March 2018


«Architecton: proceedings of higher education» № 36 December 2011

Theory of architecture

Gavrikov Denis S.

Center of Competence The architecture and construction technology,
Building College № 26,
Moscow, Russia, e-mail: denis.gawrikow@gmail.com



Moscow timber-framed buildings are, first of all, structures imitating the timber-framing stylistics. However, contemporary timber-framework interpretations in houses constructed using Finnish and Canadian technologies follow the principle of separation of bearing and enclosing elements represented by wooden skeleton and glass or heat-insulated panels.

The architectural fashion for timber-framing in the region is of a passing character. Structures using elements of timber-framing architecture in the decor in the area under consideration can be dated to the periods of 1670s to 1812, 1850s to 1920s, and 1990s to the present time. The author's intent is to investigate the various interpretations of timber-framing architecture of the area represented by both structures erected by the timber-framing method of construction and imitations, as well as the effect of timber-framing stylistics on the local wooden and stone architecture.

The purpose of the article is to examine the historical development of timber-framing architectural interpretations in Moscow and to identify their prominent features. The article might provide a valuable contribution to research into the importance of timber-framing architecture for the architectural and planning image of a city. Not only does the Article inform about the regional interpretations of timber-framed architecture, emphasizing their specificity and appeal but also focuses on their wider use in contemporary building construction.

Moscow as a historically established multiethnic megacity has been subject to the influence of two basic cultural streams: western and eastern, which is mirrored in the eclectic architectural image of the capital. However, where sources of such influence on stone architecture may be sufficiently accurately defined up to the place and historical epoch, research into timber-framed architecture, which can have both European and Asian references, is problematic. In this connection, it is necessary to mention that some of the vernacular timber-framed constructions in Japan, Denmark and France are almost identical. The timber-framing constructions of Germany, Turkey, and Kashmir display a number of features in common as well. Thus, Moscow architecture reveals a mixture of timber-framing stylistic features, which is likely to result in a specific local trend.

The architecture of Moscow suburbs (Muskovy) mirrors similar tendencies as in the architecture of the capital city. The timber-framed architecture of Moscow and its suburbs should, therefore, be considered together.

The first timber-framed structures appeared in Moscow in the 1670s in the so-called Novoinozemskaya (German) Sloboda occupied by expats from Western and Central Europe. The local timber-framed structures reproduced German samples mainly. These architectural monuments were lost during the fire of 1812. In the late 19th – early 20th centuries, timber-framing stylistics were used in some of the Modern buildings in both Moscow and around it. At the end of the 20th century, timber-framing become again popular in the design of cottages, country houses, restaurants, cafes, shops, park pavilions, etc.

The timber-framing method of building construction along with its imitations is used in Moscow in the design of both residential and public buildings, including private low-rise residences and cottages, warehouses, restaurants, cafes, and park pavilions and arbours. In the Moscow region, one can also come across timber-framed ground floors of multi-storeyed buildings.

Artistically, the timber-framed structures of Moscow and its vicinities feature originality and special beauty, attracting with their scale, naturalness and harmony and standing out against the background of «hard concrete landscape». Nevertheless, it is to be recommended that buildings should be provided with more profoundly elaborated and authentic elements of timber-framing decor.

Timber-framing as an artefact that has been perfected by many generations may fit well with contemporary cityscape, which is evidenced by its use in our countryside architecture. It is necessary to recreate the lost monuments of the timber-framed architecture of Moscow in models. There is a range of different buildings, both residential and public, as well as landscaping environmental design components, that we should not lose or forget. The use of timber-framing in social contexts rather than as museum exhibits sets a task for society and architectural community to ensure its adaptation and reconciliation with contemporary architectural innovations.

Key words: Moscow architecture, timber-framing, timber-framed structures

Russian text of this article

ISSN 1990-4126  Registration MCM el. № ФС 77-70832 of 30.08.2017 © USUAA, 2004-2017  © Architecton, 2004-2017