The similarity is striking at once, and begins with the balls hovering over the hall. Last year they were red, now they are blue. Instead of Winnie the Poohs, the balloons hide Inteko advertising posters, and the green color of the floor apparently denotes eco-friendly grass. Together with the red color, the solemn anniversary left the exhibition, along with it (a little) wealth faded. Last year's clarity has also disappeared from the composition of the hall - a year ago it was broken by several caesura accents at the beginning, middle and end - now the accents have shrunk and the pauses have disappeared, the space of Zodchestvo has regained its original turmoil. The hall, however, is full of people - perhaps because this time the exhibition will last one day less than usual, only three days (the last day of work is October 19).
But the layout of the exhibition has remained unchanged down to the details. The place on the left under the stairs can now be considered traditional for thematic exhibitions (for commercial it is a bit dark). It is occupied by an exquisite exhibition in honor of the 500th anniversary of Andrei Palladio. The square is surrounded by chipped columns made by the City of Gods company; photographs provided by Mikhail Filippov are hung between the columns. If you look from the inside, then in the center of each imaginary wall there will be a photograph of the portico of the Villa Rotunda - as if the viewer is inside the famous house - an idea that must be considered beautiful. In terms of information content, the exhibition is significantly inferior to last year's Chinese exposition, but it is not overloaded with material … On the right - again traditionally large posters of the new project of "Cities" - Zurbagan.
Further on the right - the place occupied last year by the luxurious stand of St. Petersburg was chosen by the planning project of Nizhny Novgorod, carried out under the leadership of Sergei Tkachenko. It is shown in the form of a rather schematic, but executed in wood and a huge model. Immediately behind Nizhny Novgorod, Tatarstan is located in its original place, the stand of which has become noticeably larger. Its core is a luxurious model of the Kazan Kremlin, and in the backyard there is a sponsor's bookcase with multicolored shiny bottles of "Khan's" vodka, which forms an unexpected pandanus in a showcase with "Crystal Daedalus". Eh, that would be to make a sponsor of the festival some kind of drink, it would be possible to give out a prize not empty, but with content … It's still glass … Chelyabinsk also stood out from the regional stands, located a little away from the main promenade, but with a large striped tower from something plastic. This year the Moscow region has updated its main attraction - it has added colored illumination to the illuminated hardboard map, which you can walk on with your feet. And Moscow exhibited Tsaritsyno in full growth - probably so that no one would forget about this wonderful work. Tellingly, Sochi is almost invisible, and the Krasnodar Territory is not so noticeable at all - they have temporarily forgotten about the Olympics.
As a rule, the most enjoyable part of the festival - the children's exposition - has diminished. Last year, the grand grand staircase was lined with dozens of mock-ups; now it has turned into two modest pyramids, but it seems to be the only place to sit. School-Studio "Start" celebrates its 25th anniversary at the Tretyakov Gallery; therefore, the children's exposition turned out to be dispersed: part in the main hall, part on the mezzanine of the Manege, part in the State Tretyakov Gallery (until October 26).
As for the main in the meaning of the exhibition-competition of applicants for the "Crystal Daedalus", here, too, there is the same similarity with 2007, plus a comparative lull. Last year, Zodchestvo (because of the anniversary, perhaps?) Was suddenly visited by many Moscow architects - Alexei Bavykin, Sergei Kiselev, Mikhail Filippov … And all of them, to admit, somehow got nothing special from the jury. Now the majority of Muscovites have left again, leaving only Andrei Bokov, who is always present at the Mosproekt-4 festival, as well as the workshops of A. Asadov and Yuri Vissarionov. In particular, you can find out that after the public council, at which the mayor did not like the egg house on the site of the pharmaceutical garden near the City, this site was transferred to Asadov's workshop and an arch house was designed there.
But still, we have before us again a competition for Russia without Moscow (well, almost). In this context, St. Petersburg architects are noticeably leading and the A-Len workshop looks especially nice - both in "buildings" and in "projects". One of the new examples of cooperation between Sergei Tchoban and Yevgeny Gerasimov can be seen in the buildings. The beloved Nizhny Novgorod architecture looks rather sad (alas!) As a whole. But curious innovations appeared - it seemed to me very attractive the project of reconstruction of an Alan house with a stone tower lying in the ruins (this rather ancient typology of family nests with towers once became the subject of Igor Palmin's famous photo series). A qualitatively new stage in the development of the Abramtsevo-like architectural typology "a hut on chicken legs" is represented by the tourist base of the architect I. N. Knyazeva. In addition, there seemed to be fewer pseudo-Russian churches. For the rest, in many cities one can note various (sometimes better, sometimes worse) signs of international modernism. On the one hand, architecture in the vastness of the homeland is becoming calmer and more restrained, there are fewer quirks, and on the other, there is some kind of averaging, or something. Alertness. Without a rush.
Also, two well-known features of the competition exhibition "Zodchestvo" were developed. One of them seems to me very pleasant - many restoration projects are still shown at the festival (both in the competition part and in the regional part). You won't see some of them anywhere else - but here you can take pictures.
Another characteristic feature is the abundance of urban planning projects. I would call this part of the exhibition “blind”, because one has to be very well versed in urbanism in order to sensibly compare stands with multi-colored plans. For me personally, they give the impression of a carpet - it would be fair if the planning projects were evaluated in a separate category. This time there are especially many of them - city plans make up almost half of all the stands displayed in the "projects" section. Surprisingly little-known Russian cities are encountered here, and I came across two completely new names. Generally speaking, a lot of urban planning works fit well into the theme of this year's festival - “historical cities and modern architecture” - and one could be glad that finally, they say, they will begin to equip the Russian provinces … If not for the crisis. Hmmm. Although, frankly speaking, the arrival of Moscow money and planners in Nizhny Novgorod does not please, but rather inspires fears for the old (and very pleasant so far) city.
So, “Zodchestvo”, which was overdressed last year, slightly reduced its turnover and seemed to have rolled back. On the other hand, who knows, maybe we are observing the process of adding up the standard for holding an All-Russian festival, and now it will always be so similar to itself.
However, it is likely that a slight decrease in the pathos of the arena exhibition will be compensated by an extensive program of events - this year at Zodchestvo there are more lectures, master classes and round tables than ever before. The festival program is very rich. The main hit is a lecture by Daniel Libeskind (at the Manege, Sunday 19 October at 14:00). Also, a prominent place is occupied by events dedicated to the problems of historical cities. Although the topic is overwritten, but who knows - maybe a miracle will happen, and the Russian experience will be re-evaluated, and the foreign one will help. We will try to keep you updated.