Nikita Yavein, creative director of "Studio 44"
Nikita Yavein is one of the most titled Russian architects, over the past few years he has won a number of both Russian and foreign awards. In 2015, at the World Architecture Festival WAF, the dance Academy complex under the direction of Boris Eifman became the winner in the School category in the Buildings section, and the project for the development of the historical center of Kaliningrad won first place in the Master plan category in the Future project section. The following year, 2016, Nikita Yavein was named "Architect of the Year" at Arch Moscow; his exhibition became one of the most informative in terms of saturation with design materials: the collection of layouts impressed with the breadth of typological coverage, grandiose scale, a variety of techniques and approaches to solving figurative and functional problems. In each of the projects, Nikita Yavein and his team set themselves the goal of achieving the highest possible quality and successfully achieved it.
We present Nikita Yavein's answers to the main questions of our special project "Standard of Quality":
- What is quality in architecture for you?
- What are the key criteria?
- What do you pay special attention to in your projects?
- How can you achieve architectural quality in modern Russian conditions?
Filming and editing: Sergey Kuzmin
creative director of "Studio 44":
“Quality in architecture is a rather complex concept. I would divide it into two points. The first is the school. As a compulsory program in rhythmic gymnastics or figure skating. Understanding what is possible, what is not, and a certain concept of style, place. In addition, it is just literacy, professionalism, I would say so.
Somehow earlier, when I was young, I appreciated the second criterion more - a certain ingenuity, which we call creativity in such a pure form. But today I think that the second without the first is also bad form. Alas, we have today, unfortunately, with this professionalism, in my opinion, a big trouble. And some stylistic confusion, eclecticism at its worst, misunderstanding of the elementary rules of decency, has become a commonplace and occurs much more often than understanding these rules of the game. Therefore, for me, probably, the main thing today is school, and only if there is a certain level of school, a certain level of professionalism - then I can follow the actual creative component of architecture, a certain invention, a technique, the fact that the masters of 1920 -s were most appreciated in architecture. That is, a certain independence is what this house differs from the previously made ones, and so on … What is called creativity.
Although, on the other hand, when you leaf through magazines, you leaf through school, it should be something self-evident. In magazines you only look at inventions. So it's hard here. You look at inventions, some techniques that did not exist, some other approach to the generally accepted one. So, it's difficult here, what's the main thing. For real life, of course, if there is no school, then an invention may not be invented. Sometimes it only gets worse from the fact that there are some inventions in the absence of understanding of style, understanding of good taste, good taste, this is only worse.
[…] I've already had a lot of interviews in English books, and in the last Tatlin, in my opinion, I always said that the project should have a certain key, what was previously called a technique, a core around which it is wound actually the life of this architectural work. Around which an appearance, an image and so on is formed. If this initial key is not there, then, as a rule, everything falls apart further, it turns out shapeless and uninteresting. Thank God, in recent projects, it seems to me, we, as a rule, find this key, a technique - either in the general culture, or in some planning or architectural traditions, or in something else. As a rule, the technique should be such that a person can explain this project without describing it. That is, there must be some kind of image that develops in the head. And for such an image to be deposited in the head today, you need a very clear, understandable, logical technique, very figurative and strong.
A separate issue is the situation with the quality of architecture in Russian conditions. First, Russian conditions are different everywhere. Somewhere in Vologda they are alone, in St. Petersburg - others, in Moscow - still others. With one customer there are some problems, with another - others, with a third - still others. In general, I would highlight our experience.
First, you have to live in Russia for a long time. You have to live a long time in order to reach some kind of reputation, in which, at least, they begin to listen to you, appreciate you; at least they understand that even if they disagree with you, then immediately sending you and hiring a new architect is not entirely correct. And even such a customer, who is the most self-confident, and in our country they are all self-confident, the thought should arise: what if he is right. Because usually the customer is always right himself, and what he says you have to do - like a lackey to run to paint.
This is the first condition - to live long and always build up your reputation, not to fail. The second condition is to work hard. I'm sure that we can build something decent under two conditions. The first thing that you have known the customer for a long time, and he knows you, and he believes you. And second, if you are in constant contact with this customer, you must, as in boxing, not let him go for a second. If you let go of the customer, that's it, the battle is lost, the battle is lost. So is the construction site, if you let it go for a short moment, and design, consider it to be points against the project. Because the amateur performance immediately begins, the search immediately begins for how to do better or how to make it cheaper, or how to make it more expensive on the contrary. As soon as you give some kind of initiative to the customer - that's it, the end. You must hold him tightly, in your arms, choke, kiss, love, but not let go for a second”.