Ed. А. Yu. Kazaryan. Moscow; Saint Petersburg: Nestor-Historia Publ., 2018. 256 p.
D. V. Vanyukova
ARCHITECTURAL RESTORATION CONCEPT IN THE MIDDLE KINGDOM EGYPT
In the mind of the ancient Egyptians — life was possible only because of their cultural memory — the Past was the literal mainstay of the country. It was the mythical “time of God” when the whole world was created together with the kingship, as a result of which, the country could be prosperous. It is not surprising that attention to the monuments of the past epochs was a way of venerating the ancestors and to care about one’s own destiny in another world. We even know of several cases when the restoration texts were usurped. Restoration projects of the New Kingdom are well known, but for the first time, a feeling of differences between Past and Present appeared in Egyptian culture much earlier. The XIth and XIIth dynasties connected with the time of reunion of the country after the “time of illness” (ancient Egyptian epithet for the crisis periods in their history, like the 1st Intermediate period), the restoration of kingship and architectural restoration concepts. The paper deals with the analyses of several 1st Intermediate and Middle Kingdom tomb inscriptions with “restoration formulas”, which are wider and more detailed than later ones, in the New Kingdom texts. Analyzing of peculiarities of Intef’s inscription (stela Berlin, Egyptian museum, № 13272) lexicon, the author discusses the problem of the true object of restoration acts in Egyptian culture: was the restoration of buildings the only and the main aim of Egyptians?
Keywords: Middle Kingdom architecture, restoration, funerary practices, archaic mind
S. V. Tarkhanova
FOUNDATIONS OF ROMAN STRUCTURES AND SPOLIA IN EARLY BYZANTINE CHURCHES AND MEDIEVAL MOSQUES AT TEL SHILO (SAMARIA)
The present research is devoted to reporting on the recovery of architectural fragments in the Roman and Byzantine periods (bases, pedestals, shafts, capitals, lintels, chancel screen elements, decorative reliefs, etc.). They were found at the monuments of Tel Shilo in situ, in secondary, in tertiary use or out of the architectural context. Only a small part of them was published as part of the general reports on the excavations at Tel Shilo, which were conducted by Swedish and American expeditions and in the framework of regular works of the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria (Dr. Aage Shmidt, Hans Kjær, Sven Holm-Nilsen, Marie-Louise Buhl, Flemming Gorm Andersen, Hananya Hizmi, Reut Livyatan ben Arie, Yodan Fleitman, et al.). Most of them (especially the fragments at the Basilica church, which I consider mainly Roman spolia) weren’t published or ever analyzed, except in some very general works and in general photographs. Besides, several architectural fragments were found during the last years of the excavations. The main section of the research includes a catalog of the objects, their measurements, stylistic analysis, attribution with preliminary dating. This work was accomplished in part and is still ongoing. The objects were examined at the site, photographed against the scale, and measured. But before proceeding to this main part of the research, it is necessary to outline and to present the main Roman and Early Byzantine architectural context at Tel Shilo. It is impossible to discover the original derivation, function, actual date and style of the details without characterization of the monuments, for which they may have been originally executed. Thus, the present article is devoted mainly to the architectural context of the town, which is divided into three main periods with sub-phases: Late Hellenistic and Roman decumani with several smaller in their scale cardines, their rebuilding during the Late Roman period (enlarging of the western colonnade of decumanus in front of cardo), tower on the outer edges of the settlement; Early Byzantine Northern churches, baptistery and Basilica church, which were, by my theory, inserted into the earlier system of roads with the use of their foundations, stylobate and members (though plenty of Roman spolia were reused, liturgical furniture was especially imported for the churches); and finally — Early Islamic mosques (Jami’ al Yetin, Jami’ Arbain, Jami’ es-Sittin), that were built on the place of the churches and inside the Roman tower with the use of all their elements (it seems that no special decorative elements were executed for mosques). It was done only in a brief and fragmentary manner before, without general systematization. The preliminary attempt to coordinate the known architectural details to their original architectural context is also presented here.
