Sunday, 15 November 2009

From Russia with love... Part 2: Samara

Location of Samara

On Wednesday my blog post was about the latest MAPS/SAVE Europe's Heritage publication and more besides:

with a free download, although I do recommend the book, available from

Today a brief blog to draw attention to another new publication from Russia, which will have its launch event on November 18th:

Samara: Endangered City on the Volga : world-launch in London



World-launch of the new MAPS/SAVE Europe's Heritage, Samara: Endangered City on the Volga, will take place on 18th November at Pushkin House, London.

This report is the work of a panel of Russian and international experts, and is the first of its kind to tackle the problem of the loss of architectural heritage in the Russian provinces.

The city stands on the banks of the Volga, some 400 miles south east of Moscow. It is home to a wealth of styles from wooden houses with finely carved window frames to, neo-classical, art nouveau, constructivist, industrial and post-war buildings. It is a major Russian city, closed to the West under Communism when it was called Kuibyshev. It was also the city to which Moscow evacuated during the Second World War.

Since the fall of Communism, corruption in Samara has led to the uncontrolled demolition of huge areas of the city, including its delicate system of courtyards. There is massive new construction and planners and architects have been murdered, such is the greed for land and property. Approximately one third of the old city has been destroyed. The report was initiated due to the immediate threat hanging over a Factory Canteen of the Constructivist era, which has a ground plan in the form of a hammer and sickle.

On 18th November, thanks to the generous support of Pushkin House, editor of the new report, architect Vitaly Stadnikov, is coming to London to give a lecture about Samara and present the report.

Moscow-based architect Stadnikov is from Samara and author of a book on its 20th Century architecture and an expert on provincial Soviet Constructivism. The report is the work of Russian and foreign experts, drawing on examples of sustainable development from all over the world to point to a way forward for Samara.

The report is supported by Do.Co.Mo.Mo. International and dedicated to the memory of Catherine Cooke, scholar and activist for the preservation of Soviet constructivism.

The report will appeal to all those interested in Russia, adventurous travellers and those who wish to know more about Russia’s architecture of all periods.

Copies of the report will be available for purchase for Ј15.

176 pp, fully illustrated, bilingual.

All lectures begin at 7.30 and end at approximately 8.30

Tickets Ј7, Ј5 for Friends of Pushkin House and students


+44 (0)20 7269 9770

or email to

Pay by cash, credit card or cheque in advance or on the night.

The Main Entrance is located on Bloomsbury Way. Nearest tube stations Holborn, Tottenham Court Road and Russell Square. There is a secure public car park in Bloomsbury Square.

The Partners:

MAPS was set up in May 2004 by a group of international journalists and architects who work in close cooperation with preservationists, architects and historians within Russia and abroad to raise awareness about the present destruction of Moscow’s historic buildings. MAPS aims to convince the Moscow Government, developers and architects that the unchecked demolition of Moscow’s heritage is not in the city's long-term interest. MAPS monitors specific buildings in Moscow. In July 2009 MAPS published a report: Moscow Heritage at Crisis Point, second, updated edition, а co-publication with SAVE Europe's Heritage.

SAVE Europe’s Heritage was founded in 1995 as the sister organization of SAVE Britain’s Heritage. The latter has existed for 30 years and is one of the most effective preservation groups in Britain. Founded by writer and journalist Marcus Binney, SAVE works through the press, writing reports on groups of threatened buildings or threatened areas. SAVE Europe’s Heritage has written two reports on buildings in France and Hungary and a report against the construction of a motorway across the Veneto in Italy. In October 2009 they published a report on abandoned country estates in Silesia, Eastern Poland. This is the third time they have collaborated with MAPS on a Russian report.

For press queries please, please apply to:

Clementine Cecil
 07968 003 595

William Palin
 +44 20 7253 3500

Vitaly Stadnikov

More about Samara from Wiki:,_Russia

Hope some people can make it.


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