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Architects against city defenders: a new skyscraper isto be built in the center of Moscow
9 April 2021, 18:50
Architects against city defenders: a new skyscraper isto be built in the center of Moscow
The project of a high-rise building in the very center of the Russian capital has caused a sharp controversy between Moscow city advocates and architects.

A new "architectural scandal" flares up in Moscow, this time over the project of a high-rise building, which is supposed to be erected in the very center of the capital - on Myasnitskaya Street next to the famous building of Tsentrosoyuz, designed by the famous architect of the last century Le Corbusier. The bureau of the famous architect Sergei Skuratov offers several options for high-rise buildings at once - from 125 to 200 meters.

Skuratov himself explains his claims as follows: “The customer came with the task of building only 16 thousand square meters. m of ground areas on the site of two very dilapidated row houses of the early XX century. I suggested the tower, and I am sure that it is appropriate and even necessary - it will fix the place, become a landmark. (...) In Moscow there were forty forty churches with bell towers, then skyscrapers appeared - something I didn't read so that then someone would be indignant ... And now we all admire them. (...) One should look at the value of a specific proposal, and not be afraid of “towers in general”. (...) There are, of course, people who want nothing to change. But then what will be left of our time? Solid compromises? You should not turn the city space, which is changing all the time, into a sacred cow - you need to do so so that the changes are for the better. The city must change, but the vector of changes depends on the circumstances, on talented architects, on developers who are not afraid to experiment, on the mood in society, on the goodwill of the city leadership..."

In addition, the designers claim that the houses they propose to demolish do not have the status of "cultural heritage", and therefore do not play any role for the urban structure of the center of Moscow. But the new building can become a kind of semantic accent, a kind of stele in honor of the great Corbusier.

Activists, city rights activists, are expected to oppose the skyscraper.

So local historian Denis Romodin writes:

“Some completely inappropriate project is proposed in my opinion (options with heights of 125, 150, 175 and 200 meters are being discussed) near the House of Tsentrosoyuz. And most importantly, they again skillfully made the glazing in the color of the sky, as if "dissolving" the tower, but in reality there will be a heavy array of glass. And most importantly, why is it here within the Garden Ring..."

Konstantin Mikhailov, the founder of the Arkhnadzor public movement, is also sounding the alarm in his blog : “I want to open the vote right here and now. Can such skyscrapers be built inside the Garden Ring? Near the Le Corbusier Centrosoyuz? And to demolish for this two houses of the XIX century?"

The well-known journalist Yekaterina Vinokurova is indignant: “How they want to disfigure Myasnitskaya. And the argumentation is terrible: "Recognized architect", "Knowledgeable people say".

"Corbusier himself said" ... To be honest, I do not care what Corbusier said and what opinion the architects from London held on a certain panel of the forum.

It is important to me what the residents say. Well, I myself consider skyscrapers to be ugliness, and for sure, this digging stick is not worth historical buildings. The most correct decision would be to allocate a Far Eastern hectare to the "recognized architect" somewhere far from the cities - and let him build his digging stick there. It is not necessary in Moscow ... "

However, it turns out that not everything is so simple, and the new project found many defenders with quite logical argumentation of their position. For example, professor at the Higher School of Economics Mikhail Blinkin writes: “My friends on social networks report that“ city rights activists are horrified by the project of a skyscraper near the Tsentrosoyuz building on Myasnitskaya ”.

This is a project designed by the outstanding Russian architect Sergei Skuratov. In the opinion of my interlocutors, who understand the essence of the matter, Skuratov's project is excellent; so the list of buildings on Myasnitskaya, which will be cherished by urban defenders of the XXII century, will certainly be replenished. The construction of a skyscraper assumes the demolition of two neighboring buildings, dated at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries, and which, in the opinion of my interlocutors who understand the essence of the matter, do not represent any special cultural and historical value.

Nevertheless, the city defenders from among our contemporaries are "horrified".

In connection with this collision, I, a longtime inhabitant of Myasnitskaya Street, remembered...

Once, back in the dock era, a panel session on architects and urban planning was organized at the SPIEF.

The head of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH, Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg, presented the concept for the reconstruction of the coastline and harbor area of Hamburg, Keys Christiaanse together with the director of the London Development Agency Peter Bishop - plans to revitalize the disadvantaged areas of London for the purpose of hosting Olympic facilities.

Among the main participants in the panel discussion was the Catalan classic Jose Acebillo, who attracted the attention of the public not only with his panel report, but also with very sharp remarks on the sidelines of the forum.

For example, he shocked the St. Petersburg city protection community with the following phrase:

“Architect-creator. His sovereign rights include not only designing something new, but making proposals for the demolition of anything old, if, of course, we are not talking about recognized world masterpieces".

Let me remind you that Corbusier himself did not feel any emotions about the demolition of any buildings (except for the Kremlin, the Mausoleum and the Bolshoi Theater), and he was quite positive about 200-meter skyscrapers..."