Recording Architecture
Educational program for the exhibition
"Golden Generation. Modernism in Finnish Architecture and Design"
The General Staff Building, 14.11.2015 — 31.01.2016

8.12.2015 ― 22.01.2016
The Student Centre of the State Hermitage Museum

The project is dedicated to the modernist architecture
which is represented by the unique buildings
of St. Petersburg and Vyborg.
Within the exhibition "Golden Generation. Modernism
in Finnish Architecture and Design'" held in the General Staff building from the 14th of November 2015 till 31st of January 2016 Youth Education Center of The State Hermitage Museum launched the educational project ''Recording architecture". The project is dedicated to the modernist architecture which is represented by the unique buildings
of St. Petersburg and Vyborg.

During two weeks 15 participants of the project selected through
the open competition took the intensive course that included
the exhibition visiting, the history of modernist architecture class as well as the class explaining the way architecture is portrayed in the cinema,
the cinematography and script-writing class, seminars where they exchanged the opinions and experiences. The participants of the project were supposed to use the knowledge they accumulated during this time for creating the concept of short film, where the modernist building would become the center of the narration.

The third week was dedicated entirely to the shooting of the selected buildings. Five teams of three people packed with the necessary video equipment went to the different parts of St. Petersburg and even
to Vyborg. The buildings were The Central Research and Design Institute for Robotics and Technical Cybernetics, State Marine Technical University
of St. Petersburg, M.K. Anikushin's Studio (Branch of the State Museum
of the City Sculpture), The Postal Workers House of Culture and Alvar Aalto's Viipuri Library.

The participants of the project perceived in their own manner
the atmosphere of the places visited. As a result each team created their own short film about one of the five unique examples of modernist architecture. Personal stories told using the modern era format - video, brings to life the buildings of the bygone generation.

Technical support

The Central Research
and Design Institute
for Robotics
and Technical Cybernetics

Architects: B.I. Artushin, S.V. Savin
Year of construction: 1973-1987

Toward the past

The authors of the project:
Alexander Anisimov, Tatiana Zhukova, Margorita Lysenko

In our video we intended to show the contrast between the past
and the present. Between the expectations of that time set for the building
of The Research and Design Institute, science, space and the country
on the whole and the present day realities. At the same time we wanted
to emphasize that the future of Savin's tower is not necessarily grim –
at the end of the film we see the glimpse of hope of it coming back
to its former important mission. What happens inside the tower nowadays?
What kind of activities is performed, if any? What do people think
about while passing by the building? How will it be used in future?

In order to reveal the atmosphere of this place and to show our idea as well
we've used contrast cut and contraposition to nature, Soviet period look
in the end and current shooting. During the montage work we were trying
to add the vibe of the building's surrounding with smooth transitions
and prolonged static scenes.

State Marine Technical University
of St. Petersburg

Architects: N.Z. Matusevich, E.C. Beliat, L.I. Kopylovskiy
Year of construction:


The authors of the project:
Sergei Izhko, Ludmila Prudnikova, Maria Tumanova

«Here space is everything, for time ceases to quicken memory.»
Gaston Bachelard

The formal configuration of the captured building, not by chance nicknamed "Korabelka*", refers to the eternal Ark myth. We brought this obviousness
to the viewer, who is searching for the identity and correspondence in the images,
so he will be involved into way more intricate story. Playing with the images from reality: the objects (toys) with simply read features, we've conveyed the hyper-real feeling — the sense of time. Nor the children's toys unfold the ultra-phenomena's core: the ship witnesses the purity and seeming serenity of the beginning, the car — the rapid development, the train in a closed path — the accelerating moment ready to collapse. To confer the chosen items with this peculiar connotation emerged
to be possible in the context of the building only, as the representative of the space, the representative of the eternity.