Keywords: Tel Shilo, Samaria, Roman roads, churches, mosques, capitals, shafts, bases, lintels, chancel screen, rebuilding, transition
E. M. Karlova
THE ICONOGRAPHY OF THE CHAUSATH YOGINI TEMPLES
The article discusses irregular typology in Indian sacred architecture — round temples with an open courtyard, dedicated to Chausath Yogini. They are localized geographically and the time of their construction is limited to the period 900–1200. First, the author provides some examples of the best preserved buildings with their brief descriptions. She also substantiates the thesis that the structure of the temple is due to the requirements of the Liturgy. The following are examples of round centric buildings in the region — mainly the reconstructions of early Buddhist sanctuaries. Also the round structures without ceiling in Hindu architecture are mentioned. As a related phenomenon, the round sanctuaries of mother-goddesses, common in folk ritual practice, are considered.
Keywords: India, architecture, Tantric cult, temple, Hindu religion
CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE WITH CUPOLA(S) IN SOUTHERN ITALY: FOR A THOROUGH INCLUSION IN THE BYZANTINE SPHERE (6TH–8TH CENTURIES)
Recent studies for the Eastern Mediterranean countries as well as for their Subcaucasian margins, have underlined the decisive importance of vaulting with cupola(s) for the architectural development in these regions during the Early Middle Ages. There are also, however, several publications dealing with South Italian churches, revealing similar constructive features: i.e., two main churches in Canosa di Puglia, another one in Casaranello; there is also a series of small “basilicas” with a triconchial choir in Puglia again and in Sicily, and finally some basilicas with two cupolas in file. Collecting here the results of these punctual investigations, it clearly appears that Southern Italy should be fully included in the general evolution attested in the Eastern Christian world. What is to be explained by historical context: Byzantine presence was still effective there, and its influence noticeably marked, too, was felt in the adjacent areas under Longobard rule; this having been so until the 8th century, at least.
Keywords: Early Byzantine Architecture, Christian Architecture, Cupola Vaulting, Southern Italy, Sicily, Asia Minor, Subcaucasian areas, East-West Relations
A. Yu. Kazaryan
STYLISTIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE ARMENIAN ARCHITECTURE IN CRIMEA: EVIDENCE FROM THE PORTALS FROM THE 13TH TO THE 15TH CENTURIES
The study of medieval architecture of the Crimea and, in particular, of the architecture of the Armenian churches on the peninsula, requires the solution of issues related to the origin and the development of the separate shapes of these buildings. The article for the first time sets the task of systematizing the portals of the Crimean Armenian churches from the 13th to the 15th centuries. The portals served as conceptual and artistically significant architectural elements of the Christian temple. For the Crimean Armenian tradition, the role of portals was particularly significant, because the churches of the peninsula were deprived of a rich exterior design. The development of two main types of portals is traced for the first time: 1) in the form of a rectangular frame, 2) with an arch on the consoles, placed above the lintel. The most luxurious portal of the church of Surb Khach Monastery doesn’t belong to this typology; it remains outside of the scope of this study. The author is aware of the difficulties of tracking the changes in the shapes of portals due to the lack of strong dating of most of the buildings under consideration, the lack of their archaeological evaluation. Nevertheless, the picture of the diversity of solutions and variations of the development of the original architectural ideas has been presented. The ideas on the medieval reconstruction of some portals, as well as the thoughts about the dating of rare monuments are suggested. According to the analytical review of the portals, not only the forms, but the priorities of customers and architects, their attitudes to their own traditional values and their degree of openness to adopting the achievements of their neighbors (in particular, the Genoese), were developed during these three centuries of history.
Keywords: portals, Armenian churches, architecture of the medieval Crimea, stylistic development, typology
S. A. Klyuev
THE CHURCH OF MADHANE ALEM IN ADI QASHO AND THE DIFFICULTIES OF DATING OF TIGRAY (ETHIOPIA) ROCK-HEWN MONUMENTS
The dating of rock-hewn churches is one of the most complicated and controversial issues facing researchers in the process of studying the history of Ethiopian architecture. Based on various concepts and approaches, scientists differ in the dating of monuments for more than 300 years. Thus, D. R. Buxton dated the rock-hewn church of Madhane Alem in Adi Qasho to the end of the 10th–11th centuries, D. Phillipson determines the time of its creation to the period up to the 10th century, and M. Gervers and E. Fritsch note that the structure of the maqdas of the church indicates a later date of creation, but do not specify it. The purpose of this article is to determine the dating of the rock-hewn church of Madhane Alem in Adi Qasho.
