Comfort. A comfortable environment, comfortable relations, and a comfortable life, when it comes down to it. Comfort, which has today become a kind of religion, involves a combination of self-confidence and relaxation. The root of this word is ‘fort’ – ‘strength’ – but at the same time being comfortable implies a state which is without tension, without any readiness to jump ot to take heroic action. Strength is more likely to be used in this case in order to maintain a stable expression of success no matter what. When you find yourself in any incomprehensible situation, say ‘comfort’. Afterwards, you will feel the sweet taste of victory. Chill. Let it all go. In the ‘smart’ city everything happens of its own accord and there is no point in worrying about the future, where there is anyway no room for everyone, as the artist Ilya Kabakov has warned. But how are we to keep ourselves busy? There are two possibilities: sport and leisure. Sport is necessary in order to sustain the strength of comfort. Recreation is the main type of activity. In actual fact, sport is also recreation, being a subspecies of the latter. The philosopher Paolo Virno, talking about multiplicity (p. 26) as the typical condition of society at the beginning of the 21st century, points to its behavioural characteristics – opportunism and virtuosity. The latter is also a type of sport. Architecture joins forces with the formats of virtuosity, manifesting its own qualitativecompetitive component (p. 38). Scale matters.
Utility, durability, and beauty are all secondary. Since ancient-classical times sport has been understood as a species of spectacular recreation, and for this reason the society of spectacle pays particular attention to structures for mass watching of sports players playing sport. The Neoclassical architect Maksim Atayants notes that modern stadiums often resemble a spaceship ready to fly off to a different location (p. 30). Thus architecture underlines the effect of the viewer’s exclusion from everyday reality for the duration of the spectacle.
A different quality is demonstrated by numerous leisure buildings, the most complex and expensive of which are museums and theatres. Libeskind’s MO Museum in Vilnius (p. 89), JKMM’s Amos Rex in Helsinki (p. 94), and Zemtsov’s New Stage for the Alexandrinsky Theatre in St Petersburg (p. 84) are all cultural centres which interact actively with the urban space, forming landscapes and arcades, but, above all, visual attractions which make it possible for passers-by and visitors to observe each other, change places, be extras in crowd scenes and then assume the lead role – if only for several minutes per person.
These friendly others are not excluded from, but involved in, the scene, assimilating and transforming it in accordance with their own interests. Gradually, cities create an infrastructure of leisure which should be a space where members of postwork civilization, people who delegate the greater part of their decision-making to artificial intellect, spend most of their time. The numerous public saunas, hotels, and play areas for children and adults all bring us close to Fourier’s ideal of the ‘architecture of enjoyment’, of which Henri Lefebvre wrote in the 1970s (p. 68). The text by Henri Lefebvre published here examines the theme of play and the mixing of two poles – the analogical and the symbolic; furthermore, the latter should be in a subordinate position. Virtuosity of thought entwines the muddled debris of contradictions, but comfort requires confidence in the assimilation of what cannot be assimilated. However, this too is not new. So it is beneficial to recall the cynic Diogenes, who was of the opinion that exercises whose objective is physical (and, we may add, sophistic) force, rather than greatness and force of spirit, cannot be a good thing.
25 Sport & leisure
26 City of commonplaces. Interview with Paolo Virno
30 The ancient-classical theatre of sport. Interview with Maksim Atayants 30
38 Marina Nikiforova. The nature of architectural sport
42 ru. The ‘micro-district’ garden and the World Cup effect. Interview with Vladimir Grigoriev
45 ru. Margarita Arsenyeva. The transport situation is coming together: the 2018 World Champlionship’s legacy to St Petersburg
46 ru. Kurokawa architect & associates (Tokyo), Mosprojekt 4 (Moscow), KB ViPS (St Petersburg). St Petersburg Stadium
52 ru. Dmitry Kozlov. “The roof will be the main thing”
56 lt. Dalia Traskinaite. Two capitals of the Lithuanian sport
60 lv. Liene Mackus. Labyrinth, children’s play area, Riga
62 ee. Kadarik Tuur Arhitektid. Sports complex on Sole Street
68 Henri Lefebvre. Architecture (a chapter from the book Toward an Architecture of Enjoyment)
76 fi. Studio Puisto. Rest area, Niemenharju
80 ru. RHIZOME. Tochka na karte, country hotel, Priozersk
84 ru. Zemtsov, Kondiayn, and Partners. The New Stage of the Alexandrinsky Theatre complex, St Petersburg
89 it. Studio Libeskind + DO ARCHITECTS. MO Modern Art Museum, Vilnius
94 fi. JKMM Architects. Amos Rex Museum, Helsinki
102 ch. Austris Mailitis. Shaolin Flying Monks Theatre, Henan
106 Vladimir Sedov. Reflections on the Church of the Assumption in Kondopoga
108 Currency of authenticity. The third Diogenes Dispute with Sergey Sitar, Mikhail Milchik, Alla Mitrofanova, Oksana Sarkisyan, and Alexey Levchuk
114 ru. ‘Park Line’, St Petersburg
120 ru. ‘Severnaya Dolina – the future of Vyborgsky District’, St Petersburg
126 ru. ‘ART COMPLEX’, St Petersburg
131 Design lab
Small scale architectural structures by INBLUM, OOPEAA, CHVOYA, Tonis Arjus + UNStudio, SIA Nams
151 Design & technology