Humanity endlessly seeks to attach itself to the space and time — to leave a mark that seems impossible due to the phenomena's core permanently eluding from
the observation. In the effort to tame one — the time, a man appeal to the other — the space: he tries on the demiurge's role including creating the architecture.
The time is beyond the man's power and the space plays a cruel joke towards him: the spatial creature, the converted matter becomes not the creator's continuation — the mark of his significance at the spatial-temporal map of eventfulness, —
but the demonstration of the time spot of some panhuman significance
at the eternity map, persisting as the super-idea of the firmness, intransigence facing
the perpetual changes.


* from Russian «корабль» — a ship, nicknamed due to it's shape and function
of a shipbuilding university.

Alvar Aalto's
Viipuri Library

Architect: Alvar Aalto
Year of construction: 1927–1935

Viipurin kirjasto*
The authors of the project:
Filipp Trapeznikov, Polina Korotaeva, Yana Pitenko, Svetlana Lysenko

Can music be tactual? Is it possible to hear through the touching how a bookcase, granite stone or banister curve sounds?
Wood, glass, concrete are the notes out of which Alvar Aalto forms his symphony that we tried to hear and interpret.

*from finnish "Vyborg Library"

M.K. Anikushin's Studio (Branch of the State Museum of the City Sculpture)
Architect: F.A. Gepner
Year of construction: 1969

Passing time

The authors of the project:
Svetlana Nikolaenko, Stanislav Knop, Varvara Kosenko

Getting started to shoot Anikushin's Studio we wanted to express not only the visual look of the building: the constructional frame, textures, light, play of light
and shadow, - but it's influence, power impact to the museum's guests. The historic fate and the peculiar building's function have left the traces on it's architectural image. Trying to convey the atmosphere and vibes we were searching
for the methods and techniques which defines the Studio's character.

On one hand it is a Magic House of a True Artist, where he lived and worked, realized his ideas. The "Around the World" paper sculpture exhibition has helped us discover this image of a miracle: what is it if not a miracle – an Idea, Action, Realization,
Piece of Art, - which outlives it's creator? Only due to this the Studio still has been living.

On the other hand it is a building hidden from passers' eyes in Vyazemsky Garden
at Petrogradskaya side, a haven of silence and peace. Rare visitors, lonely sculptures, technical cold light, time seems to pause here – everything is in the rigid sphenoid structure with the immense face windows permitting the diffused northern light through. The building seems to breathe but it's not able to get anybody. Till now
it remains unappreciated, undiscovered treasure of our city.

We attempted to put these associations to our work. The child's view that is naïve, pure, warmth, dreamy and the adult's one being logical, reasonable, experienced, rational, strict, together unite these different visual and sense images of Anikushin's Studio.

The Postal Workers House of Culture
Architects: P.M. Grinberg, G.S. Raiz
Year of construction: 1932 - 1939


The authors of the project:
Violetta Gunina, Andrey Kalashnikov, Polina Korotaeva

Architecture is always deeper than any aesthetics, because each building conserves the marks of the eras that witnessed and experienced. The Postal Workers House's of Culture building is a totem of changing ideologies. It was erected and rebuilt
as a symbol of the connection to God/Culture/Humanity, because the essence
of any ideology is manifested in the connection to the any power
that is incommensurable to a man.

And the connection changes with the every new period – the building's look changes; the era dies – the building is being overthrown. Only the memory remains,
which is not possible to rebuild or hide with a new facade. This memory
is the internal, tectonic struggle of the Postal Workers House of Culture. Ideologies, eras, styles are linked into the unified out of style architecture, which has outlived
the periods' alternation and undoubtedly it will outlast more.

Which ideology will the spectator distinguish here today gazing at the shadows
of fatigued green construction gauze, the mute blank windows, the faded plaster,
the nostalgic bas-reliefs' plastic and the misplaced signs on cracked walls? What's about the future? The building is being in the foreboding state.

For more information about our centre:
Project coordinators:
Elizaveta Kaluzhskaia
Artemiy Baranov

Production coordinators:
Katerina Vasilieva
Dmitriy Pavlov
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