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14.03.2010 Norman Foster about Shukhov Tower in Moscow
The radio tower in Shabolovka Street is the world known and one of the most significant masterpieces of architecture of the beginning of the XX century. The creator of the tower, Vladimir Grigorievich Shukhov, was a leading inventor of the contemporary building structures. Shukhov’s achievements may be compared only with the achievements of Gustave Eiffel, Robert Maillart or Eugene Freyssinet.
But the Shukhov tower is in trouble. Paris takes care of the Eiffel Tower, Turin — of Mole Antonelliana, Brussels – of its Atomium, Munich – of the Olympic stadium. These and many other cities realize their cultural responsibility and use the monuments of architecture to support their image.
Unfortunately, Moscow does not do that. The Shukhov tower is no more the attractive center of the city’s architecture. The tower itself and its neighborhood are in an awful condition. It is absolutely necessary that the international experts should do its examination in order to reveal damages caused by the age and operation. This incredible, filigree lattice structure required reconstruction and restoration long ago, so that it could appeared again in all its unique brilliance.
Many years ago Fyodor Vladimirovich Shukhov, the grandson of V.G.Shukhov, with every reason proposed to remove all later changes with the tower and to re-establish the original structure. Thus, the Shukhov tower could have added attractiveness to the city. The tourists and local inhabitants could have had an opportunity to admire it closely. Perhaps, there will be supported the idea to create near the tower a museum of the Russian engineering and construction art.
And something more: all the discussions regarding new buildings and annexes on the tower itself (elevators, observation platforms, restaurants and whatever) must finally be stopped!
Shukhov’s masterpiece can not be changed and distorted.
Ingénieur diplômé de l’Ecole Polytechnique et de l’Ecole nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, architecte D.P.L.G. Directeur de recherche au CNRS
Directeur de l’Ecole nationale supérieure d’architecture de Paris La Villette (France)
Président du Centre d’information et de liaison sur l’archéologie industrielle (CILAC)
20bis-22 rue Boileau, 75016 PARIS
Prof. Dr., Department of Territorial and Urban Planning,
University of Rome “La Sapienza” (DIPTU)
Via Flaminia, 72 — 00196 Roma
Tel.: +(39) 06 4991 9050
Fax: +(39) 06 4991 9005
Prof. Dr., Institut für Architekturtheorie und Baugeschichte
Lehrstuhl für Baugeschichte und Denkmalpflege
tel.: +43 512 507 6541
fax: +43 512 507 2942
Presidente Ordine Architetti,
P.P.C. di Roma e Provincia
piazza Manfredo Fanti 47
tel 06 97604560
fax 06 97604561
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14.12.2008 The upper trade lines are 115 years old
03.12.2008 Monument to the Outstanding Russian Engineer, Inventor and Architect, Academician Vladimir Shukhov
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