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© 2019

Strelka Institute

Bersenevskaya embankment 14, bldg. 5A Moscow, Russia, 119072

5 projects from Russia envisioning the future of architecture

, Architecture
Author Lynsey Free

Finalists have been chosen following an Open Call for Young Architects as part of a joint collaboration between Strelka Institute and the Future Architecture Platform. The finalists, picked by an international jury, were chosen as some of the most promising entries of young architects, students, and firms who aim to share their architecture of the future ideas, enter the global market, and find clients. All five finalists will present their projects at the Creative Exchange in Ljubljana on February 14-16.


1. Arctic Present: The Case of Teriberka

Image courtesy Viktoria Khokhlova

This project by Viktoria Khokhlova looks at the future of northern urbanism as a decentralized network of nomadic coastline settlements. It envisions coastal settlements along the Barents Sea and White Sea as territories that function autonomously, taking advantage of weather and the natural environment and profiting from it when possible, as part of a “New Blue Economy.” The project pays special attention to Russia’s Kola Peninsula, with Khokhlova believing that it has considerable potential to exist autonomously by using renewable wind energy, which would see a parakites system harness the energy in the Arctic and the town of Teriberka in particular.

Viktoria Khokhlova is an architect and urbanist who enjoys working with spaces and future scenarios. She has worked alongside international colleagues on projects in Moscow, Tyumen, Eindhoven, and Munich.


2. Xuxula: Informality as a Method

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Image courtesy Mikheil Mikadze

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Image courtesy Mikheil Mikadze

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Image courtesy Mikheil Mikadze

This project by XOPA, an architecture firm founded in 2015 and based in Moscow, examines the phenomenon of “xuxula,” small and modest shelters scattered throughout Tbilisi. The firm believes that such structures are integral to the history of the Georgian capital, as they reflect the economic, social, and political context of the post-Soviet city and the demand for a holistic and humane approach to urban design. The project will be part of the upcoming 2018 Tbilisi Architecture Biennale.

Based in Moscow, XOPA is a young architecture firm which was founded in 2015. It equally focuses on design, publishing, and education.


3. The Virtual Russian Pavilion

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Photo by Timur Zolotoev

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Image courtesy Liza Dorrer

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Image courtesy Liza Dorrer

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This project by the independent group 🦁🦄(:lion:&:unicorn:) is aimed at bypassing the opacity of Russia’s participation at the Venice Biennale of Architecture by providing a platform for regular exhibitions in the mediums of virtual and augmented reality. The concept is aimed at going against the institutional conventions often faced by architectural thought, instead favoring a “free, independent, and open bureaucracy that will liberate architecture from institutional bondage.”

Guests at the 2018 Biennale experienced the exhibition “Free the Space” at the virtual pavilion through virtual reality glasses earlier this year. The first official exhibition at the pavilion will take place at the Biennale in 2020.

The group behind the project consists of Pekka Airaxin, Liza Dorrer, Karina Golubenko, Maria Kachalova, Anton Kalgaev, Maria Kosareva, and Ivan Kuryachiy. Lion & Unicorn gets its name from the two symbols placed on the gates of the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1914 by architect Alexei Shchusev.


4. Plugged in Autonomy

Image courtesy Nikolay Stulov

This project by Nikolay Stulov is based on his own personal experience of living and working in Beijing from February to August 2018. Through his observations of China’s economic boom, which is resulting in economical, political, social, and ecological change, he was able to ponder the future of the country and come up with a possible way to stop an “ecological holocaust” by looking at new ways of developing architecture. That solution was a multi-use complex, designed for living and working, which can be plugged into the city's existing ecosystem.

Nikolay Stulov is an architect who was born and raised in Majkop, Adygeya. He studied architecture at South Federal University in Rostov-on-Don before moving to China and ultimately returning to his home country of Russia.


5. The PART

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Images courtesy Archifellows

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This project by Archifellows focuses on the “software” approach to developing architecture. That approach includes human centricity, algorithms, and data analyses, which are used to research and create methods before any construction occurs. Although the concepts of big data and big data analyses are not new, Archifellows recognizes that most developers in Russia are still not familiar with those areas, instead choosing to make technical briefs based on marketing research. That method does not work, according to the firm, as those kinds of briefs led to only 30 percent of new construction being sold in Moscow in 2016. Instead, architecture needs to be built carefully and focus on human needs. Through this project, the firm aims to create a win-win platform for developers and future apartment buyers.

The team behind this project consists of Rodion Eremeev, Anna Lvova, and Tymur Cherkasov. Archifellows was established in 2017 and is based in Moscow. The company works on different projects in the fields of architecture, urbanism, and IT. Its key focus is the integration of User Experience (UX) principles in architecture.

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