Legendary information reports that the church of Adi Qasho, like some others (Mikael Baraka, Maryam Hibiito) in Tigray, was founded by Abuna Abreham, a saint who lived in 1350–1425.
The layout of the church combines the principles of both traditional basilicas with two aisles, which became widespread in Ethiopia during the time of the Aksum kingdom, and some signs of the "open-type" basilicas that appeared in Ethiopia, probably in the period from the 14th century.
In accordance with the traditions of the architecture of early Ethiopian basilicas, the church at Adi Qasho has the following features: — the vault of the nave is elevated relative to the aisles (in this case, slightly); — an Aksumite frieze runs along the upper part of the nave (with the exception of the east wall); — the maqdas is separated from the naos by a wall with a triumphal arch resting on pilasters; — the vault and the eastern wall of the maqdas form the apse with semi-dome.
However, in the maqdas there are no pastophoria which are characteristic of early Ethiopian basilicas. Gervers and Fritsch draw parallels between the Adi Qasho church and the famous cruciform church of Beta Giyorgis at Lalibela (according to their dating from the 15th century), which also does not have pastophoria in the maqdas area.
The church of Adi Qasho has some features of the decoration and the layout in common with the basilicas of "opentype", especially the rock-hewn church of Maryam Dabra Tsion.
The U-shaped narthex presumably derives from the churches of the Lasta region: in the churches with an ambulatory (Abba Libanos at Lalibela and Zoz Amba Giyorgis), and the later "open-type" basilicas in Tigray: Yesus Archnao and Maryam Dabra Tsion.
The facade solution of a four-pillar portico at the church also finds possible prototypes in the Lasta region in churches with colonnades: Madhane Alem at Lalibela, Gannata Maryam, Kankanet Mikael. Exploring the carved decoration of the Adi Qasho church, one can find a characteristic resemblance to the decoration of the church of Maryam Dabra Tsion (the paintings are stylistically dated to the turn of the 14th–15th centuries), and in particular, to the richly decorated ornamental carving of Abuna Abreham’s cell, which is connected to the church by the ambulatory.
The Cupola and walls of this cell have the following decorations: diamond-shaped caissons (in Madhane Alem, they are located in the vault of the central bay in the northern aisle); a cross with four accented squares between its bars (in Madhane Alem — in the vault of the nave); multifaceted cross with ornamental filling; another geometric compositions consisting of squares.
Carved crosses in the interior of the church are also stylistically dated to the 14th–15th centuries. Two crosses on high shafts are carved on pilasters in the span of the triumphal arch. Paired crosses are also known in earlier churches, but their location in the maqdas area finds parallels with the church of Maryam Dabra Tsion. Is it possible that the image of paired crosses flanking the triumphal arch may be related to the rejection at the middle of the 14th century of the previously used wooden altar barriers with columns decorated with paired crosses.
Shallow triple niches (in the western parts of the southern and northern walls) and six niches in the western wall are carved in the naos of the church. Similar niches with images of saints decorated the walls of the church Maryam Dabra Tsion and of the church Yesus Archnao, probably a little earlier.
The upper limit of the dating of the monument can be determined by the presence of abundant traces of soot, which can be evidence of the destructive invasion of Ahmad Gran’s jihadists, which destroyed many churches and church relics in Ethiopia in the thirties of the 16th century; likewise, the style of the corner beams of perspective frames of doorways leading from the narthex to the naos. Their form from the second half of the 15th century changes from cubic to round-headed. These factors make it possible to designate the upper limit of dating to the middle of the 15th century, i.e. approximately until 1450. Probably, the creators of the church tried to unite in the monument both the local traditions of the basilica architecture and the new trends that came from the political center of the country.
The features of the layout of the church, particular qualities of its maqdas demonstrate close creation date of the Adi Qasho church and the basilica of Maryam Dabra Tsion.
