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Dr. Sergey Zagraevsky



Architecture as art (Saint Petersburgs theses)



Published in Russian: ..   ( ). , . 6. ., 2002.



The following text was translated from the Russian original by the computer program

and has not yet been edited.

So it can be used only for general introduction.




These theses were prepared for architectural forum, held in St. Petersburg in the summer of 2002. The author is grateful to the organizers of the forum, Alevtina Telysheva, for the opportunity of the speech, which received considerable resonance among the Russian and foreign participants. Unfortunately, this response was not only positive: when discussing the topic of the presentation was continued at the "round table", chief architect of St. Petersburg Oleg Kharchenko demonstratively left the building, stating publicly that can't be where I suggest to declare Petersburg the protected area.

The author refrains from comments of the act Oleg Kharchenko and is committed to publish the thesis statement in the form in which they were sent to the organizing Committee of the forum.


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Topic: "Problems of architecture as art in the present social context. The Experience Of Moscow".


1. Provides a General understanding of architecture as art, although many modern theories about the fact that the architect works exclusively on the customer and decisive in buildings is a functional component.


2. Respect to St Petersburg this thesis is of particular importance, as the protection of monuments of architecture akin to the storage of works of art in museums. Even a small addition made to the monument, which can radically change his perception.


3. Who benefits to consider the architecture of the function? Those who try to earn money by developing the protected areas elite office and residential construction and indulging nerazviti taste of the customer.


4. Who benefits relate to the architecture as an art? Only if intelligentsia (that is talking about the benefit does not go at all)? No - it is profitable and the state, and, paradoxically, the same businessmen. They strive to build in the historic areas, because there's more expensive square meter. And there meter is more expensive because the area of the historical, that is, a Museum, that is prestigious. Consequently, traders actually understand that architecture is an art, but in conditions of "natural capitalism" in Russia we ignore this for the sake of expediency.


5. And this is the state's task is to protect historical buildings (especially at the stage of "disaster capitalism"), because otherwise the country will not go tourists. While tourism is the country's image in the world and, consequently, improving the investment climate.

Historical buildings have to be protected from many of the "troublemaker", including from too Intrusive advertising.


6. The situation is similar outside the historical zone is aesthetically attractive house is usually more elite.


7. But here we come to the question from the field of art - what is considered aesthetic appeal? What is a work of art? A positive answer to this question is much less, than negative. But it is clear, for example, that a remake in most cases, a work of art is not. And how many now in Moscow is built of remakes?..


8. Artistic taste to raise, and here an important educational role of the state. Then the situation develops "ascending"): customer is more susceptible to works of art and demand from architects aesthetically attractive construction. And proposals architects enrichment of aesthetic filling habitat fall on fertile ground.


9. This process can go and "down". Stalin called writers "engineers of human souls" - hence its increased attention to the artists and writers in particular. Some were killed, others were raised. But look: instead of whether similar situation (though not as acute today in architecture? Not reproduces whether today's "elite" architecture Imperial psychology (at all levels), and whether such "engineering" dangerous for the young Russian democracy?


10. We are told what to do, we all understand, but the interests of the city require... let's See: what is required in the interests of the city? Seal of office building in the center? So this inevitably leads to the transport crisis, with which Moscow has already experienced, and no ring can save. And will soon be faced and St. Petersburg, and will not save his new ring road.


11. How can I unzipped center? With the help of architecture as art. To give historical centre tourists, and to develop governmental and commercial multicentricity. And to make new prestigious centers, there is a need to build buildings - works of art, attracting the best architects, including the West (let work in perspective outskirts, not rebuild the Mariinsky theatre and the "New Holland").


12. In any case, the circle has closed. Architecture in modern conditions not lose its value as one of the most important types of art.

Sergey Zagraevsky


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