Biculturalism in architectural practice: pushing the boundaries of architecture in contemporary Russian and European practice and the re-invention of the private house in post-Soviet Russia by Tanya Kalinina

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Abstract

This research reflects upon 20 years of architectural practice, a body of work from private houses and pavilions to urban planning and strategic projects. It investigates the complex workings and implications of a bicultural (British and Russian) practice at large.

A significant part of the research relates to the practice shared by two founding partners. A specific part focuses on Russia’s cultural background, the development of its architectural profession, new directions in contemporary Russian architecture and the specific development of the Russian private house in this context.

Different streams in the body of work form the basis for reflection upon strategies used in completed projects, competitions and strategic initiatives. Select key projects help to surface the influences of the two cultures on the mental space of the practice as a whole. The role of bicultural professional activities, architectural education and discourse are scrutinised. The research raises questions about how intellectual satisfaction is realised in the practice – about the role of ideas and architectural enjoyment, and the possible future changes of direction of the practice

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