Research

Russia House research is solely focused on the period of 1920s Soviet architectural teaching which explored the revolutionary architectural teaching methods of the Russian Architecture School VKhUTEMAS. Dr. Matthew Armitt has acquired unique knowledge on the history and theory of this period of Soviet architecture through ground breaking academic research. Matthew has traveled extensively to many universities, institutions, and archives in search of new research findings having accessed three archives in Moscow: Russian State Archive of Literature and Art (RGALI), Museum of the Moscow Institute of Architecture (MARKhl), Archive of A. V. Shchusev State Museum of Architecture (MUAR), the Canadian Center for Architecture (CCA Montreal), the Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles), Cambridge University Library (Catherine Cooke Collection) and three private collectors. This led him on an exciting journey using the research results to challenge the conventional scholarly understanding of the History and Theory of Soviet architecture and revolutionary teaching. 

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It is the intention of Russia House’s current and future research to stay within the realm of the 1920s to establish further cross theoretical connections between soviet architecture, theory and teaching tracing parallel links with contemporaneous concerns of architects and teachers on Soviet architecture and teaching to enhance the understanding of the period. This approach will shed light on how the workings of the theory and trends of architects – individual theoretical ambitions and architectural language of the Soviet period developed and establish new knowledge on key historical personalities and movements which still remain obscure. This will open the prospect of a more thoroughly grounded understanding on a variety of new and unknown topics within Soviet architecture. The research is intended to serve architects and students of Soviet architecture, as well as to aid institutions and individuals collecting and researching material on the subject. It will be amongst researchers themselves where parallel connections will render its most important service, by opening up the wholly unfamiliar world of intellectual discourse within which their Soviet fellow-professionals have always worked contributing to the History and Theory of Soviet architecture and teaching.