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Andrey Bokov (right), Rick Bell (left)


New Architecture in Moscow

Center for Architecture, New York

January 4, 2010



Presentation by:       Andrey Bokov,

                                   President of the Union of Architects of Russia


Moderator:                Rick Bell, founder of Center for Architecture


Introduction by:         George Miller, FAIA, president of AIA National

                                   Vladimir Belogolovsky



Mr. Bokov is a leading architect, researcher, educator, and a well-known public figure in Russia. His lecture “New Architecture in Moscow” opens new and exciting dialogue between architectural culture in Russia and the United States. 


Since 2008 Mr. Bokov is the President of the Union of Architects of Russia. The Union is 143 years old and was originally founded as Moscow Architectural Society in 1868. Currently the Union has over 17,600 members and consists of seven regional zones and 97 local organizations all over Russia.


Since 1998 Mr. Bokov is also the Director of the State Unitary Enterprise “The Moscow Scientific-Research and Design Institute for Culture, Leisure, Sports, and Healthcare Complexes.” The institute is also known as “Mosproject-4.” It was founded in 1968 with the main focus on realizing large-scale social projects most of which are financed by the city of Moscow. Many of these projects such as theaters, museums, stadiums, and hospitals are not profitable for private developers and they could not have been realized without the financial support of the city of Moscow. Currently the Institute “Mosproject-4” has 9 architectural and 10 engineering studios with over 500 professionals.  

Mr. Bokov was born and grew up in Moscow. He graduated from the Moscow Architectural Institute in 1966. He has Ph.D. in Architecture from the Central Scientific-Research Institute of Theory and History of Architecture and he is the recipient of many national and international honors including:


The Russian Federation State Prize in Literature and the Arts
and the Medal of Honor awarded by Russian Federation President
Mr. Bokov published two books and over 50 articles in national and international magazines. The monograph of his work from 1997 through 2007 was published by Tatlin publisher.


Mr. Bokov conducted theoretical research on the problems of urban and environmental planning and the development of social infrastructure of Moscow. He has taught at the Moscow Architectural Institute, the State University of Land Development, and the prestigious Surikov Art Institute in Moscow.

The architect has won over 40 Russian and international architectural competitions. He is the author of more than one hundred realized city planning and architectural projects.


The architect was once asked in an interview about which of his buildings he is most proud of. The answer was: “I do not believe people who are speaking about their achievements and themselves with pride. The best I can say is that there are quite a number of projects that I am not ashamed of.” Among these projects are:


Experimental housing blocks in Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod, Social and Wellness Center for Veterans in Moscow, Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Theater, reconstruction of Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow, Vladimir Mayakovsky Museum in Moscow, Indoor skating center in Moscow, and Ice Palaces in Moscow and St. Petersburg.


Mr. Bokov once said: “Architecture is a thoughtful geometry.” His projects often employ bold geometric forms, exposed rough structural detailing, and bright colors in the spirit of Russian constructivists. They often feature mixed-use programs and deal with complex urban fabric. They resonate with great power and confidence on grand and sometimes even vast metropolitan scale.


As we go over contemporary Russian projects in today’s presentation please bear in mind that for many years Russian architecture was going on its own course of development. It is important to understand the political, ideological, historical, and technological contexts in which architecture in Russia was breeding.


Responding to a question – what is the mission of an architect – Mr. Bokov said in an interview: “The mission of a modern architect in the world and the mission of a modern architect in Russia do not coincide. Despite the fact that we were contemporaries, we lived in different epochs and in different climates. In early 1930s in Stalin times the Soviet architecture was practically taken out of the professional context. Then 20 years later in Khrushchev times, the architecture was thrown away from the cultural and artistic practice and as a result it lost its sources and roots, which were its nature, essence, and meaning of its existence. The aftereffects of these two merciless and fatal periods are felt in our everyday life even nowadays.”


Please join me in welcoming Mr. Bokov and his presentation “New Architecture in Moscow.”