Results of the year: top 10 architectural discoveries of the year


2021 gave us many architectural premieres and discoveries. ELLE DECORATION has selected the best of them – both in Russia and in other countries of the world

Cultural Center “GES -2 “, Moscow

On December 4, the opening of the House of Culture “GES-2” took place in Moscow, which we have all been waiting for. The excitement around this event is not surprising: architectural events of this magnitude rarely take place in the capital. The renovation project for one of the oldest power plants in Russia, which houses a new cultural space, was led by star architect Renzo Piano. He removed all the internal ceilings, added during the Soviet era, to restore a sense of spaciousness to the main nave, and minimally supplemented the facade with an extension. It will house an assembly hall. Read more about the project in the material at the link.

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Khudozhestvenny Cinema, Moscow

Another significant event for the capital & nbsp; – opening in April this year after the reconstruction of the cinema “Khudozhestvenny” on Arbat Square. “Artistic” & nbsp; – the oldest cinema in Moscow, therefore, its restoration was approached with special attention. The exterior of the main facade was recreated according to the original drawings of Fyodor Shekhtel. & Nbsp; The architectural concept was developed by the German bureau merz merz, and the studio of the Spanish designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán was responsible for the interiors.

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Russian Pavilion in the Giardini Gardens, Venice

We could not ignore this project, because it was for it that the young bureau KASA/Kovaleva and Sato Architects received the ELLE DECORATION Choice of the Year 2021 award. The Russian Pavilion in the Giardini Gardens for the Venice Biennale was built in 1914 by Alexei Shchusev. In the process of reconstruction, its facades were returned to the original “Shchusev” color. The clogged doors and windows were also restored, thanks to which the building now offers views of the lagoon and adjacent pavilions, the basement rooms have been cleared, the ceilings have been replaced, an elevator and a steel staircase have been replaced.

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Pavilion “Hexagon”, Moscow

Not a premiere, but an announcement. As it became known recently, the abandoned Hexagon pavilion near the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art will soon turn into its new building. The building, built in 1923 for the All-Russian Agricultural and Handicraft-Industrial Exhibition, will have three exhibition spaces, a library, a bookstore and a cafe after reconstruction. And the courtyard of the pavilion will turn into an open public space. For more information about this project, see our dedicated material here.

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Observation Deck in the Usvinskie Pillars, Perm Territory

In the Perm Territory, in the Usvinskie Pillars Reserve, known picturesque stone cliffs up to 120 meters high, an unusual observation deck has appeared. It is made entirely of wood. The strange shape of the site is somewhat reminiscent of a pile of stones or a swirl of a turbulent river stream. Authors of the project, studio & nbsp; Ad Hoc Architecture, are also going to build a hotel in the reserve.

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Skate Park Bowl Alvar Aalto, Krasnodar

Skate Park in Krasnodar called Bowl Alvar Aalto was created as a tribute to the famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. In the 1930s, Aalto designed the pool in the shape of a human kidney. Subsequently, similar designs in the United States formed the basis of skate parks. And Russian architects Konstantin Taranov and Viktor Kvasha built a similar structure of organic form entirely of wood.

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New stations of the BCL, Moscow

In December, ten new BCL (Big Circle Line) stations opened in Moscow at once. This launch became the largest in the history of the Moscow metro. Muscovites have already appreciated the remarkable architectural appearance of the new stations, and especially Terekhovo, which stands out for its neo-modern design with references to Art Deco. The project was developed by the Buromoscow bureau.

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Francois Pinault Museum, Paris

In May, the Francois Pinault Museum of Contemporary Art opened in Paris & nbsp; – an event that has lasted for a long time waited and which was postponed several times due to the pandemic. It is located in the 18th century Paris Stock Exchange, renovated by a Japanese architect and Pritzker Prize winner & nbsp; Tadao Ando & nbsp; (Tadao Ando). Ando did not touch the historic walls, but tactfully stepping back from them, erected a concrete cylinder in the central atrium, thanks to which the exhibition area almost doubled. By the way, one of the first exhibitions that opened in the new building was the project Urs Fischer & nbsp; (Urs Fischer) & nbsp; – an artist who became famous in our country thanks to his art object Big Clay No. 4.

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Museum of Art Education Huamao, China

A museum of an unusual streamlined triangular shape opened this year in the Chinese city of Ningbo. The project by architects Álvaro Siza and Carlos Castanheira appears to be floating in the air thanks to the stark contrast between the dark gray windowless façade and the almost completely transparent lower level.

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New Design Museum in Milan

In May 2021, the ADI Design Museum opened in Milan & nbsp; – Compasso d'Oro … It captures the entire history of Italian industrial design. The museum is located in the building of the former tram depot. The project was led by architects Giancarlo Perotta and Massimo C. Bodini.

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