Shukhov. Formula of Architecture
The Schusev State Museum of Architecture in cooperation with the Shukhov Tower Foundation is proud to present the international exhibition project Shukhov. Formula of Architecture, dedicated to the heritage of the outstanding engineer and inventor Vladimir Shukhov.
The exhibition will be the largest show of Shukhov’s work over the past 25 years, bringing together materials from the collections of the Archive of the Russian Academy of Science, the Russian State Archive of Scientific and Technical Documentation, the Schusev State Museum of Architecture, the Central State Archive of Moscow, the Institute of Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design (ILEK) in Stuttgart, the Norman Foster Foundation in Madrid, and Burkhalter Sumi Architekten in Zürich.
The exhibition aims to further the study of Shukhov’s engineering method and its influence on European architectural design. The exposition centres on two inventions by Shukhov: gridshells and hyperboloid constructions. These inventions had a major impact on the emergence of a new architectural aesthetics at the turn of the 20th century. Shukhov set a precedent for the synthesis of architecture and engineering, in which structural optimization leads to original forms, while forms make the load distribution of structures visible.
The exposition includes drawings, sketches, models, and photos relating to the construction of the pavilions of the All-Russia Industrial and Art Exhibition (1896) in Nizhny Novgorod, as well as unique manuscripts by Shukhov.
The exhibition will show the evolution of hyperboloid structures from different kinds of water towers to the Shabolovskaya radio tower (1919-1922) and the NIGRES power towers (1927-1929).
Notable archival materials include a patent for the invention of gridshell structures (1895), marking the beginning of the architectural use of steel space grid structures: hanging roof structures with tensile members and vaulted structures with compressive members. The main item in this section is the Vyksa Steelworks (1897) with the world’s first double curvature steel diagrid roof.
A separate room of the exhibition is dedicated to the petroleum inventions of Vladimir Shukhov, who is considered the father of the petroleum industry in Russia: gas holders, petroleum storage tanks, the first petroleum cracking plant and petroleum barges.
The last exhibition room considers Shukhov’s working method in the context of engineering design used in modern European architecture. This approach is important for the curators for determining the place of Shukhov’s method in two significant areas of 20th-century structural innovation: lightweight structures and space structures with straight members.
The exhibition covers 7 rooms of the Schusev State Museum of Architecture and includes over 300 items, many of which are exhibited for the first time.
Exhibition curators: Elena Vlasova and Mark Akopyan