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May 23—June 7, 2012

Biennale Theme: Identity

Curator’s manifesto


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Discussion on the role of Russian architects in the world context

Is it possible to do architecture in Russia today? Who takes part in this process and why are Russian architects not involved in world-wide architectural discourse? Is it possible for Moscow to become the centre of the world architectural discourse? ...


Programme of master classes on light in architecture

The light design in architecture should be aesthetic, functional and energy-efficient. For the first time over recent years at ARH Moscow exhibition not only the section LIGHT IN ARCHITECTURE is substantially presented ...


Set of lectures «Moscow – the city for people»

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Adress: Moscow, Krymsky val, 10
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Me: Personal indentity

In the opening exhibition of the Biennale 16 Russian architects have been asked to identify themselves. Since they are more or less well known in Russia, at first glance this seems a strange question – we know them already, don’t we? But it is one thing to be known, another thing to identify yourself. It says something about your background, your inspiration, your ideas and your ambitions. It is the start of an inter-subjectivity that can lead to the definition of a coherent theory that lies at the basis of decisions that often seem to be taken sub-consciously. The individual authorship becomes part of an architectural discourse that can be discussed, refined and taught to others.

The participants in the exhibition were asked to make a panel in which they show one of their recent works together with a work of architecture from the 20th century plus a work of architecture of a foreign architect that was built in the last 5 years.

Hall of the CHA. May 23-27
Curatorial project of Bart Goldhoorn.
Participants: Boris Bernasconi, АМ Speech, Choban & Kuznetsov, DNK, Architecture bureau Mosin and Partners, Architecture bureau Tsimailo Lyashenko and Partners, Architecture workshop AML/ Nikolay Lyzlov, АW Alexey Kozyr, АW Totan Kuzembaev, Vitruviy and Sons, Malakhov Sergey / Repina Evgeniya, Iced Architects, Project group Pole-Design / Vladimir Kuzmin Meganom project, TPO Reserve/ Vladimir Plotkin, Sergey Skuratov


There is no other building type that seems to represent the idea of identity in architecture better then the free standing private house – that is a house that has been designed and built to fit a particular person. There is no context in the form of other buildings it should adapt to, there are no neighbors who will want you to do it their way and there is no anonymous client the house should be sold to. There are just the preferences, taste and personal circumstances of the future inhabitant and of course the architect who has been chosen to translate this all into a dream house. Surprisingly, often the outcome is less imaginative then one would expect: in the end, individual preferences appear to be created by collective identities. 20 models of houses by Russian architects are shown together with photographs of their inhabitants.

Hall 5, 1 floor. May 23-27
Curatorial project of Elena Gonsales. Houses of Demyan Kudryavtsev, Maxim Boxer, Sergey and Anna Mongayt, Marat and Youlia Guelman, Oleg Dyachenko and of other people. House of famous architects: Olga and Vladimir Plotkiny, Yuriy Grigoryan, Totan Kuzembaev, Stanislav and Elena Poshvykiny…

We: National Identity

Sometimes, architecture plays a role in defining the identity of a country on a national scale. So-called “Grand Projets” serve to give a boost to the countries’ self esteem and to present it to the world. In the Biennale, three of these projects are shown. Firstly, the Skolkovo initiative, meant to give an impulse to innovation and diversification. Here the architecture is experimental and progressive. This stands in sharp contrast with architectural image of the Sochi Olympics, as it is shown in the “Tendencies” exhibition: The international media that will translate Russia’s image to the world will be housed in Gorki 2 – a mountain village with an architecture that is traditional and conservative. Finally, there is the new Zaryada project, that overnight acquired enormous popularity when Putin announced that nothing will be built there: the best architecture seems to be no architecture. One could ask the question which project best represents the true identity of Russia today…

DNK-hall, May 23 – 27
Contest results for the best development of innovative city in zone D2

Hall 17, May 23 – 27
Development history of Zarjadye including history of ROSSIJA-hotel. Contest projects for Zarjadye of different periods, analogues of successful public areas in the world.

Our Faith: Tendencies

Though many architects seem to have abandoned the idea that their work is part of a larger project to reform (literally and figuratively) the world, some consciously apply design methods that are based on a coherent theory that makes a direct link between architecture and society. Though probably all architects will tell you that their work is sound and beneficial to society in general and the client in particular, these architects can actually tell you why. In this exhibition we have asked three Russian architects that have such a coherent worldview to bring together their colleagues from Russia and abroad and present the public with a showcase that will convince it of the correctness of their ideas.

