Treivas Architecture Buro

For Work And Life


Exhibition ‘For Work And Life. The Architecture Of Constructivism’ at Zotov Centre continues the series of Centre’s art shows dedicated to Soviet avant-garde. This time the exhibition is focused on how avant-garde ideas transformed the life of common people.

For architects designing such an exhibition is an inspiring task. The center is located in a former baking plant, a constructivist landmark invented by Georgy Marsakov. While reflecting avant-garde concepts in our design we wanted to show our own vision of this epoch.

The exhibition structures are stylised as open boxes.

Versatility and mobility are the key features of avant-garde projects, so we have decided to channel these traits in our design offering this solution.

Another layer of our proposal is the way in which avant-garde art is treated today. Curators and art historians are constantly rethinking avant-garde concepts, discovering new names and facts. These exhibits do travel a lot, so the image of an open box suits them just right.

We have also suggested dropping the typical avant-garde colour scheme — red, black and white are the most commonly used colours of this epoch.

Actually not all avant-garde architecture projects were designed to be painted that way. Cheap and sloppy typography of 1920s and 1930s had a massive impact on our perception of avant-garde architecture as monochrome structures.

We have decided to channel avant-garde experiments with colours, keeping in mind original interior of Konstantin Melnikov’s House and coloured ceilings of Narkomfin House. That is how the exhibition got its fresh and unusual color scheme.

Circular building of this exhibition venue has a great impact on how to place the constructions.

Showcases and structures stand free forming an ornate composition; this approach to site plan was pretty common in architecture of constructivist living blocks of 1920s and 1930s.

More than 500 exhibits take part in this art show — some of them have never been exhibited before.

Graphic design by Faro Design Studio supports the architecture of this art show. The shape of the labels channels the image of an open box used in the exhibition’s structures. The labels are grouped to duplicate the exhibits’ arrangement, forming their own composition.  

Serene hues of cerulean and lavender are the leading colours of the exhibition.

Cerulean blue marks the chapter ‘Uralo-Kuzbass’, dedicated to Ural Region.

The exhibition ends with a high note: its last chapters are dedicated to Soviet concept architecture projects which had never been built.

Despite their unlucky fate, these projects have influenced future generations of architects and still preserve their iconic state.

The schemes show the freeform structure of exhibition’s chapters as well as color solutions of each part.

The intensity of shades of blue varies through exhibition, reaching its peak in its last chapter, City Of The Sun, dedicated to Ivan Leonidov’s concept of the same name. 

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