’s Milan Expo 2015 Pavilion. Tchoban was the curator of the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2010 and 2012 (Special Mention). Together with his partner Sergei Kuznetsov, he was Russia’s Architect of the Year in 2012.

- Vladimir Belogolovsky, curator and exhibition designer

“Hong Kong”. Image © Sergei Tchoban

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Cite: "Sergei Tchoban: Bridges & Spires - Drawing Reflections on Past and Future" 26 Jun 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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