Video Chronicle

City, or There and Back
25 August 2015

Educational project "Days of Modernism at City Hall: Architecture, Urban Visions, Heritage" organized by the Center for Urban History started with a lecture by Dmitriy Kokorin and Yaroslav Kovalchuk on "City, or There and Back". It took place on August, 25, 2015 at the Ratusha restaurant (1, Rynok sq.).

A Modernist city is dead. Even though architectural ideas and findings of Modernism keep inspiring modern architects, Modernist techniques are hardly ever used in urban planning. In order to understand the reasons of this, one should look at the entire history of development of European city construction. Reconsideration of arrangement principles for urban spaces in the 17th-19th c.c. generated the so-called "Baroque planning". A key idea is to view streets and squares as one single system of public spaces.

Modernist urban planning developed in response to challenges of urbanization. Opportunities for mass implementation of new ideas were found after the Second World War. However, soon it appeared that a Modernist city is far from being an ideal place to live.

All these issues will be discussed during the lecture about why Europeans rejected Modernism in urban planning, about the difference between Modernist architecture and Modernist urban construction, and about current approaches to urban planning and construction.

Dmitriy Kokorin – graduated from Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. His academic interests are: sociology of space, urban studies, sociology of knowledge, new institutionalism. Since 2013, he has been a post-graduate student in the Institute of Russia at London Royal College. Before he moved to Great Britain, he had worked for 10 years at the "Memorial" society (preservation of memory on political repressions in the USSR in the 20th c., human rights protection) where he had gone through the ladder from an IT facilitator to Chief Development Officer. He also worked with Russian NGO "Dynasty" and "Egor Gaidar Fund".

Yaroslav Kovalchuk – teacher at the module on "Problems of Urbanism" at Moscow Architectural School MARCH (independent school in close cooperation with London Metropolitan University). Head of workshop at Research and Development Design Institute of the Master Plan for the City of Moscow. Founder at "Rimsh Architecture Bureau". Cofounder at "Aleksandr Brodskiy" architecture bureau. Chief architect of the Center of Modern Art "Vinzavod" (Moscow). Chief architect in the project "Interiors" at the Moscow School of Management "Skolkovo". Co-author of the concept for "Pirogovo" resort (Russia).