New system of safety


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(Application to Russian Architectural Strategy)




I think everyone will agree with the fact that our planet is in process of globalization, ie, now is a time of  transition from authentic society to a single, global. We all use the internet, watch Hollywood movies, and for whatever reason we go to McDonald's. The process of globalization is unconditional, and in the long term, stop, or turn it extremely unlikely. However, there is nothing negative in most of globalization; rather, it is a good phenomenon - it uniting us and make the world comfortable. But there is one "but".

Global society presupposes the existence of common standards relating to, among other things, the architectural environment. Already building built in Shanghai has no stylistic differences from the building, built in Rotterdam. Although 600 years ago, this couldn't be in principle.

Different regions of the world, different countries, different people, and at the same time - similar forms of architecture. Every day architecture in all corners of the Earth is closer approach to a common denominator, and individual national traits of the architectural environment, is likely to disappear.

To have survived some samples of the original architecture, built before the era of globalization. Sometimes it even entire clusters - large collection of objects made in typical only for this region and period styles. But all these guardians of history gradually replaced possible and affordable, but impersonal, the same for all countries of the world globalized forms.

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We can't say that there is no system of conservation of monuments of global society. Such a system is, the essence of it is this. Representatives of the local community highlighted object with outstanding historical (the house in which Pushkin read "Boris Godunov") and stylistic (a temple of the Trinity in Ostankino) features. Such an object is being protected from demolition. Also in the immediate vicinity of such a facility sometimes there is a zone of protection, which is regulated by the altitude of new buildings. This terraced houses that surrounds the subject of protection and does not have any outstanding qualities, but it is the basis of the historical environment, is destined to fill the modern buildings.

The process of identification and registration of each monument of architecture in the first place, it is extremely long, and secondly, it is very dependent on the human factor. Very low rate of actual design of the desired status allows no special obstacles to build on the site of the monuments of the past, new forms.

"Black Book" of Archnadzor devoted to losses of the old architecture, proves it. Please note that many of the demolished monuments recorded there is no protection status had not, despite its visual accessibility. A functioning system of protection does not get to them until it was too late. And similar processes occur in all countries, regardless of the location on the map.


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Outdated system of conservation of the historic environment on our planet is ineffective because it does not preserving the environment, and preserving only its individual parts. During operation of the system adopted, we will eventually lose the original, created till centuries environment, leaving only the most striking monuments of a distant era, which is surrounded by international architecture will look like alien bodies. This is the bitter truth about our possible future.

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The failure of the old system of historical environment conservation  on the example of Moscow: 1 - Krasnokazarmennaya street, 14a, p.20 - building construction demolished in 1914 due to the late submission of documents to the conservation status;  2 - Dmitrovka, 9, str. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 - building construction demolished in 1903 due to the late submission of documents to the conservation status; 3 - Savvinskaya embankment, 13 -. The building of the nineteenth century. Building demolished conservation status does not possess; 4 - 1st Tverskaya-Yamskaya Street, d.22 - building construction demolished in 1905, did not have conservation status

But it is not all that bad. We have another option. We will look at it immediately after the work scheme of old, outdated system.



Old System: work scheme


Consider the diagram of a conditional settlement, since the advent of the very first buildings. The picture below shows a Stage 1: the time when the town is founded.

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Stage 2.
Construction of new facilities takes existing vacant land located close to the center of the settlement. Existing architectural objects saved because at this stage there is no shortage of land plots and no destructive factors that could destroy the old building.


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Stage 3. The next stage is already beginning to show damaging factors affecting the existing building. It can be fire, flood, war, critical wear of bearing structures, changes in style or functional priorities residents. New buildings are being built on the site of the destroyed, or next to them.


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Stage 4. The process of destruction of the old and creating the new continuing. System that governing the preservation of historic buildings doesn't exist. Buildings from previous periods is preserved by chance, either in the form of ruins, or in relatively general form, but adapted for current needs.


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Stage 5. At this stage of society there is awareness of the importance of preservation of architectural monuments with outstanding historical and stylistic characteristics. In this historical building, a valuable, but not enough to be protected, it continues to be destroyed. The introduction of laws protecting historical monuments, can be attributed to the end of the XVIII-XX centuries. depending on the local binding of the settlement.


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Stage 6. Chaotic tendencies in the sphere of preservation of the architectural environment continues - are not subject to demolition only a very valuable objects or objects that are saved by chance. This settlement is able to further expand thanks to the development of transport.


