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GBRS talk on Wednesday, 9 December @ 18:00 – Anton Gorlenko and Anastasiia Gerasimova: A New Angle on Russian Architecture

16th November 2020

Wednesday, 9 December @ 18:00  –  Anton Gorlenko and Anastasiia Gerasimova: A New Angle on Russian Architecture

The Russian avant-garde architect and painter, Konstantin Melnikov (1890-1974), deserves to be better known in the UK. His architectural activity belongs to a single decade (1923-1933), and he was one of the leading avant-garde architects in Russia in the 1920s. He was associated with the Constructivists, but neither fully Constructivist nor Functionalist. He was essentially an independent artist, not bound by the rules of a particular style or artistic group.  In the 1930s he refused to conform with Stalinist requirements and – accused of being a formalist –  was banned from practice, spending the next 40 years of his life painting and teaching. Thirteen of his buildings still survive in Moscow.

In his presentation, Anton Gorlenko will provide an overview of Konstantin Melnikov’s life and achievements and his significance as an architect. He will then focus on the forthcoming
restoration of one of Melnikov’s early buildings, the Office of the New Sukharev Market (1925) – a project in which he is personally involved – and outline the official approach to the preservation of other Melnikov heritage sites and of pre/post-World War II Modernist architecture in Moscow in general.

In her presentation, Anastasiia Gerasimova will talk about the exciting new phenomenon of ‘self-initiated’ projects which have developed in Russia in recent years.

The young generation of architects in Russia are keen to express and give effect to their own aesthetic vision and attach great importance to the initiation of architectural projects themselves rather than on behalf of a client. Anastasiia will provide illustrations of what this new architectural development means in practice, in both the urban and suburban context. She will talk about how young practitioners and students are working independently on projects they have initiated and the important  educational role played by the Moscow School of Architecture (MARCH).

Both these talks will be illustrated and the speakers will be joining us from Moscow.

Anton Gorlenko studied at Moscow State University (where he was awarded an MA in Art History) and at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. He has run
an architectural practice in Moscow since 2012 and teaches at the MARCH School in Moscow. He also works as an architectural photographer at Takero Shimazaki Architects (London). He has edited and translated into Russian The Possibility of Absolute ArchitectureLess if Enough by Pier Vittorio Aureli) (2011) and Collage City by Colin Rowe with Fred Koetter (1978).

Anastasiia Gerasimova is an architect and researcher, and also teaches at MARCH in Moscow.  She is a graduate of The Berlage Centre for Advanced Studies in Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Technology in Delft, where she initiated her ongoing research into the culture and aesthetics of the banya, the traditional Russian steam bath. As a practising architect she has had experience in the multi-disciplinary offices of Studio Makkink and Bey in Rotterdam, and has collaborated with a number of architectural offices in Europe and Russia.

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