The Russian Ark Project.


The Russian Ark Project is intended to celebrate the shared values of design, craftsmanship and community in Russia and Great Britain. We plan to build one of the most evocative symbols of Russian culture, a traditional wooden church. These ancient log buildings reflect the ingenuity of the Russian people over the centuries. These constructions overlaid with decorative details - shingled onion domes, axe carved crosses and delicate tracery - reflect a profound and enduring sense of fantasy.

Project's aims are to increase the awareness and enjoyment of traditional Russian culture through direct contact with the skills and techniques employed in the construction and conservation of wooden architecture. They seek to enable the sharing of skills between craftsmen in Russia and the UK, and to give students of architecture the opportunity to learn a less familiar architectural language. And finally to present this unique experience to a diverse audience, both young and old.

The chapel will be built by a mix of architectural students and professional carpenters here in the UK, in collaboration with master craftsmen from the Russian north. These traditional Russian skills, almost lost during Soviet times, have been revived to restore those fragile wooden structures that survive. The project intends to encourage links between individuals and organisations in Russia and the UK in support of that work. The churches are of a simple construction. Logs are laid one on top of the other and interlocked at the corners without the use of nails or fixings. This means that once the church has been built and enjoyed in one location it can be taken down and reassembled elsewhere in the UK. The process of building, disassembling and reassembling the church will be very much part of the experience.


PROGRAMME | Installation

Russian Ark Project | Architecture Installation