Thus, the most plausible dating is close to the legendary information, namely 1370–1450.
Keywords: Rock-hewn architecture, church architecture, dating, Ethiopia, Tigray, Madhane Alem, Adi Qasho
ARCHITECTURE, SCALE AND EMPIRE: MONUMENTS IN ANATOLIA BETWEEN MAMLUK AND ILKHANID ASPIRATIONS
This article examines the question of size and scale in the architecture of late thirteenth-century Anatolia. Competition between the Mamluks in Egypt and Syria and the Ilkhanids in Iran greatly affected the political environment of Anatolia starting from the 1270s. Therefore, it is relevant to examine whether the tendency towards monumental architecture in these two neighboring empires had an effect on building practices in the region. Examining medieval Islamic texts commenting on notions of monumentality in architecture, the article will describe how ideas of scale have been reflected in the written sources. These ideas will then be examined with regard to monuments built in central and eastern Anatolia in the second half of the thirteenth century, where it appears that architectural decoration, rather than large scale, was used in order to create visually impressing buildings.
Keywords: Mamluk architecture, Ilkhanid architecture, Seljuk architecture, scale and architecture, Islamic architecture
E. I. Kononenko
AK-TEKKE IN KARAMAN: TO THE QUESTION OF THE ORIGIN OF THE COMPOSITION
Ak-tekke (1370) is a memorial complex in Larend, the capital of the principality of Karaman, which was the main political competitor of the Ottoman state in Anatolia throughout the 14th century. The composition of the centraldomed mosque Ak-tekke is similar to many Early Ottoman monuments, standing out sharply in the total mass of extremely conservative Karamanid religious buildings, but its constructive achievements far exceed the capabilities of masters who built synchronous Ottoman buildings. Some elements of the composition of the hall of Ak-tekke are reminiscent of the late Seljuk domed madrasah of the 13th century and the ways of expanding space in the mosques of the North Anatolian beyliks of the 14th century.
This little-known construction, genetically related to the architecture of the Rum Sultanate, reflects the search for the optimal composition of the mosque by Anatolian architects and could not stay away from the attention of Ottoman architects, especially considering the direct Ottoman architectural patronage in Larend. The question of the origin of the composition of Ak-tekke includes elucidating its place in the history of Karaman architecture, revealing the connection with the preceeding Seljuk and synchronous Ottoman traditions.
Key words: mosque architecture, ulu-jami, tekke, Karaman, architectural citation
Sh. M. Shukurov
VIEW FROM THE INSIDE. STRUCTURAL AND CONCEPTUAL DIMENSIONS OF IRANIAN MINIATURE PAINTING
Our article is about the relationship of text and illustration from new positions of structural communications between the text and the metatext (in this case a hand-scripted miniature on the territory of Greater Iran). Diagrammatology carries out the transition from structural shifts to conceptual transformations, from superficial movements to interiorization. The author comes to the conclusion that the artist seeks to give the impression of a glance from within that is promoted by a basic open condition of graphic compositions, a possibility of an exit out of the miniature frame limits. The glance from within doesn't belong to one randomly taken character, the artist gives the impression of an intense concentration and openness outside of the whole composition.
Keywords: Iran, Khurasan, Kamal al-Din Behzad, the hand-written text, a hand-written miniature, visual rhetoric, the metatext, a diagrammatology, structure of vision, a look from within
E. S. Lavrentyeva
THE “STATUS QUO” AT THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE IN JERUSALEM AND ITS INFLUENCE ON THE ARCHITECTURAL APPEARANCE OF THE CHURCH
The article discusses the change in architectural appearance of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher under the influence of legislative acts regulating the legal status of Christian communities at the Church itself. Despite the fact that a considerable part of the documents were published in the scientific literature, for the first time an attempt is made to consider older documents (beginning with the letter of the Caliph Umar Ahtiname, 638, to the Working Paper prepared be the Secretariat, UNCCP, 1949). The aim of the research is to identify the most significant aspects of the Holy Sepulchre history, the most striking episodes of the intensive struggle between religions for the right to own the shrine, and what influenced the formation of its architectural appearance. The report will also try to reveal the most reliable information about the adobe of Christian monastic communities in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
The article provides limited information on the presence of certain confessions, and the main attention is paid to the relationship between the Greeks and the Latins, who made the main contribution to the structure of the Church. Currently, the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem is divided between six Christian denominations: Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Armenian Apostolic, Syriac Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox Churches. The main rights to the possession of the shrine and, therefore, to the inner space of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre belong to the Greeks (the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem), the Latins (the Catholic Order of Friars Minor) and Armenians (representatives of the Armenian Apostolic Church), while the Copts, Syrians and Abyssinians use lesser rights. To this day disputes related to the possession of altars and chapels at the Church of the Resurrection are ongoing. The relevance of the study, devoted to the detailed consideration of disputes between Christian communities, as a result of which the appearance of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre changed, will allow to determine the degree of preservation of the monument in its original form (4th century).