The architects are Atayans, who is responsible for the Historicism section, Levon Ayropetov, who curated the Complexity section and Kirill Asse, who has been taking care of the Minimalism section.

Halls 25 - 27, 2nd floor
Curators: LevonAyrapetov and Valeriya Preobrazhenskaya
Eisenman аrchitects. Peter Eisenman, Eric Owen Moss аrchitects. Eric Owen Moss, Preston Scott Cohen, Inc. Preston Scott Cohen, Tom Wiscombe design. Tom Wiscombe, Morphosis. Thom Mayne, Coop Himmelb(l)au. WolfD.Prix,ТОТЕМЕНТ/ПЕЙПЕР. LevonAyrapetov,ValeriyaPreobrazhenskaya, AB Atrium (Anton Nadtochiy and Vera Butko),EDAS-Studio Vlad and Lyudmila Kirpicheva

Hall 23, 2nd floor, May 23 – June 7
Curator: Maxim Atayanc
Jose Cornelio de Silva,даСильва, Pier Carlo Bontempi, Mikhail Filippov, Mikhail Belov, Dmitry Barkhin, Mikhail Tumarkin, IlyaUtkin, Maxim Atayanc

Hall 24, 2nd floor, May 23 – June 7
Curator: Kirill Asse
Mount fuji architects studio, Masahiro Harada, Mao Harada,Naoto Isii, Takehiko Nazat+Maсoto Yokomidzo, SPEAK, INC. Hiruko Miyabe, Pablo Horvat, Feruccio Badolano, Heinz Noti, Gabriela Wolder, Andreas Wiedenzoller, Valerio Oldjiatti, Iresh Mateush, Manuel and Francicko Airesh Mateush, E Studio Arquitectura Campo Baeza, Alberto Campo Baeza, Asse-architects, Eugene Asse, Ensemble-Studio, Anton Garcia-Avril

Our Place: Regional identity

Collective identities often relate to the place people live: their city, their region or their country. Often architecture plays a big role in defining these identities. When you cross the border of a European country the architecture changes, or, with the disappearance of these borders – when the architecture changes, you know you have crossed the border. In some countries, even if they are very small, the same goes for the architecture of cities or regions. This is however not the case in Russia, where Soviet ideology aimed at erasing regional differences. The same seems to be the case with the representation of international capitalism, though here there is a way out: specific regional qualities give a place an advantage – “unique selling point” – in their competition with others. For the architect the task to exhume, define and expose these qualities – to identify the place.

A great number of projects in the exhibition relate to this theme. The The Nordic ID, exhibition, curated by Vladimir Frolov of PROJECT BALTIA relates to a region consisting of several countries in trying to define a Nordic identity. An exhibition about Georgia is showing how architecture can be used as a political instrument for promoting a new national identity, whereas the work of Ruben Arkalyan is an attempt to define the specific qualities of Armenian architecture. The Swiss Museum of Architecture brings us an exhibition of 10 Swiss architects from different regions in Switserland aiming to show the regional diversity of Swiss architecture within a strong common architectural language.

That the city is bound to become more important as a source of identity is shown in the megacities project with works by Mexican photographer Carlos Cazelis. Other cities shown in the exhibition are Nizhni Novgorod with an installation by centre of Contemporary Art, Kharkov with the works of Oleg Drozdov – probably one of the most talented architects in the former Soviet republics –, and Yaroslavl Poleski for which city Daniel Dendra and Petr Kudrytsev literally designed a new identity. And last but not least, the Avantgarde Plus competition, architecture students were asked to design a City Museum on the central square of their city.