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Stage 7.
The next step: the beginning of the construction of buildings in the International Style. Nonauthentic new architecture, with the old, with its features, unique to this area, continue to decline, despite a slight increase in the number of protected sites. Through the development of engineering and the emergence of new high-tech materials, the scale of new volumes commensurate with the scale of the old. Historic architecture loses its aesthetic impact on the settlement.


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8 stage. The moment of maximum loss of a distinctive historic environment. Outstanding monuments preserved but completely disappeared environment in which they were formed. Surrounded by large volumes today they look like foreign bodies, violating the integrity of the architectural environment of the future.


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New System: description


So, we have defined the main drawback of the existing system of historical monuments conservation. The basic fallacy lies in the existing system does not protect the historic environment as a whole, but to protect only some of its pieces. Fortunately, the error is very simple. And it can be relatively easy to fix.

Conservation of the historic environment by the pieces does not work. Only saving the whole historical area can work.

In the city it can be tens of thousands of historical objects. Instead of to protect tens of thousands of objects, only one can be protected - historical area.

Each more or less the old settlement there is a historical center. The boundaries of the historic center, as a rule, are determined at the start of construction of the settlement of international architecture. For most countries - XX century, or that of his period. The exact space-time to cross the border, of course, vary from binding to a particular place, but they can quite clearly be installed (including the post-Soviet countries, which will be discussed later).

After establishing the boundaries of the historic areas should monitor existing inside buildings. All the buildings erected after a certain time limits to be dismantled and the replacement of buildings that existed in their place before. Those. regeneration occurs historic environment - we fix what got us by inheritance and correct their mistakes for transmission to future generations.

Districts, immediately adjacent to the boundaries of the historic zone, subject to high-rise regulation to ensure historical silhouette of the old part of the settlement. Distant from the historic area neighborhoods regulation relating to the protection of the historic zone, not subject.

It is crucial - the original definition of the boundaries of the historic zone takes place on the basis of existing maps of the area on the selected period. Without accurate research - we need to save here and now. Subsequent studies and updates from the experts, of course, necessary. But at the initial stage too in-depth studies, long negotiation and discussion in the first place, allow to happen in an uncertain loss of a plurality of elements of the historic environment, and secondly - for lost time due to the scientific work, the major facilities will be built, the dismantling of which will be very difficult for economic reasons.


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As an example, the construction of 25-storey building on the site of one-storey manor - the dismantling and relocation of this facility will be very expensive and significantly tightened the terms of regeneration.

Please pay attention to the integrity and efficiency of the proposed system. It is not "patchwork" approach, where the energy and time of city activists  spent on the creation of the status of a single object in the parallel loss of a dozen others. It is also no personal approach when the outstanding quality of the building can be put by various experts questioned. The new system assumes that all objects created protoglobal social formation, are valuable, as valuable to archaeologists all their findings. The artifact worthy of preservation already just because of their age parameters, regardless of anyone's subjective evaluations.

The new system eliminates the possibility of double interpretations, it is extremely logical and simple. There spatial boundary of the historic zone, home's archival documents, there is time. Every single building or is in the historical district or not. It is built or until the date determined by the time limit, or do not. Because of these properties there is the only possible solution in respect of the building - it can be demolished and replaced by a reconstituted, early built on this site may be reconstructed, can be left in its current state.

Factor a complete definition of the system clearly indicates the developer, whether it is possible the construction of a new facility. If it's historical area, the only possible are restoration or recreation. If this area is directly adjacent to the historic - new construction is possible, but in compliance with zoning laws. If construction land does not belong to the historical district or to the area of its influence, it is permissible construction of an object, according to the latest rules and regulations, are not associated with the system.

This assumes failure of the existing now in many countries, separation of monuments of national and regional values, because this division shows the developer a priority for the government of the importance of conservation of a building. Regional conservation status dramatically increases the chance of the dismantling facility, therefore, needs to be replaced on the single state.

In general design the New System is presented. Next is a diagram of its operation.



New System: work scheme


1 stage. Actual view.


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Stage 2. Determination of spatial and temporal boundaries of the historic areas and altitude control zone boundary.


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Stage 3. Demolition of new buildings, located in the historic area


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Stage 4. Reducing the height of buildings located in the area of high-altitude regulation


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Stage 5.
Regeneration: the reconstruction of all the buildings that existed within the boundaries of the historic areas


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New System: adaptation to post-Soviet space


The Soviet Union geographically broadly follows the previous long-term state - the Russian Empire, which generally allows us to talk about the post-Soviet countries as a single cultural space, including architectural aspect.

Of course, the regional characteristics of different regions of the former Soviet Union are different, but they are different mostly before the period of centralized management style decisions buildings.

