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From Russia With Love?

Photo: Dylan Perrenoud (All images courtesy of BUREAU A)
The OSA Group (Organization of Contemporary Architects) was an architectural association formed in the Soviet Union during the 1920s. It gathered important figures of what became known later as Constructivist architecture.
For the OSA, the architect was not only a builder, he also had to be a sociologist for the new era, a politician of the built environment, and a skilled technician to engineer the future.
Photo: Dylan Perrenoud
From 1926 onwards, the OSA used the magazine SA (Sovremennaïa Arkhitektoura) to propagate its ideas and projects. Very much influenced by the Suprematist principles of Kazimir Malevich, himself an active member of SA, the magazine promoted an architectural modernism rejecting classicist influences. These incredibly prolific years of the young Soviet Union produced a progressive art and architecture. Vladimir Tatlin, Alexander Vesnin, Konstantin Melnikov, Kazimir Malevich, Ivan Leonidov or the engineer Choukhov are only some of the figures that later shaped modernism through the Bauhaus. This period of social utopia gave birth to many buildings that are somewhere between real and imaginary.
Photo: Dylan Perrenoud
Photo: Dylan Perrenoud
When one thinks about Russia and its epic approach to architecture, childhood is probably the last thing that comes in mind. However, its monuments with their architecture of representation and excess propose a very appropriate landscape to explore architectural fantasies and fairy tale constructions, somewhere between monstrous and marvellous. Given children’s ability to blur the line that separates physical reality from imaginary worlds, kids can easily navigate among these images and built forms.
Photo: Dylan Perrenoud
Photo: Dylan Perrenoud
The display of L’ASTICOT flagship store is a support for a mini-world, a catalogue of built or projected utopias in the form of a scaled-down city. Children can enter at its epicenter to explore the scenarios of this architectural fiction and create a narrative among these soviet monsters. They can hide and play under the big table, which primary function is to hang the clothing collection. On the top of the egg-shaped steel structure, different worlds will emerge following the collection themes.
Photo: Dylan Perrenoud
Photo: Dylan Perrenoud

Project: BUREAU A
Photography: Dylan Perrenoud
Model built in collaboration with: collectif galta (Amélie Freyche, Antoine Guay, Aurélien Reymond, Gaspar Reverdin & Jessica Brancato)
Photo: Dylan Perrenoud
Photo: Dylan Perrenoud
Photo: Dylan Perrenoud

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