Hall 17, 2nd  floor, May 23 – June 7
Student contest of the Avangard+

NORDIC ID: Modern architecture of Scandinavia.
Hall 19, 2nd floor, May 23 – June 7

Hall 21, 2nd floor, May 23 – May 27

Hall 17, 2nd floor, May 23 – June 7

Hall of the CHA, May 23 – June 7

Hall 19, 2nd floor, 23 – June 7

Hall 7, 2nd floor, May 23 – June 7

Hall19, May 23 – June 7

Hall 19, 2nd floor, May 23 – June 7

Our Building

If the private house can be considered as the representation of the taste its owner, In the field of housing, the question of identity is more complicated. Housing is built for anonymous clients – an architect will not know who will be living there. In the Soviet perspactive this meant that housing was uniform – the same for everyone. However, now it is obvious that even if one can not build one’s own house, people like the place where they live to have a certain identity, to be different from other places. So identity is also diversity. In this context Sergei Nikitin interviewed the inhabitants of a number of apartment buildings in Milan designed by famous architects about their living environment. Furthermore, in Design Centre  Art Play Biennale curator Bart Goldhoorn shows us his Block City exhibition that was shown before in Rotterdam, Copenhagen and Prague and that deals with the problem of diversity and mass housing. 

DNK-hall, May 23 – June 7

May, 23 – June 1

Our History

Historical layers of Identification: of a country - through achievement exhibitions, of a city - trough remarkable buildings. of a society - through religious architecture.

DNK-hall, May 23 – June 7

Hall of the CHA, May 23 – June 7

Hall 16, 2nd floor, May 23 – June 7





Nowadays each architect likes to think that he is a unique author. This might be a good way to present yourself as a brand, but makes a discussion on architecture almost impossible. To open up the discussion we asked 30 well known Russian architects to choose a recently built foreign architectural project and a project from the history of architecture that expresses their own ideas on architecture. These projects are presented in the exhibition together with a text of the architect explaining his or her choice.



Designing a project is making a chain of consecutive choices until they solidify into the built object. Architects make these choices on the basis of their conviction of what is the right way to do things. The choices together form a text explaining how we should see the world: an architectural theory.

Within all the architectural discourses we can identify groups of architects who use the same arguments and come to similar results. These groups can often be found in many countries and in over long periods of time. In an attempt to open up Russian architecture to the world, we show a number of tendencies that can be found in Russian as well as foreign architecture.

Maksim Atayants

Kirill Ass

Levon Ayrapetov

Each tendency is represented by recent projects of architects from various countries. Curator of each part is a Russian architect whose work fits best to one of the tendencies.

Partners (Historism)


Partners (Expressionism)




Exhibition of private homes and interiors
Hall 5, 1 floor, CHA
Curators: Elena Gonsales, Bart Goldhoorn

The exhibition shows the home and interior as a private area that reflects the personalityof the owner. The way of life, taste - all this is nowhere expressed so clearly as in a residential interior. For a long time personal expression has been constrained by deficiency and the following from it unified living environment - the same set of furniture and carpets, andsometimes – inherited antiques.

Even those who could afford more have been fettered by nomenclature style. Accommodation was more like a marker of social status of the owner than a display of its individuality. Today we have a completely new reality. People equip their life identifying themselves with the space of their lives. This is a fascinating process and its results are presented at the exhibition.



Photo project by Yury Palmin
The working title is “7 churches of Gottfried Böhm in North Rhine–Westphalia and Frankfurt (1968-1980)"
DNK Hall
Curator: Elena Gonzalez

Gottfried Böhm is the only German winner of Pritzker Architecture Prize. He is a representative of the architectural dynasty numbering six generations. Böhm’s grandfather and father also built churches and works by Gottfried has become the original answer to tradition of religious and family architecture.

Like the hero of the Heinrich Theodor Böll‘s novel "Billiards at half past nine,"Gottfried Böhm"blows up"the architecture of"fathers", responding to a tremendous upheaval of World War II and the subsequent reinterpretation of the moral categories such as responsibility, guilt and redemption.


NORDIC ID – contemporary Nordic architecture


Coordinators: Vladimir Frolov, YlvaFrid
Curators: Daniel Golling, Anders Melsom, TuomasToivonen, VillemTomise, Martin Keiding.
With the support of: Nordic Cultural Point
Partners: Martela, Edsbyn



Five guest curators from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Estonia and Denmark were invited to investigate the notion of “identity” in the contemporary Nordic architecture.

Twentyfive architectural projects from the region display how the architects in different waysare balancingthe bigissues of today.

The welfare building, significant for the Scandinavian countries, is challenged with globalization, branding and individualism. The relation to nature is somewhat troubled: elegant pavilions draws the attention to the untouched landscape– but is this just a signal of a highly urbanized lifestyle?

The exhibition will display works by architectural studios Snohatta (Norway), ThamVidegard (Sweden), BIG (Denmark), AOA (Finland), PLUSS (Estonia) and others.


