обложка_пб29_new№29 Wood

Cover28_FINAL_sm  №28 Architectural landscape 

      №27 Dwelling

№26 Suomi




№25 Expo


‘Three ways of seeing’ is the name of one of the installations featured in this issue of Project Baltia. Our editorial staff too has likewise taken three approaches to the theme of ‘exhibiting’. To be more exact, we have identified three functional types of architectural space intended for exhibiting objects of whatever kind: Expo (p. 33), Museum (p. 63), and Boutique (p. 97). The first of these categories presents attainments in the industrial and scientific fields; the second is in one way or another associated with art and aesthetics; and the third gives us the opportunity to acquire the objects which are exhibited.

There are two events which got us thinking about exhibition architecture: Expo 2015 in Milan, where Lithuania, Russia, and Estonia had their own pavilions, and the announcement of the winners in the largest architecture competition in history, the competition to design the Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki (p. 66). However, there is a more general reason for our interest: today’s information society is one which has adopted as its main goal constant self-reproduction in media, and so may justly be described as existing in ‘exhibition mode’. In this issue’s main article the British architecture critic Brian Hatton talks about the key importance of the phenomenon of the ‘installation’ in contemporary architecture. An installation is a device for seeing, “which turns any building into an X-Ray machine” (p. 30). A particular instance of such an ‘installation’ is the display case designed for the Faberge Museum in St Petersburg (p. 92), which diminishes the modern museum to the micro scale. At the other end of the scale is Tomas Boros’ project for The Next Helsinki competition (whose objective was to find an alternative to the Guggenheim Museum), where the museum loses its walls and covers the entire city like a blanket (p. 32). In this way the ‘installation’ becomes total, and the museum resembles nature in Pascale, “whose centre is everywhere, while its surroundings are nowhere”. If architecture really tries to become absolutely permeable, forming nothing but ‘thru-teriors’ (Hatton) and going over entirely to ‘exhibition mode’, how will it be possible to separate exhibits from non-exhibits, and on what will we focus our attention?

Expo 2015 compels us to think that society today is seeking an escape route from the existing state of affairs in self-reference. In other words, the object exhibited is the media-screen itself – and, moreover, the media screen which the visitor brings with him- or herself. The smartphone is a brilliant 21st-century invention. As a result, the object as reliquary – as goal – disappears. Architecture, however, is becoming part of the background (installation) for creating a souvenir selfie. We see this tendency reflected not just in the first of our groups (Expo), but also in our Museum category; an example is Kohtla Mining Park, which in effect exhibits itself as an exotic piece of stage scenery (p. 84). The same tendency is also to be seen in Boutique, where the percentage of goods that is acquired is very small compared with the amount of goods displayed (which explains why shop interiors so closely resemble installations or even Lissitzky’s prouns (p. 102)).

Functioning in exhibition mode, architecture is compelled to make do with the role of infrastructural installation – to be something like a large folder for selfies. However, architecture’s very antiquity as a form of human ‘dwelling-thinking’ (Heidegger) is compelling it to resist today’s modus operandi. Sometimes it allows itself to openly use irony (as in the gigantic curving mirror of the Russian pavilion at World Expo in Milan, p. 40); sometimes it emigrates into the pure ‘poetics of space’ (see the Museum-Apartment of Joseph Brodsky in St Petersburg, p. 88).







Brian Hatton  A gallery of Display




Vladimir Frolov Mirror


Ways of looking and problems of nutrition Interview with Francesco Fresa


ru. SPEECH: The Russian Pavilion at Expo 2015


ee. KTA: Gallery of_, Estonian Pavilion at World Expo 2015


lt. JAS: Balance, Lithuanian Pavilion at World Expo in Milan


lv, ru. Latgiprostroy. The Russian Pavilion at World Expo in Seville, 1992


lt. Tomas Grunskis The exhibition as experiment. Lithuanian architecture and Valdas Ozarinskas


fi. Panu Lehtovuori Lighthouse wins Guggenheim, but will this be next Helsinki?


fi. Moreau Kusonki Architects "Art in the city". Entry in the competition to design the Guggenheim Museum, Helsinki, first prize


fi. Vladimir Frolov They will never leave the drawing board Finalists of the competition to design the Guggenheim museum


fi. umbulumbuu. Helsinki Inac. Project from the list of The Next Helsinki competition 


ru. Masterskaya Mamoshina Design for a centre for the museum collections of the REM and the SRM museums, St. Petersburg


Studio 44 The State Hermitage museum complex in the Eastern Wing of General stuff building, St. Petersburg


Taming haos Interview with Margit Aule and Margit Argus (KAOS Architects)


ee. KAOS Architects Conservation and adaptation of the Kohtla-Nomme Mining Park concentration plant as a tourist centre


ru. Vitruvius and sons Reconstruction of a communal apartment as the Museum Apartment of Joseph Brodsky, St. Petersburg


ru. BRIZ Studio Permanent exhibition at the Faberge Museum, Shuvalovsky Palace, St. Petersburg




lt. Karolina Jasinskaite Recollecting and foreboding. Creme de la Creme boutiques by Inblum


ru. Plan-S23 PYE Store, St. Petersburg




Learning to think socially Round table on architectural education in Russia at Architecture of St. Petersburg 2015


Design lab


ru. Gaetano Pesce Waves Club House, Medovoye, St. Petersburg


fi. Avanto Architects Villa Lumi, Vihti


lv. Sintija Vaivade_Arhitekte Deers country villa, Kurzeme, Talsi District


lt. aexn studio Villa L, Vilnius


ee. KARISMA arhitektid Environmental Education Centre, Tartu


Design & technology



Comments are closed.

At a conference, taking place in Tallinn on April 21-22, architecture’s turn to nature and data will be explored from political and historical perspectives. Keynote speakers are Matthew Gandy and Douglas Spencer from the UK. The conference is organised by the
Faculty of Architecture, Estonian Academy of Arts, Estonia in cooperation with the Department of Geography, Cambridge University, UK. The event is open to the public.


On August 29th, as part of the ‘Space, Time, Architecture’ series, organized by Project Baltia and the ‘Novaya Gollandiya: Cultural Urbanization’ project, Finnish architect Marco Casagrande read a lecture entitled ‘Third-generation City’. On the following day he curated the 6th Diogenes’ Clausura. And while the participants of Clausura worked on their project, Project Baltia spoke to Marco about the benefits and harm caused by architecture in our time.