What the deceased empire’s architecture is singing about
The Soviet architecture of the 1940s and 1950s, built in accordance with the classical canons, is back in fashion today. But here comes the paradox, it is popular again with an academician and architectural historian as well as with an ordinary passer-by. What is the appeal of the classics for today’s people? And why do we, after periods of the “hard” avant-garde, come back to it time and again? We have talked about all this with the architectural historian, the docent at Moscow State University of Civil Engineering (MSUCE), and the secretary-general of DOCOMOMO Russia, Nikolay Vasiliev.
The Lakhta Center skyscraper: it is no business of mine...
Just recently, a unique operation was carried out — the installation of a spire on the Lakhta Center tower under construction in St. Petersburg. Thus, the skyscraper has become the tallest building in Europe. Who built this skyscraper? What advanced technologies have been? And, most importantly, why?
An architect’s task is to combine traditional and modern achievements
Architect Sergei CHOBAN is well known both in Russia and in Western Europe: he builds a lot in Berlin where he has his own bureau. Each of his new projects is a discovery of new forms, images and approaches. He likes to experiment with the newest technologies (e.g., AquaDom in Berlin). First and foremost, however, he is an artist. Benua’s distinguished images, a silk-screen decoration inspired by Roman ornaments and a seasonal photo-print appear on the facades of his houses… We asked Mr Choban to answer our questions for the journal about the modern mission of an architect, the secrets of architectural mastery and new tools of designing.
The architectural Oscars have moved to Saint Petersburg and Kaliningrad
The winners of the ‘architectural Oscars’ were announced recently. Projects from Singapore, Canada, China and Sweden won in the four main categories. A special prize, ‘For the best color decision’, was awarded to the ‘ONS Insec showroom and sales office’ project from Ankara (Turkey). However, as we had expected, Russians also won some awards this year.
A new channel way for the Suez
A new channel way of the old Suez canal was put into operation in Egypt. The opening of the new channel way is of great importance both for Egypt’s economy and for the whole world
Housing for seniors: there is neither a state program, nor an architect
In Russia there are no specialists who can design houses for seniors, whereas abroad this market is actively developing. Do seniors need specially designed architecture? Sociologists state that the ageing process of cities and towns is in process, and in some decades the majority of the population will be middle-aged and elderly. Are we ready for this phenomenon? Isn’t it time to reconsider the notion of senescence?
Architect Nickolai Shumakov: now it’s the museums’ turn to be in the malls’ backyard
If you ask an architect what architecture can do, he will immediately answer: Everything! Good architecture can provide for a town’s prosperity, but bad architecture can cause urban decay. There are lots of examples. We talked with the President of the Moscow Architects’ Union, Nickolai Shumakov, about the role of architecture and architects in the life of a town or city.