July 4. Klyazma Hall. 15:45 - 16:30

Panel discussion

Finding a balance between the new and the old. What is considered heritage today?

Just a mere decade ago, the architecture of the twentieth century was neglected - Soviet residential and cultural buildings seemed to be an outdated relic of the past. By 2019, the situation had changed dramatically, and the reconstruction and return of the modernist heritage to the city had become the main architectural events of recent years. In 2016, a programme to modernise Soviet cinemas was launched in Moscow; OMA designed the buildings of the Central House of Artists and the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art; in 2019, the reconstruction of the book-like building on Novy Arbat was completed. Difficulties arise with residential objects of the modernist era like bringing them up to modern standards. The only outstanding example in Moscow is the project of the Narkomfin building, where all the architectural elements will be preserved. Cultural centres are renovated more often: the large and open spaces allow to give these buildings additional functions. In Alma-Ata, a center of modern culture will open in the once deteriorated Tselinniy cinema by 2020, while Moscow plans to reconstruct the famous 1930s Rodina cinema.

  • How can the city work with the architecture of modernism, choose the most important objects for redevelopment and integrate them into the modern environment?
  • How do we find a balance between heritage and modern architecture?
  • How does the reconstruction of Soviet cultural centres affect the life of neighbourhoods?


Denis Romodin
Architectural ethnographer, Local History Union of Russia


Anna Bronovitskaya
Research Director, Institute of Modernism, professor, MARCH Architecture School
Aleksey Ginzburg
Head, Ginzburg Architects
Asif Khan
Founder, Asif Khan Ltd.
Manfred Kuehne
Head, Urban Planning and Projects Directorate
Sergei Mirzoyan
First Deputy Head, Department of Cultural Heritage of Moscow
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