Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Foreign Architectural Firms Fleeing Russia, Raising Questions on What Will be Built and How Well

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 17 – Dozens of international architectural firms which over the last decades had helped to transform the urban landscape in Russia are closing their Moscow offices and breaking ties with Russian partners, casting doubt that projects they have been involved with will ever be completed, Asya Zolnikova says.

            The architectural journalist says that Russian officials pledge that the departure of the architects won’t stop them from completing existing projects or coming up with new designs; but many doubt that, especially given that even the most upbeat officials are reluctant to give any completion dates (

            Zolnikova catalogues the firms which have left but acknowledges a few Western firms, mostly from Austria, continue to operate. But they like existing Russian firms lack the personnel and experience to compensate for the departing ones. And this lack will cast a long shadow over Russia especially in the mid and longer term.

            Many projects simply won’t be built at all, and those that are completed, she suggests, are likely to lag behind the rest of the world in terms of technological change including the increasing use of energy-saving and renewable energy arrangements. And if Russian construction doesn’t keep up with those, the country will fall even further behind.

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