Keywords: the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (the Church of the Resurrection), architecture, Jerusalem, status quo, Christianity, religion, legislation
T. V. Kopteva
ANTOINE-LAURENT-THOMAS VAUDOYER AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF ARCHITECTURAL THEORY OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT IN EARLY 19TH CENTURY
One of the constant challenges in studying architectural theory of the French Enlightenment is to define what belongs to it and what does not. The approaches range from a specific period in the second half of the 18th century to a more broad definition, which encompasses almost 150 years, from the 1670s until 1820. Thanks to the almost universal acceptance of Emil Kaufmann’s theory, the projects and ideas of Claude Nicolas Ledoux, Étienne-Louis Boullée and Jean-Jacques Lequeu became the main symbol of Enlightenment in architecture. However, to explore the turning point of the architectural theory of that era we need to go beyond the more traditionally studied thinkers and practitioners.
Antoine-Laurent-Thomas Vaudoyer was J.-J. Lequeu’s senior by a year, and his formative years fell in the same period, the 1780s, the years when architecture of the age of Reason was at its peak. Unlike many of his contemporaries Vaudoyer managed not to fall out of grace during the long and troublesome historical period of French revolutions. Due in part to this long career, his projects that remain until today are so various in style and approach, and it’s hardly possible to find a consistent modus operandi of this architect. But we could safely argue that he was in many ways one of the sons of the Enlightenment era in his architecture. What makes him especially interesting to study is that he formulated his theoretical views on this art only in 1832, at the time when the new Romantic Movement was powerful enough for him to try and bridge the opposing tendencies of both periods in his writing. He held simultaneously, the views of the age of Reason that essential unchanging principles exist in architecture, and supported new ideas about the free genius of every artist that can easily escape the constraints of reason. The article analyses the writings of Vaudoyer in conjunction with his projects, to uncover and reconstruct his ideas about the theory of architecture.
As any theoretician of the Enlightenment era, Vaudoyer thinks that architecture is derived from nature. However, where other theoreticians considered cosmic geometry, natural forms and other ‘objective’ manifestations of nature to be the foundation, Vaudoyer shifts his focus towards the perception of nature’s forms and effects by those with a talent for architecture. According to him, architectural theory helps to enhance the ‘natural talent’, and is essential to foster an understanding of the art of architecture to those who cannot practice it. Vaudoyer draws a clear distinction between the ‘art’ and the ‘science’ of architecture, while their indivisible unity was paramount for other thinkers of the Enlightenment. In this and other aspects of his theory, Vaudoyer tries to combine the approaches to architecture of Romanticism with the ideas of what architecture is and should be, which stem from his formative years during the Enlightenment.
He constantly drew upon the examples of other liberal arts, more “romantic” and individualistic in some aspects, to explain his architectural theories. It this he differs greatly from classic Enlightenment architectural writings where architecture was pretty much self-explanatory. The Enlightenment popularized architecture in the sense of architectural theory permeating the social and philosophical discourse and being their intrinsic part. Analyzing Vaudoyer’s writing, we can conclude that he spoke as ‘a relic of the Enlightenment’ at the time when architecture was no longer seen as a way of thinking. Thus, for him popularizing architecture is no longer about deriving all other social, philosophical and artistic discourses from architecture, but rather interpreting architecture through the language of other liberal arts, which was much more familiar to the new generation of the 1830s.
