VSHV-1923 was the first triumph of constructivism. Melnikovskaya "Makhorka", the pavilions of Golosov, Exter, Golts, Lavinsky, Shchuko … This was not only the first success of the new architecture, but also the most massive one: nowhere and never has Constructivism been embodied in such a quantity and variety. And an important role in the approval of new forms was played by the tree from which all these pavilions were built. And although its use was dictated by the difficult economic situation, it was the tree - malleable and plastic - that made it possible to experiment so radically.
The anniversary of the exhibition will be celebrated in many ways. But I am glad that these are not only memories - the forgotten tradition is beginning to sprout new shoots. When we started our award, Strelka had just appeared, and there was no other modern wooden architecture in our cities at all. But already last year ARCHIWOOD gathered a good harvest of all kinds of outdoor furniture, benches, gazebos, and we were happy to introduce a new category: "Design of the Urban Environment". Over the year, the trend has strengthened - and this is not only Moscow (beaches, skating rink in the Park of Culture), but also Samara: a bunch of witty objects were cut by young architects at the festival "Samara NEXT: Island of Freedom". And recently Novosibirsk announced a competition for "design of modern art objects of the urban environment." I mean "author's shops", which should explode the "memorial" thinking of the inhabitants of Akademgorodok and "softly" update both "the environment and its perception."
In addition, on March 30, the results of the competition for the School pavilion in the Museumon Park will be announced. And although in his conditions there is no desire for material, something tells us that a shelf of wooden architecture will arrive. And then there are Moscow parks thinking about how to transform through her own. We are not yet free to talk about these plans in detail, but what is important is that the idea to build something wooden, functional and beautiful in the green areas of the city arose simultaneously in several places. These will be objects of various sizes and functions (shopping, entertainment, navigation) - but certainly modern in spirit. As a model, customers call the Serpentine Gallery in London, which every summer builds a pavilion in Hyde Park, inviting some kind of star. There are also enough stars among the ARCHIWOOD nominees - therefore, our team is also involved in organizing these projects. And we hope not to get into a puddle, fortunately, we got our hands on by holding a competition for the exposition of our own Prize in winter.
… One competition, and within it another - not even all the invitees immediately understood what they were being campaigned for. The pathos is that the exposition of ARCHIWOOD is intended not only to demonstrate the best examples of wooden architecture, but also to be such, if possible. Therefore, the most inventive masters of architecture and design were called to create it (in 2010, the exhibition was done by Vladimir Kuzmin and Vlad Savinkin, in 2011 - by Anton Kochurkin and Alisa Kurganova), and this time we decided to hold a closed competition, inviting the nominees of the Prize to participate …
The purpose of the competition was stated as follows: "Search for a spectacular (convincing, adequate, original) image of the representation of modern wooden architecture."And the tasks are as follows: "To create an exposition space that allows the most accurate presentation of the works of the nominees + to create an interesting architectural and design object that attracts the attention of the broad masses and provokes the study of the content." The winner receives a cash prize (2000 dollars) and the right to sell, and the winner is determined by the jury - the Expert Council of the award, consisting of the most respected masters of wooden architecture and critics.
The limited budget (half a million rubles), the territory (under the column of the Central House of Artists) and the temporary status (2 weeks of the Biennale's work) determined the general style of all projects: simple, original, witty. The only one who decided to immediately sweep aside the offensive restrictions was Stepan Lipgart ("Children of Iofan"). Enchanting presentation in the style of the favorite Art Deco era. A paradoxical combination of lightness and pomp. Dashing arches on which the profiled cornice rests. Glued timber demonstrates the wonders of flexibility. The structure effectively braids the columns of the Central House of Artists. Rejected by the jury for unbearable beauty.
Tatiana Kononova (Proektor) has an opposite aesthetics. The entire exposition is assembled from pallets (Euro pallets). The brutality of the elements is compensated by transparency, and their monotony is compensated by the complexity of the composition. Alas, the topic of recycling, which is relevant for Europe, has so far captured only the minds, but not the hearts of the jury members, so they have not given them to this project. The theme of sustainability sounded in projects in every way, but it also exposed well-known contradictions in understanding oneself. For example, several sketches at once (by Dmitry Mikheikin, Praktika bureau, Andrey Asadov's workshop) suggested the presence of living trees in the exposition - which seemed to fit the theme perfectly. But either the experts considered the parallel too posterior, or simply felt sorry for the wildlife. Vera Gapon and Dmitry Alexandrov also suggested a kind of "forest", only here he was already as an image, and a revolutionary image - dyed red.