Russian history of the XX century architecture is characterized by very easy for us to change the definition of paradigms. In 1917 there was the October Revolution, which led both to a radical stylistic change and the formation of all newly constructed architecture from a single center. Directives from Moscow to dictate the direction of development and avoid strong deviations from the accepted course until 1991.

With some reservations, it can be argued that Soviet architecture developed as original about 1955. In 1955 was officially made a turn to the depersonalization (and hence, internationalization, globalization) all newly designed.

Please note that turning point quite clearly recorded in an official document. Here, of course, refers to the well-known decision of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the USSR Council of Ministers on November 4, 1955 # 1871 "On elimination of excesses in design and construction". Deprivation of Architecture "nonsense" to move it into the space of international modernist architecture. In 1955, we are interested in the direction of art in the post-globalization manifests itself, ie, departure from an individual, the original development.

History has developed successfully for us in the sense that the space for discussion about the beginning of the globalization processes in architecture is not obvious due date. It is clear that such long-term processes, such as design and construction, have a certain inertia - architecture never changed instantly. The buildings in the style of a global society began to emerge after the programming document is not immediately. But this date is sufficient for the initial determination of spatial and temporal boundaries of the historic areas of virtually any post-settlement. Of course, requires some scientific research to clarify for each individual town or village, but to preserve the historic environment and not to lose precious time, we need to build it on that date.


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So, we have a space-time limit for the post-Soviet settlements - it is 1955, but separately still want to designate another border - 1917. Why?

The fact that Soviet architecture (mainly - Stalin's empire style) for a number of reasons often has a larger physical scale than pre-revolutionary form. Pre-revolutionary city assumed the existence of small and mid-built and stands out sharply against its background of high-rise dominants in the form of temples. The scale of the Stalin's empire style high-rise dominant and old time objects often overlap and do not allow them to work the way it is supposed to create the pre-revolutionary masters.

Therefore, it is desirable regeneration in the framework of geographical settlement of 1917 sample, as of 1917, rather than 1955. But in the same boundaries often concentrated very valuable, even if large-scale objects of the Soviet legacy - for example, building on the Kotelnicheskaya Naberezhnaya. Should we destroy it for the sake of restoring the historic environment that existed on the eve of the revolution?

I agree, this is the only weak point of the new system, because it requires a discussion that is dependent on the notorious human factor. And where there is a similar, sharply increases the probability of the absence of positive changes ...

However, we have determined spatio-temporal edge of the historic area to allow its regeneration. This settlement within the borders of 1955 also has a second extension - within the boundaries of the settlement in 1917 inside the second line in the presence of construction 1917-1955. On the site of the pre-revolutionary, it is possible to discuss the direction of the regeneration procedure. The entire period of construction from 1955 to the present time dismantled and replaced pre-existing recreated buildings.

The following is a diagram of the new system, adapted to the post-Soviet space.



New System: work scheme in post-Soviet space


1 stage. Actual view.


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Stage 2.
Determination of spatial and temporal boundaries of the historic areas and altitude control zone boundary. For the post-Soviet space are selected 2 borders - as of 1917 and 1955. High-rise regulation zone is defined depending on the situation, but not less than 2 blocks from the historic area.


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Stage 3. Demolition of new buildings, located in the zone of historic buildings


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Stage 4. Reducing the height of buildings located in the area of high-rise regulation


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Stage 5. Regeneration: the regeneration of all the buildings that existed in 1917 and 1955 in the areas of settlement.


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We live in a period of transition from the original society to a single, global. In principle, this transition has not yet been furnished in a degree sufficient to complete loss of national identity architecture. But we must understand - now almost all new buildings built on the same principles of international stylistic. There are differences, but they are for the most part in nuance and tend to disappear due to the development of a common information space.

The trend to move away from identity has not yet been overcome, and in the long run it is not visible fracture. In these circumstances, it is important to understand the need for a radical change in the conservation and regeneration of the historic environment of the system, the current system for the decades of its existence showed complete ineffectiveness. Inefficiency due primarily to the fact that the historic environment is not stored as an entire object, but as a collection of disparate parts of the historic environment, which will lead to catastrophic consequences in the future - we almost completely lose their financial history.

It is important to understand the basic principles of the new system of conservation of the historic environment: within the settlement is much easier to defend not tens of thousands of objects, but only one - the area of historic buildings.

Even in the absence of budgetary funds for the regeneration of the historic environment, the new system, in contrast to the old, clearly defines the protection of the border without any tangible investments. It is also worth thinking about the time. The adoption of the new system does not require any time-consuming. It aims to prompt and most efficient solution to the problem that is allowed due to the lack of opportunities for double interpretations, passivity and delaying the process, inherent in the old system.



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