The publishing house "Kuchkovo Pole" has published a two-volume edition "Russian Wooden. A View from the XXI Century”, prepared by the staff of the Museum of Architecture with the help of specialists in the field of history, restoration and preservation of wooden architecture. We can safely say that this edition is unique. The first volume covers the monuments of the 15th – 19th centuries: examples of religious architecture, residential buildings; it also applies to Russian open-air museums, thanks to which many of the described monuments have been preserved. The second volume is devoted to a later period rich in examples: from the neo-Russian style of the 19th century to the present day - the 21st century, it examines both the history and the typology of various wooden structures.
The book is the result of work on a large exhibition held in Moscow in late 2015 - early 2016. The publication, like the exhibition, has become an "epic canvas" of an extensive exposition of the development of wooden architecture, telling about the preserved and lost monuments, as well as about new buildings. But the book broadly and much deeper presented a detailed picture of the maintenance, preservation, repair, restoration and development of wooden architecture up to the present time than the exhibition. It is difficult to define its genre - it is both a catalog and a collection of articles on various topics, tending to a collective monograph, and a gorgeous album of projects, drawings, paintings, photographic materials, layouts … All this, being subordinated to a certain structure of presentation, is presented in each volume. The book summarized the work of architects, artists, art historians, museum workers and many people who are not indifferent to the "Russian wooden".
The publication, like the exhibition that preceded it, has an educational character. The story begins with a short introduction about the importance of wooden architecture, its role in shaping the country's identity and, more broadly, its culture, which in many ways - we do not even always imagine how much - manifests itself precisely in wooden buildings. Further, the readers are presented with a large number of well-known and new names of specialists, their research, projects, many of which have been published in one way or another earlier, - especially with regard to the legacy: M. V. Krasovsky, V. V. Suslov, L. V. Dal, I. E. Grabar, A. V. Opolovnikov … But especially important and opens a new page in Russian architecture are the demonstration of unknown works as classics of the Soviet period (I. V. Zholtovsky, V. A. M. Ya. Ginzburg), and little-known specialists in wooden construction, especially the twenties - fifties of the XX century.
The compilers and authors did not ignore the attention of modern architects who take part in the "Goroda" festivals, in the ARCHIWOOD competition of Nikolai Malinin and in the work of the Association of Wooden Housing Construction. Particular attention among contemporaries is paid to the works of Totan Kuzembaev, Nikolai Belousov, Elena Golovina.
The book reveals the problems of preserving monuments of wooden architecture, valuable, vulnerable and in many ways already lost. On the other hand, it demonstrates the dynamics of development and the value of wood as a material: alive, environmentally friendly, renewable and warm. It attracted and attracts both residents of the Russian hinterland and the capital's intelligentsia: people who understand the value of monuments of wooden architecture and know a lot about wooden buildings. Interest in wood is growing even in business circles, whose representatives are always busy, but have a strong intuition; probably, she tells them about the merits and prospects of this material. The book contains a huge amount of archival materials from the funds of the Museum of Architecture, with which one can congratulate both its former employees, who have preserved all this wealth, and their current colleagues. And, of course, we need to congratulate the publishers and designers who designed the book with love and understanding.
Both volumes are available for purchase at the Museum of Architecture bookstore, and
on the website of the publishing house "Kuchkovo Pole", and the second volume, about the XX century - at a discount.