Hall 21, 2nd floor, May 23 – May 27
Presentation by the Swiss Architecture Museum S AM within the framework of the 3rd Moscow Biennale of Architecture

Curators: Hubertus Adam and Elena Kossovskaja

Regionalism and identity are important themes for modern Swiss architecture. In the exhibition "10 Swiss architects", the Swiss Architecture Museum S AM will present, by means of video projectors and sound installation projects, 10 famous Swiss architects from different regions of Switzerland, spanning the last 10 years.
Participants: Bearth & Deplazes, Bonnard Woeffray, Gion A. Caminada, Christ & Gantenbein, Diener & Diener, Durisch Nolli, Gigon/Guyer, Christian Kerez, Miller & Maranta, Von Ballmoos Krucker.

Lectures entitled "Pictures from Italy" by Swiss architect Emanuel Christ (Christ & Gantenbein) will take place in the CHA on May 26th as part of the Swiss architecture presentation at the 3rd Moscow Biennale of Architecture. Olga Bolshanina, partner of Herzog & de Meuron and chief architect of the university project in Skolkovo, will talk about project development at the presentation "Night at Strelka".

Supported by ProHelvetia:


Technical Partner


S AM    

S AM Swiss Architecture Museum
Tel : +41 (0)61 261 14 13
Fax: +41 (0)61 261 14 28

Steinenberg 7
CH-4001 Basel



Around 1996 NizhniNovgorod was the centre of development of Russian architecture. After a diet of grey boxes architects celebrated the freedom of expression of the new era and created the Nizhni Novgorod school. What is the situation 15 years later? Did this architectural school survive or did it transform itself?



Central House of Artists, 3 floor, hall 20

TOY CITY is a conceptual urban study for the future of Pereslavl-Zalessky, a small heritage town in Russia. It is situated 140 km to the North-East from Moscow, at the famous Golden Ring touristic route.

The study is a first attempt to grasp the character, opportunities and threads, which this city is facing in XXI century. While representing most of the problems of a typical Russian city, it has many unique qualities, like its location at the lake and National Park.

Within the TOY CITY concept the city would become the sandbox for new creative ideas and developments.

Applied within the city the success could be measured with new technologies applied and analyzed by the Institute of Program Systems, University and a newly formed Urban Analysis Center “Botik”. Topics of analysis would include cultural and historic tourism, mobility education, nature and sustainability.

Successful strategies would within a real-time evaluation process and a certain timeframe applied to other cities in Yaroslavl region, Golden Ring or even whole Russia.

The TOY CITY concept was developed by TDI and anOtherArchitect for Rusresorts and Development Corporation “Golden Ring”.

Director and editor-in-chief: Petr Kudryavtsev
Concept and creative director: Daniel Dendra
TDI: Petr Kudryavtsev, Vyacheslav Glazychev, Pavel Tiger
anOtherArchitect: Daniel Dendra with Joanna Pierchala, Marta Costa, Morana Mazuran, iva Jelincic, Andrea Rossi, Carolina Bossert and Florent Levenque
Rusresorts: Petr Shura, Igor Nurmukhamedov, Anatoly Zolotous, Ivan Jelenic
Transsolar: Thomas Auer
Future(x)Lab: Alessandra Lai, Alessandro Melis, Elena Bejor

TOY CITY team thanks:
- Government of Yaroslavl region;
- Administration of Pereslavl and Pereslavl region;
- Institute of Program Systems and University of Pereslavl;
- National Park “Plesheevo ozero”
and personally Denis Koshurnikov, Andrey Ohapkin and Anna Grushevitch



Curator: Anatoly Belov
Designers: Anatoly Belov, Adam Cheltsov
Organizer: «Skolkovo» Fund

The results of the competition for the design of Skolkovo technopark zone D2 residential area (curators Valode & Pistre and Mohsen Mostafavi) were summed up on March 12, 2012. This was the first competition for housing development in the innovation centre out of the four planned ones. The jury has selected ten winners from among the 30 finalists. The winners include Dmitry Bush, A"B Studio and others. The two"round competition (held in October – December and in January – March correspondingly) gathered 300+ proposals from both Russian and foreign participants. No doubt that this competition was one of the chief events in Russian architecture in recent years. Projects submitted for both rounds of the competition are on show at DNK Hall of the Moscow House of Artists.

