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Curator’s manifesto

Ways of living

Russia has a rich history of construction mass housing – a tradition that was established in the Soviet period. Alas this housing is characterized by low quality and uniform design. Recently, prices for hosing are booming, but this rise in demand has not been followed by an equivalent rise in housing quality. The inertia typical for the building industry leads to a prolongation of outdated construction methods, whereas Russian society demands more diversity and better quality.

Architects should play a key role in changing this situation. They are by nature the leading force in innovating the building industry. Instead of just serving the private client, as they have been doing in the 1990s, they now should decide how the average Russian dweller will live and establish a new tradition of mass housing in Russia that will answer to the demands of contemporary society.

Apart from the latest achievements of Russian architects in the field of mass housing, the Biennale exhibition shows projects for 10 new cities to be constructed in the next decade. With its need for innovation, its enormous territory and its natural resources, Russia has the potential of becoming a new international frontier for the development of architecture and urban design.

Considering that Russia has been cut of from developments in contemporary housing design for a long period, this innovation will not be possible without the study, employment and appropriation of foreign know-how. Architects and urban designers from various countries have been invited to show how they approach the problem of mass housing. Thus visitors to the exhibition will be able to see and form an opinion on a great variety of housing environments: a panorama of possibilities for a new way of living.

Bart Goldhoorn, curator


General partner of Biennale



         

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