Shukhov Tower: SOS

ShukhovTowerSOS

March 15, 2014:                         PRESS RELEASE

Moscow urban activists, architectural historians, and art historians have prepared a series of events against the plans to dismantle and relocate the world famous monument of architecture of the twentieth century – radio tower by the architect V. Shukhov. In response to the draft resolution on dismantling the Tower, the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation has already spoken, an open letter by leading Russian and foreign architects, art historians, entire Universities has been prepared. Public hearings will continue until March 22.

Members of Archnadzor, Docomomo-Russia, staff of the Research Institute of Theory and History of Architecture and Urban Planning, professors of Moscow Architectural Institute, and historians will go to Shukhov Street on March 15 and 16 to tell everyone why the tower is so valuable and unique, why it can not be disassembled and moved, and why the Shabolovka district is renowned.

From 15:00 to 19:00 on Saturday March 15 and Sunday March 16 every hour from the gate, “Шухов-плаза” (“Shukhov Plaza”) (14 Shukhova St.) free tours will depart, where experts will show the many avant-garde monuments in the Donskoy district.

Tours will be led by (in sequence):

Alexandra Selivanova (architectural historian, NIITIAG, Avant-Garde Center), Nikolai Vassiliev (Docomomo), Anna Bronovitskaya (Markhi, Docomomo), Ayrat Bagayutdinov (engineering historian, blog “Moscow through the eyes of an engineer”), Natalia Melikova (The Constructivist Project, Docomomo, tour in English), Natalia Dushkina (Markhi, Docomomo, ICOMOS) and many others.

There will be the possibility to sign an appeal of Muscovites to the President of the Russian Federation, Head of Government and the Mayor of Moscow to leave the Shukhov Tower in its place and execute a scientific restoration.

Collection of signatures on the open letter against the dismantling of the Shukhov Tower:
http://archi.ru/files/misc/inquiry/7/
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The program for the weekend:

March 15, Saturday – free tours around Shukhov Tower (“Constructivism at Shabolovka” and “Engineer Shukhov’s Hyperboloid”)
15:00 – Alexandra Selivanova (Avant-Garde Center)
16:00 – Nikolai Vassilev (Docomomo)
17:00 – Anna Bronovitskaya (Markhi, Docomomo)
18:00 – Ayrat Bagayutdinov (engineering historian, blog “Moscow through the eyes of an engineer”)
19:00 – Natalia Melikova (The Constructivist Project, Docomomo, in ENGLISH)
Meeting place: near the gate of “Шухов-плаза” (Shukhov Plaza) – 14 Shukhova St.

March 16, Sunday – free tours around the Tower (times to be announced)
Prospective lecturers: Natalia Dushkina, Sophia Aksenova, Tatiana Zaitseva

See the event on FACEBOOK

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Why the tower cannot be disassembled and then reassembled:
1. It is a riveted, not collapsible construction, you can only saw down
2. It was assembled not by the drawings, but under the personal direction of Shukhov. There are no drawings.
3. The binding places are corroded, it will be impossible to seal them again, only to change the units and all the material
4. Key phrase of the Regulation: “including the dismantling and subsequent reconstruction in a new location in the volumes and proportions, reproducing a similar structure, that was created in 1922.” What does this mean? This means there will be another fake, like the Moskva Hotel and Voyentorg.
5. If this will be done, the new object will not be recognized anywhere in the world as a monument and will have no relation to cultural heritage.

Why the tower cannot be relocated:
1. It is not accident that the Shabolovka area was chosen as the Comintern radio tower: it is the highest place in Moscow. Until the 1960s, Shukhov Tower remained the tallest structure in the city. And still tower is visible from many points in the capital.
2. Architectural monument – it is not furniture, not a piece of design and not a sculpture. Its most important component part – the surroundings and context in which it is located. Monuments are moved only in the case of a natural disaster or man-made disaster. On Shabolovke these are not observed.
3. Tower of Shabolovka – thereunto, Shabolovskaya tower. This is a huge reservoir of our shared cultural memory, it’s genius loci (the protective spirit of a place). It is the blue lights and children’s programs from the studio “on Shabolovka,” it is the emblem and view on boxes of chocolates. Can not be otherwise.
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More information:

An open letter to President Vladimir Putin concerning the fate of the Shukhov Radio Tower on Shabolovka St. Moscow signed by international experts:
http://theconstructivistproject.com/a-letter-to-putin

“Government Resolution of the Russian Federation “On measures for the preservation for further use of the cultural heritage of regional significance Shukhov Radio Tower, Shukhov St., 10 bldg 2, of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise ‘Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network’, administered by the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications”
http://regulation.gov.ru/project/13072.html?point=view_discussion&stage=2&stage_id=8361

“To the Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister of the Russian Federation D.A. Medvedev. Open letter”
http://expert.ru/2014/03/14/prezidentu-rf-v_v-putinu-i-predsedatelyu-pravitelstva-rf-d_a-medvedevu-otkryitoe-pismo/

March 19 – press conference & panel discussion: alternative restoration projects for the Shukhov Tower
https://www.facebook.com/events/833077693372278/

“Stop the dismantling of Shukhov Tower on Shabolovka!” Change.org petition

March 7 meeting of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation

Collection of news articles
http://theconstructivistproject.com/shukhov-tower-in-the-news

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7 Responses to Shukhov Tower: SOS

  1. Hajime Yatsuka says:

    The Shukhov tower is among the most important cultural and technological heritage of the 20th century. To replace it by speculative building will be shame for Russia.

  2. Stanislaus von Moos says:

    I fully subscribe to the petition that demands the preservation of the Radio Tower in its present form.

    Stanislaus von Moos, Vincent Scully Visiting Professor, Yale University.
    Professor emeritus of the University of Zürich

  3. Walter B. Lundberg says:

    Essential to preserve and not relocate. A piece of engineering which should be the pride of the Russian Republic.

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