Keywords: Antoine-Laurent-Thomas Vaudoyer, Dissertation sur l'architecture par A.-L.-T. Vaudoyer, architectural theory, French Enlightenment architectural theory
N. A. Konovalova
BRIDGES OF JAPAN: BETWEEN ARCHITECTURE AND POETRY
Bridges of different types have always played a significant role in the Japanese culture, the role that goes far beyond their direct functional purpose. Unique building techniques and extraordinary design solutions have become distinguished features of the Medieval bridges. Almost every known type of bridges is represented in Japan: chain and arched; pontoon and cable-stayed; fixed and movable; bridges made of wood, stone and metal. The present article surveys and analyzes Japanese bridges of different types and functions in a broad chronological framework — from antiquity to the middle of the twentieth century. However, the special emphasis of the work is given to identifying the features of their semantic characteristics.
According to the early chronicles, bridges in Japan began to be erected in the 4th century. Initially, their most important characteristics were the strength and durability. Over time these requirements have expanded significantly. Bridges played a leading role in the social and political life of the Japanese cities starting from the Middle Ages. For instance, for security reasons no bridges were being built on the country's main roads up until the Meiji period. Rivers could only be waded across, travelers had to carry the luggage themselves or use the porters' services, the noble class used palanquins. In the mountain gorges, on the other hand, they built not only durable, but also picturesque suspension bridges, which were technologically far more advanced than their European analogues.
Japanese bridges represent various functions. They can not only connect, but also divide. This restrictive role of bridges quite clearly manifested itself during the isolationist policy period (middle of the 17th — middle of the 19th centuries). As an example, the bridge connecting the artificial island of Dejima with the rest of Japan might be recalled. Moreover, this function of bridges is also evident in Shinto shrines — there bridges were designed to separate the shrine from the outside world, clearly distinguishing between sacred and secular life and territory. Hashi garden bridges have a capacious symbolic meaning of their own. If such bridges were a part of a temple garden, they were often painted red in accordance with a Chinese tradition; however unpainted hashi could be found as well. China was the origin of symbolism of this type of bridges, where they represented the path to heaven and immortality. The hashi bridges have incorporated the typology of Dao and Buddhism, becoming a metaphor of transition, which by itself has various meanings. Passing through such a bridge was perceived as a transition from one world to another. The principle of stage direction can be found in arrangement of bridges and in genesis of their form and image. Diverse artistic techniques were often used to establish special sensory involvement and to form a certain emotional mood during the passing through a bridge. This can be experienced, for example, if one walks over the stone bridge of Meganebashi (Spectacles Bridge), one of the oldest in Japan.
Bridges were created not only to shorten the distance of a pathway, but also to extend it. For example, the Kintai bridge leading to the medieval castle of Ivakuni has been designed in order to significantly extend the distance that needed to be covered. In the Middle Ages, this bridge was a serious obstacle on the way of enemy forces. In peacetime, only samurais could use it, the common people had to cross the river on boats. The route through the Kintai Bridge meant not only covering of a longer distance, but also overcoming of a more difficult path.
The symbolic role of the Japanese bridges is difficult to overestimate. The main bridge of the country, Nihonbashi, combines numerous functions, including the symbolic ones. For centuries it served as a starting point for travelers. Two out of five main roads of the country, Nakasado and Tokaido, connecting Kyoto and Edo, started from here; hereby the Nihonbashi Bridge have become the zero point of reference (as a geographical center) of the city, and it still is even today. The analysis of the Japanese bridges conducted in the article expands the boundaries of their content as an artwork and reveals along with the constructive aesthetic, psychological, and social aspects contained in their function.
Keywords: Bridges of Japan, wooden bridges, Nihonbasi, the symbolism of bridges of Japanese garden
I. V. Belintseva
ARCHITECT MAX SCHÖNWALD (EASTERN PRUSSIA) — CREATOR OF COUNTRY VILLAS AND RURAL MANOR HOUSES
The activities of numerous architects of East Prussia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the structures created by them on the territory of the modern Kaliningrad region are still poorly understood. Max Schoenwald, who had his own architectural bureau office in Koenigsberg (Kaliningrad), erected various types of structures — religious, civil, transportation, etc. The main direction in his work was the design and construction of private mansions, manor houses and agricultural facilities. The mansion house in Grunwald (near the village of Klukvennoye), numerous villas at the resort Rauschen (Svetlogorsk), a rural farmstead in Uderwangen (Chekhovo) and other buildings have received wide acclaim in the professional press.
