On April 16, the first Academic Trezzini Conference took place in St. Petersburg, a collaborative project by the St. Petersburg State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering, and the Golden Trezzini Awards for Architecture and Design.

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Subject of the Conference: Architecture and Reforms. How Political Reforms Affected The Visual Architectural Language (from ancient times till the early 21st century).

During the conference, the organizers and participants set up a multidimensional discussion about political reforms manifestation through the prism of architectural structures and styles from ancient times till the early 21st century. They also focused on considering professional specifics of architectural and construction activities in different historical periods depending on the state reforms.

It is not by chance that the conference has been named after Domenico Trezzini, the first St. Petersburg’s architect. Peter the Great’s right hand man, the architect actually was in charge of all the construction works in St. Petersburg in the days of radical state reformation. Thus, it was upon his projects that the foundation stones of the Alexander Nevsky Monastery and the town of Kronstadt were laid, and that some regular layouts of the Vasilievsky Island were brought to life. He made a renovation project for the Peter and Paul Fortress, as well as the projects that resulted in construction of the Emperor’s Summer Palace in the Summer Garden, the Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral, the Peter’s Gate, the Galley Harbor, the Twelve Collegia Building, and many more facilities, which unfortunately haven’t survived till nowadays (the second Winter Palace, the Gostiny Dvor, etc.)

At the Conference, the welcome letter from Roger M. Kull, Consul General of Switzerland in St. Petersburg, was read. Participants and visitors of the Conference were greeted by Vladimir Grigoriev, Chairman of the Committee on Urban Planning and Architecture (KGA); Irina Lugovskaya, First Provost at the St. Petersburg State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering; and Pavel Chernyakov, Chairman of the Arrangements Committee for the Golden Trezzini Awards. After the greeting, Pavel Chernyakov awarded Yulia Terekhina, a student of the Architecture Department at the St. Petersburg State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering, a nominee of the University’s projects exhibition, with a special Golden Trezzini certificate for her project “Park of Sounds.”

During the Trezzini Conference, a multidimensional discussion about the state policy manifestation in the age of reforms through the prism of architectural structures and styles. Vladimir Grigoriev, Chief Architect of St. Petersburg told the audience about how the state currently regulates architectural design procedures. His advisor Anna Katkhanova explained how today’s architectural contests reflect the state policy.

Architect Philipp Nikandrov delivered a report on landmark architecture and its effect on the urban environment. Raphael Dayanov, architect and renovator, spoke about legislation associated with cultural heritage preservation and practice of refitting tangible cultural heritage for modern use.

Architect Mikhail Mamoshin shared his experience of the architect-and-state dialogue. Vera Serezhina, Director of the Strategic Marketing Office at RBI Group, lifted the veil over the quest for compromises between an architect, a developer, a state, and a consumer in case of offbeat projects.

Pavel Skryabin, Associated Professor at the Urban Development Department of the St. Petersburg State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering, touched on some pressing matters, presenting a report rather untypical for an academic institution – about prospects of urban development in terms of social and economical changes. Xenia Sharlygina, Senior Architect of LenzhilNIIproject shared an idea that the state’s modern approach to reconstruction of historical residential buildings is fatal for St. Petersburg architectural heritage. 

Architect Maxim Atayants spoke about the state’s influence on architecture, yet not in Russia today, but in Ancient Rome. His report told about the Corinthian order as the means of the state propaganda in Emperor Augustus’s times. Sculptor Pavel Ignatiev presented a collective portrait of a baroque-time architect and their relations with the high and mighties. He told the audience about descendants from the Swiss canton Ticino, one of them being the first architect of St. Petersburg, who gave the name to the conference – Domenico Andrea Trezzini.

Architectural historian Ksenia Malich let in on the results of her survey on Nikolay Miturich, a great architect of the 20th century, and his migration from Neo-Classicism to Constructivism and back. Finally, Sophia Gonobobleva, Editor in Chief of the Relic Magazine, took the attention of the audience from the Neva shores to hot Argentina, confiding them into specifics of architectural magazines in times of Peron’s dictatorship.

The Conference was moderated by Vladimir Linov, Honorary Architect of Russia, Member of the Urban Development Committee of St. Petersburg, Associated Professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering.

The Conference took place with support of the Consulate General of Switzerland in St. Petersburg. The official partner of the Conference is RBI Group.

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