The course towards creating not only an effective, but also a friendly space, taken at the last exhibition (we covered with wood a part of the main staircase of the Central House of Artists, although we were ready to turn it all into a wooden amphitheater!), Was taken up and developed. A variety of podiums, benches and chairs are presented in abundance, and Evgeny Morozov and Anastasia Izmakova (Metatecture) went farthest in creating comfort, turning the exposition into a kind of classroom with desks. The idea itself (the organization of personal communication of the viewer with each work) was delightful, and only the confusion of the jury members (many of whom will be among the nominees) prevented the project from breaking into the lead.
But the exquisite project of the Made in Cardboardia bureau (a wooden "ribbon" whimsically spreads, turning into a wall, then into a roof, and forming as a result such townhouses in the projection), the jury rejected, seeing in it just too strong continuity in relation to last year's exposition … The touching idea of constructing a garden-sill under each project and planting “voices-flowers” there (recall that the “popular vote” takes place not only on the website of the Prize, but also at the exhibition itself did not help either; last time they acted as “voices”) clothespins). The jury also did not appreciate the gigantism of the Manipulazione Internazionale bureau. A powerful 4-storey "house" with a checkered alternation of light and wood seemed to him a "waste of materials", although the scope was fascinating.
A very aesthetic "Japanese" project was presented by Le Buro (Anastasia Chernyshova and Sergei Kolchin): blocks of slats are assembled in a deceptively simple volume, but the works of the nominees flicker between the slats. Mikhail Leikin and Maria Sumina ("MISHMASH") used a different national tradition: their cheerful artistic project immediately acquired the name "wigwams". The sketch by Pyotr Vinogradov pretends rather to be analytical: each "bush" is built from different variants of wood materials, corresponding to its nomination: "country house" - from a log, "art object" - from a slab, etc.
True, both in this project and in some others the tasks designated by the competition (showiness and convenience) began to contradict each other. For example, Dmitry Kondrashov's radical project (a thicket of inclined racks with tablets at the top) won a lot of sympathy from experts: original, effective, sculptural. But then he was nevertheless rejected by the Organizing Committee, which was afraid of discomfort: it is both scary to enter such a structure, and to wander with a raised head - requires too much dedication.
Another favorite of the discussion was the project of the Megabudka bureau: a permeable (and especially spectacular in lighting) house with slanting roofs, reminiscent of a Protestant temple. With the obvious popularity of this trend (deconstruction of a recognizable archetype), the project is also good because both the “house” theme and the “tree” theme (solid crate) work in it in parallel. And it seems that the victory of this project was prevented only by the excessive "iconicity", which is losing its popularity in world architecture.
The most laconic projects were presented by Nikita Asadov and Liza Fonskaya (MADETOGETHER). A series of simple vertical modules, connected by a podium or top strapping, on the modules - giant letters forming the word ARCHIWOOD. The Organizing Committee was already embarrassed here, although its most important member, namely Alexander Lvovsky, gave his heart to this project.
The curator of the Prize had another favorite - the project of Vladimir Mogunov. A perforated wall made of timber and planks, on which blank black piers are strung - now stands with an exposition, now benches. Brutality, dynamism, wit, and most importantly - some kind of amazing unemployment. Unless Stephen Hall's New York gallery Storefront might have come to mind here - but it doesn't come in a wooden version.
However, the fundamental point in resolving all issues for ARCHIWOOD is democracy and collegiality. As a result of long and passionate disputes, the victory was won by the Peripter project of Sergei Gikalo and Alexander Kuptsov. The jury was also bribed by the radically untimely appeal to ancient architecture, and its original reading (multiplied by the strangeness of the material), and a subtle allusion to the building of the Central House of Artists, and a carefully designed organization of space, including naos and pronaos, as well as the goddess Archwood (whose image, apparently, an additional competition will have to be announced, although hardly anyone else can apply for this role, except for Yulia Zinkevich, the main inspirer of the Prize).
However, there were so many good projects that one of the jury members reasonably remarked: "Now the competition can not be held for five years!" All of them will be published in the Prize catalog, which will traditionally be published by the Tatlin publishing house. In the meantime, we congratulate the winners and invite everyone to our exhibition, which will open together with the III Moscow Biennale of Architecture on May 23. It will take place in its usual place (at the entrance to the Central House of Artists), and the solemn ceremony of awarding the winners will take place on May 25. The general partner of the project is the Rossa Rakenne SPb company (Honka), the co-organizer is the PR-agency “Rules of communication”. The winners will be selected by a professional jury (the composition of which will be determined in April), the "popular vote" will be held in May on the website of the award. We remind you that the call for applications for the ARCHIWOOD Prize ends on March 31!