Piranesi Lands in Moscow

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Piranesi Lands in Moscow 

Taisiya Afinogenova



Within the new concept of the development of Moscow in 50-100 years our group of 7 students has created projects on 7 specially selected sites. One of these projects is the international exhibition and festival center «Expo-Park» located in the district Ramenky. The key objectives for the development feature an ensemble of pavilions, playgrounds for public forums, sports and entertainment venues.
In the process of designing the exhibition center great attention was paid to style. For the creation of architectural image I drew inspiration to D.-B. Piranesi’s Renaissance ideas about the future. His plans for a new building of Rome formed the basic ensembles pavilions expo center. The absence of three-dimensional images of the architecture, provided an opportunity to dream upon how his buildings may look nowadays. The main pavilions are located at an angle to the trajectory of the visitor walking along the main axis of the expo. Instead of standard parallel street facades our new approach will allow the viewer to see more interesting perspectives for future complexes. The main axis is represented by a wide paved pedestrian area with ponds and green strips. Along this zone goes the rail line, connecting the university with a large-scale park-and-ride system. The pedestrian area is gradually coming to the river and then gradually flows into the forest and park including museum.



Who influences you graphically?

Besides Piranesi’s works I’m inspired by the heritage of the Moscow Architectural School of the 80-90s, particularly by the diploma works of students of one of the greatest tutors, Boris Eremin. These works are performed in a strong avant-garde manner with high contrast black and red tone inclusions. Their projects are close to mine in terms of the subject: they also had to reconstruct Moscow. Within these projects, similarly, there is an element of utopia that allows to make architectural images more creatively, beyond the possible. As result: the Renaissance works of Piranesi + style of Russian avant-garde + utopian ideas about the architecture of the future are intertwined in a single project. For me it was important not to go on about the themes of futurism and convey the project with all contemporary computer filing attributes. Instead, I tried to save the spirit of the past (such as architectural means and graphically) and simulate the hand graphic.

To what extent might the etching as a style of drawing been an interesting method of representation to explore in relation to Piranesi?

D.B. Piranesi and his plans of Campo Marzio have become the basis for my project. Of course, their renaissance representation also become analogue. I’m really keen on old fashioned drawings, maps etc. So for me it was very interesting to integrate etching elements to my project.

What dictated your color palette and how might a more vivid palette reflected the theme of expo as a public playground?

As I already said, I tried to simulate a hand graphic based on avant-garde style. But the use of black, white and red (or blue) would be a direct borrowing of this style. So I decided to take a monochrome palette and add to it my favorite hint of turquoise. Using a bright palette of course would emphasize the theme of the Expo as the entertainment area, but here it is worth remembering the global purpose of the project, namely to show that this territory as part of the general concept belongs to the green zone of Moscow ring. This implies enhanced landscaping. And on the main image, that of the masterplan, it was necessary to show this environmental component, to show that the landscaping of the project area is improved in comparison with the current situation. In my opinion, it has also determined the main color scheme. Monochrome + hints of blue-green show the solution of the main objectives of the project much more clearly.

You explore your proposal through all means of representation. To what extent do you trust that only in this manner is one able to fully convey a proposal?

That happened because of tradition of our Moscow architectural school. According to it, we must present the projects in all projections (plan, facades, cross-sections + renders). Popular manner of representation with axonometric images, explode-schemes, infographic elements are not obligatory requirement. And here I tried to combine the academic style and modern trends.

You talk about perspectival views and the staging of these, how would more images on this point have reinforced your project?

More perspective images certainly would help to feel the created environment more deeply. But that would be appropriate in the next stages of the development of the project. One shouldn’t forget that urbanplanning solutions are our main aim, and at this stage the architectural image of Expo-park is an important addition, but not an end in itself.

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Taisiya completed her education in MARKHI as urbanplanning specialist in June 2015 with this thesis project, which was awarded  the highest award on XXIV International review competition of final qualification works on architecture and design in Zheleznovodsk (Russia). She currently works as an architect in Moscow in russian-irish bureau “Green Design Society”.

Besides architecture her interest lie in graphic design and professional photography. She is a big fan of travelling and tries to imprint and transmit through her camera conditions of beauty which she observes in the best moments of each journey.


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