In her opening remarks, the head of the CSA Irina Korobyina introduced the lecturer not only as an interesting architect, but also as a very good businessman, called his architecture "business" and advised him to organize a department at the Moscow Institute of Architecture, where he could transfer his skills to students.
Although Boris Levyant was not enthusiastic about this proposal, the lecture proved to be very suitable for such a course. It was called “Architects of the ABD. Practice”and consisted of three parts: the beginning of the work of the bureau in cooperation with Alexey Bavykin (he sat in the front row), a detailed story about three large objects (of the latter) and an overview of the rest of the activity, which, I must say, extends even to the interior sphere. It turned out to be a very unusual format for the Credo lectures, since it was not so much about the creative process of coming up with this or that project, but about how customers, investment plans, efficiency requirements, government intervention and the appearance of foreign co-designers affect the final result.
The history of the design, and in two cases the implementation, of the following buildings was presented in detail: Mercedes Benz on Leningradskoye Highway, the Europark shopping and entertainment complex and the White Square business district near Tverskaya Zastava. As it turned out, at first the French tried to design Europark, who disappeared along with the change of the anchor tenant, and the large English architectural bureau RTKL, which was engaged in interior design, also participated in this. In the external appearance of the complex, only the logo in the form of leaves remained from the creativity of RTKL. According to Boris Levyant, they did not feel the Moscow scale and tried to "shallow". It is interesting that during the construction process, when several spans of the curved pavement had already been completed, its structure was replaced - after the collapse of the Transvaal Park, instead of the concrete shell being erected, they decided to use metal trusses. "Rabbit in the body of a boa constrictor" - the volumes of cinema halls, somewhat protruding from the main volume, appeared already when the foundation was flooded.
At the Mercedes Benz headquarters, the customers themselves cut two floors in the tower part and regretted the money for the beaded glass. Quite different problems appeared during the design of the Belorussky railway station. The initial project was high-rise, creating a dominant feature against the background of the Old Believers' church standing on the square. With the help of this high-rise accent, the architects wanted to “consolidate the station square in the silhouette of the city”, as was done with the squares of Kievsky and Paveletsky stations, as well as the area of Three stations. Then the project was significantly changed: the buildings became much lower - because the client, trying to play it safe, incorrectly submitted the idea to the mayor of the capital. Now the authors of "White Square" are proud of the fact that they have come up with an amazingly efficient layout of buildings from the point of view of commercial use and a good urban space.
Each time, the head of ABD architects himself, as well as his deputies (6 representatives of the bureau were present on the stage throughout the lecture) explained how they got out of this situation, why they refused certain proposals coming from foreign colleagues. It was said about flexibility and endurance when working on a project, about creating what the bureau calls an "elastic environment", which allows you to keep an object at all stages in your own hands with the constant appearance of new participants in the process. The lecture ended with a slide with a slogan describing the ideology of the bureau, but not its architecture: “Using small, achieve high efficiency”.Such is the informative and modest presentation of the architecture, for the most part, indicative of high quality.