Deutsch Ðóññêèé The Shukhov Tower Foundation

On March 19 there will be 86 years since the TV and radio tower in Shabolovka, Moscow was put into operation. During the last year the organizations responsible for preservation of the memorial of architecture of not only Russian but also of a world heritage did nothing to restore the lattice hyperboloid tower-shell and to turn it into a full-value tourist object. At the same time the steel construction continues to destroy slowly an soon may be completely lost!

During its lifetime the unique hyperboloid tower was never restored, for more than 10 years it was not protected from corrosion and now it is in a critical pre-breakdown condition. The masterpiece of the world architecture is now inaccessible either for excursions or for study: the whole perimeter of the rare construction is surrounded by the guarded territories of various federal departments and is enclosed by a barbed wire. It is necessary to provide accessibility of the Shukhov tower in Moscow to tourists and city-dwellers, to make around it a comfortable well-finished territory with infrastructure corresponding to the status of an object of the world heritage.

The Foundation repeatedly addressed power structures with a demand to execute an immediate expertise of the tower’s condition and to prepare a plan of its restoration with the attraction of leading Russian and foreign specialists. The Foundation proposed making a worthy recreational infrastructure comprising a modern multi-discipline Shukhov center of science, machinery and art on the territory adjacent to the Shukhov tower in Shabolovka. Taking into account the fact that plots around the tower belong to different organizations mainly of a federal subordination, the Foundation also proposed establishing of an inter-department commission which could develop a general plan to renovate the territory and to make a Shukhov center taking the interests of all parties into consideration. In particular, the Foundation addressed the Ministry of art and mass communications of the Russian Federation, the Government of Russian Federation and directly the President of Russian Federation with its demands and proposals.

The initiatives of the Foundation were supported by the Administration of the President of Russian Federation and the appropriate inquiries were sent directly to the Ministry of art of Russian Federation, in which jurisdiction the Shukhov tower is now under of. Despite this, no concrete actions followed from the Ministry of art and mass communications of Russian Federation.

During several years the “Shukhov tower” Foundation has been advocating a complex reconstruction of the territory adjacent to the tower in Shabolovka. The European experience of restoring the unique architectural buildings dictates the necessity to make an adequate recreational infrastructure around the object. Avenues and alleys lead to the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris, the tourists can easily walk around it.

It should be separately mentioned that despite the Decree of the State Duma of Russian Federation (¹ 4415-III, 2003) regarding the creative heritage of V.G. Shukhov and the seeming common concernment in preservation, restoration and turning the tower into a full-value tourist object of the world level, the people and organizations responsible for the preservation of the Shukhov tower really do nothing already during five years after the Decree of the State Duma had been approved.

The “Shukhov tower” Foundation appeals one more time:

— to the Government of Russian Federation with a request to establish without delay an inter-department commission on the preservation of the unique memorial of architecture, the object of the world heritage – the Shukhov tower, on the making on the adjacent territory of a worthy infrastructure comprising a modern, multi-discipline center of machinery, culture and art meeting the world requirements and the genius of V.G. Shukhov – the SHUKHOV CENTER. It is necessary that this commission includes all interested parties, representatives of science, culture, art and certainly the Russian and foreign technical experts.

— to the Russian and world community to back up the initiatives proposed by the “Shukhov tower” Foundation.

Vladimir Grigorievich Shukhov was the first in the world to introduce the hyperboloid shape into architecture, patented and built (in 1896) the world’s first steel constructions in the form of lattice shells of the overhead covers of the hyperboloid towers. Now the constructional shells corresponding to the patents of V.G. Shukhov are spread all over the world. The famous architects Norman Foster, Frank Geri, Santiago Calatrava are the authors of the projects of the modern lattice shells. Antonio Gaudi, Le Corbusier, Oscar Niemeyer used the constructions of hyperboloid form in their creative work. In Moscow there is the last hyperboloid lattice shell – the TV and radio tower in Shabolovka. All other Shukhov’s lattice shells in Moscow had been thoughtlessly destroyed during the last 30 years.

On August 28, 2008 there will be the 155th anniversary of Vladimir Grigorievich Shukhov. The Foundation hopes that it finally has come the time when the memorials of architecture will not only be preserved but will also find its further most expedient and deserving use!

President of the “Shukhov tower” Foundation
Vladimir Shukhov
March 14, 2008
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