123610, Moscow,
Krasnopresnenskaya embankment,
building 12, entrance 9, floor 24



Photo project by Yury Palmin
Curator: Anna Bronovitskaya, General Secretary of DOCOMOMO-Russia
DOCOMOMO-Russia, with support of the Moscow Cultural Heritage Department

The famous VDNKH, or All-Russia Exhibition complex is far more than the central axis from the Main entrance to the Cosmos pavilion. Apart of the well-known pavilions of Soviet republics, “Friendship of Peoples” and “Stone Flower” fountains, the exhibition ensemble includes dozens large and small buildings representing all three of its construction periods: late 1930s, early 1950s, and 1960s-1970s.

The All-Union Agricultural Exhibition was created in the thirties as a permanent showcase presenting the idealized image of the USSR in architecture, as well as in the expositions. This is precisely why it was almost completely rebuilt in the early fifties, when the victorious Stalin’s empire sought to present itself in more impressive forms. Khrushchiov’s modernization demanded the re-programming of the complex into the Exhibition of the People’s Economy Achievements, and that lead to the appearance of outstanding pieces of Soviet Modernist architecture on its territory. As the result, Moscow has the unique architectural museum that reflects the evolving self-presentation of the USSR.

The planned reconstruction of the exhibition complex threatens to bring irreversible changes to this ensemble and to destroy many undervalued monuments. Before this destruction could happen, the Russian section of DOCOMOMO-International, the organization striving to save the 20th-century architectural heritage, wants to bring attention to the buildings of the exhibition complex that today, for a number of reasons, exist outside of the public view. Works by Yury Palmin, the well-known photographer specializing in images of 20th-century architecture, will help to see these buildings with new eyes.



Hall 19, 3rd floor


1 JUNE 2012 | 11:00 A.M. – 1:30 P.M., SCHOOL Pavilion

The RKM_Final Conference, coinciding with the presentation of the results of the project, will offer an occasion to present the RKM_Application. The RKM_Application is a smart, user friendly and intuitive graphic interface offering an interactive system for visiting Avant-garde and Constructivist heritage of Kiev and Moscow. Based on the RKM_Itineraries, each of nine thematic tour allows users to explore avant-garde heritage.
The RKM_SAVE URBAN HERITAGE  project is funded by the European Union under the CIUDAD programme (Cooperation in Urban Development and Dialogue).

1 JUNE 2012 | 3:30 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.

"Constructivism and Rationalism", an examination of the avant-garde district present along the historical border of Moscow established in 1774 that, after the October Revolution, became one of the primary areas of the capital's development, lead by such famous architects and engineers as Ivan Nikolaev, Nikolai Travin and Vladimir Shukhov

2 JUNE 2012 | 10:30 P.M. – 1:30 P.M.

"Moscow All Stars Tour", an overview of the most famous examples from this period present in the city of Moscow, from the Narkomfin to the Melnikov House and the Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage.


Hall 17, 2nd floor, May 23 – June 7
Curator: The Megacities Foundation

Much has been said about fragmentation and disparate identities in the megacities. However, we can also discern new identities that the megacities allows to emerge. While the attractive power of megacities reinforces the emergence of disparate identities, this power also reconfigures them through exchange and confrontation, particularly in the public spaces of the megacity. New collective identities emerge. Much of those new collective identities are constructed in the interchange between inhabitants at the new public spaces of the megacities. These identities are less created by landmarks of architecture but by human interaction framed by the anonymous architecture of the megacity. This anonymous architecture, opposite to the one published in magazines, conforms at a large extent the everyday space and the background where new identities are formed. These identities are naturally not only harmonious; they carry with them conflict and hazards.

The five triptychs that we present in the Moscow biennale show the new identities being formed in the contemporary megacities, framed by anonymous constructions and carrying along everyday subsistence, tensions and survival. These images show how together with the attraction and assimilation of various disparate identities, the megacity itself reaffirms and strengths its own identity hence part of the megacity’s identity relies in this contradictory character.


Photography: Carlos Cazalis



Avant-garde award. Architectural competitionon a rank for the title of the best young architect of Russia Avant-garde award is founded and supported by«Russian Avant-garde» Heritage Preservation Foundation. It is designed to encourage innovation in architecture and in architectural education.

The results of different Russian architectural schools’ competitions are held within the frames of the Moscow Architecture Biennale. The competition theme: “The Museum of regional studies”