Keywords: East Prussia, Kaliningrad region, architect Max Schönwald, architecture of the first half of the 20th century, villa, manor
E. V. Konysheva
“STORMY APPLAUSE, EVERYONE GETS UP”: FOREIGN GUESTS AT THE FIRST ALL-UNION CONGRESS OF THE SOVIET ARCHITECTS
The article is focused on the participation of foreign architects in the First Congress of the Soviet Architects in 1937. The objectives of the publication are, at first, the reconstruction of the preparation and participation of foreign delegates in the forum, secondly, the analysis of the evaluation by foreign masters of Soviet architecture of the 1930s, presented in their reports, and, thirdly, the specificity of the media interpretation of foreign experts’ reports. The publication is based, primarily, on the analysis of documents of the Union of Soviet Architects and the All-Union Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries (VOKS) stored in Russian archives. They are compared with official documents, publications in the Soviet and foreign professional periodicals, and with sources of personal origin.
The first part of the publication considers the specifics of the international relations of the Union of Soviet Architects, the goals and types of international contacts. It is alleged that the Soviet architecture of the 1930s was not isolated and there was a mutual interest and desire to maintain professional ties between the Western and Soviet architectural communities. At the same time, in the international activities of the Union of Architects, there were two key aspects: first, the study of Western practice and exchange of experience; second, the propaganda of achievements of Soviet architecture abroad, and it was the later aspect, which played a dominant role. In this context, the principles of selection of potential foreign delegates to the Congress are considered and the key task is shown — demonstration of interest to the Congress of the premier persons of world architecture and loud international resonance. The process of selection and invitation of foreign specialists and its results have been reconstructed. It was demonstrated that the Union of Soviet Architects focused its attention on inviting “the most outstanding masters”, regardless
of their views, and this approach opposed the anti-modernist discourse within the Soviet professional field. Among the preferable persons for participation at the Soviet congress, there were such leaders of modernism architecture as Le Corbusier, J. J.P. Oud, W. Gropius, L. Mies van der Rohe, L. Hilberseimer, B. Taut, and others. At the same time, a tribute was given to F. L.Wright, H. van de Velde, P. Behrens, H. Poelzig and other representatives of a wide range of architectural trends. The article also considers other motives of the leaders of the Union of Soviet Architects, which determined the choice for a particular candidate. The final list of foreign participants of 28 persons was approved by the supreme power — the Politburo of the Central Committee of the AUCP(b), but only 18 foreign architects took part in the Congress, among whom were F. L. Wright, A. Lurcat, F. Jourdain, and others.
The second part of the article analyzes reports of foreign guests (F. L. Wright, F. Jourdain, A. Lurcat, S. Breines, M. Lods, and others) and identifies problems that foreign experts saw in Soviet architecture. First of all, they spoke about the "formalism" of the new Soviet architecture, the eclecticism and irrelevance of its language. They saw the reason for this in the primacy of the artistic and aesthetic principle in Soviet architecture, generated by the separation of the profession of an architect from the engineering profession, design from construction and industry, and artistic imagination from functional feasibility and technical capability. In turn, Soviet architects in their reports criticized Western architecture for the priority of function and technology over the “architectural image”. The article shows in detail how the critical reports of foreign guests were censored when translated into Russian and entered into publications of the professional literature.
Finally, the author presents the thesis that neither the Congress nor the participation of foreign guests in it has received wide resonance abroad. The participation of a small number of foreign architects at the Congress did not bring the desired result — the establishment of the USSR as a world architectural center. The professional opinion of foreign specialists on the problems of Soviet architecture was not received and appreciated, and their participation was considered solely from the point of view of strengthening the international image of Soviet architecture.
Keywords: the First Congress of the Soviet Architects, foreign architects, 1937