A new generation of architects: who is building Moscow

In order to understand whether this is a lot or a little, it is worth remembering that quite recently – at the beginning of the 2000s, no more than a dozen architects received all orders for the development of projects of any significant objects in Moscow. The bureaus and institutions of these venerable masters, with varying degrees of talent, are still working today, but each of them now has an average of ten competitors. Who are these young urban planners? However, as it turned out, there is no single definition of youth in this professional environment. For example, for participation in the architectural biennale in Kazan, applications are accepted from people not older than 35 years. In the Architects.rf program, the age limit is up to 40 years, and for applicants for the Yakov Chernikhov International Architectural Prize, the age limit is 44 years. As the research curator Sergey Kuznetsov, chief architect of Moscow, explained, in the Russian capital they decided to build on the age not of employees and founders, but of the companies themselves, which are no more than 10 years old. “It is precisely such bureaus, formed since 2012, that we refer to the new generation.” Another condition for getting into the ranks of this generation was that the bureau must implement at least one project in Moscow or reach the final of some landmark city competition. And just such workshops turned out to be more than a hundred!

Many young architects working in Moscow today promise to become real stars

When compiling their collective portrait, it turned out that 85 percent of the respondents founded their own architectural bureaus, and hence jobs for themselves, primarily for the sake of creative freedom, 80 percent of them have fewer than 30 employees. But they clearly understand what exactly they would like to do, what areas to develop 99 percent of young architects. Fortunately, the choice of field of activity in Moscow is gigantic. Let me remind you: over the decade in question, more than 100 square meters of real estate, over 1,000 kilometers of new roads, more than 100 new metro and MCC stations were built in the city. The road to these construction projects, and hence to budgetary financing, is opened to all, without exception, first of all by citywide competitions. What comes out of this can be judged by the changing Moscow itself. To do this, it is enough, for example, to get to one of the new metro stations that are built in the city every year by dozens. Say, to “Solntsevo”. Through the figured openings of the gable roof of the entrance pavilion of this station, the rays of the sun penetrate, and all of it, even underground, is unusually bright. “Solntsevo” became the very first metro station in the capital, built according to the project of the winner of the competition, the neta-arhiteks architectural bureau, headed by Dmitry Ovcharov. Now 11 stations have already passed through such competitions – Sokolniki, Maryina Roshcha, Rizhskaya on the Sokolnicheskaya line and a number of others.

The new stations are not the marble palaces that the Moscow subway is known for all over the world, but each has its own face, its own architecture, which cannot be confused with any other. And what’s interesting? Even those who lost in competitions for the development of projects for these stations, and therefore did not receive the right to build, are not offended, but are eager to fight in order to win next time. “We took second place in the competition for the design of the Zagorye station on the Biryulyovskaya line,” the head of the DDD architectural bureau, Daria Semenova, told the RG correspondent. Our bureau is only a year old, we have 8 employees. But next time we will definitely win!”

And thanks to the efforts of young architects, their vision of what the city in which you want to live should be, there are already many such iconic places in Moscow. Take, for example, Triumfalnaya Square, which once attracted fans of rallies. They gathered at the foot of the monument to Mayakovsky with or without reason. Until a giant city swing appeared there in 2015. Eight years have already been established, but as in the early days, the swing is never empty. They attract everyone – couples in love, students with a book on their knees, just passers-by who sit down to relax and admire the seething energy of the capital in the center of the historic square. Bureau buromoscow, under whose project Mayakovka was reconstructed, is now more engaged in the construction of new schools and kindergartens in the capital. But in Moscow today they are not built similar to each other, as if they were carbon copies. Even the most massive, built with budget money, they easily compete with establishments built in elite residential areas with the money of wealthy investors, “The most valuable thing in these competitions is that you can see the work of both the master and the rising star on the same site,” – Elizaveta Likhacheva , director of the Shchusev Museum of Architecture, on the site of which the festival of architectural education and career “Open City” is held annually.

And most importantly, with the scale of construction that Moscow has been carrying out in recent years, young architects can be sure that they will not be left without work here. Moreover, there are no boundaries for their ambitions and desire to fulfill themselves. In the portfolio of almost any architectural bureau, you can find orders not only from the neighboring Moscow region, but also projects for Tula, Voronezh, Murmansk, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. “And we are now working on the project of the Yandex headquarters in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia,” Dmitry Ovcharov shared with RG. “Having such opportunities for disclosure as in Moscow, many of the young architects can become real stars,” said Sergey Kuznetsov, chief architect of the capital.

Direct speech

Ivan Okhapkin, Head of Bureau Basis:

Photo: presented by the press service of the Moscow Committee for Architecture

– I would very much like modern Moscow to begin to form its own bright original style, which over time will become as recognizable as Ottoman architecture in Paris or historical colored buildings in Amsterdam. I do not argue that our city still has its own character, but it would be nice if it was recognized not only by St. Basil’s Cathedral or the Stalinists, but also by modern charismatic architecture, which differs from the architecture of other famous capitals.

For me, as an architect of public spaces, it is very important that the urban environment is friendly, environmentally friendly, technology complements nature, and people feel comfortable living and spending time here.

Sergey Markov, partner of Bureau A4

Photo: presented by the press service of the Moscow Committee for Architecture

Everyone is already used to the fact that Moscow is like a patchwork quilt: different and interesting in this different way. Now there are projects with super-dense development within the Third Transport Ring: towers, residential complexes, striving upwards – they serve as a driver for the development of former industrial zones, abandoned territories and urban wastelands, where nothing has happened for a long time. With such intensive development, an integrated approach is very important. Developers must remember and implement the principles of the 15-minute city, not creating new residential areas, but programming new local centers, which will become an incentive for the formation of urban polycentricity.

And also outside the TTK transport and the Moscow Ring Road, on the territory of the same New Moscow, you can see more low-rise buildings up to 9 floors with a well-thought-out green frame.

We deal with public spaces in our office, and recently completed the concept of reconstructing the pier of the former Moscow concrete plant into a swimming pool with a cafe and a walking area. It would be very interesting to implement it. Working with the river and embankments is very inspiring because it is important for people, it makes the river closer to them.

Source: Российская газета by rg.ru.

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