The Russian pavilion at the International Architecture Biennale in Venice received a special mention prize for the very first time. Dedicated to the Skolkovo science and technology center, the pavilion earned quite a bit of attention.
The curators of the Russian pavilion were Sergey Tchoban and Sergey Kuznetsov, the designers of the Skolkovo Innovation Center. They presented their project and juxtaposed it with the other part of the pavilion display, which was dedicated to closed Soviet science towns.
The exhibit was split into two sections contrasting the past and the future of Russian innovation: Planned science towns and organized public space. The top floor of the pavilion was turned into an eye-catching installation, with the walls, ceilings and floors covered with illuminated QR codes. Smart phones and other electronic devices allowed visitors to 'read' the codes, and explore information about Skolkovo.
The lower level of the display offered viewers a glimpse of what life was like in the now-closed Soviet-era science towns.
Tchoban is curating the Russian pavilion of the Venice Biennale for the second year in a row. He and the commissar of the Russian pavilion, architecture historian Grigory Revzin, had previously presented a display on the transformation of small factory towns in Russia into vibrant centers of life and culture.
The Skolkovo Innovation Center outside Moscow is planned to open by 2017.
The pavilion was opened to the public on Wednesday, and will remain on display until November 25. The project is occupying Russia's traditional spot in the Venetian Arsenal.
The Golden Lion Award for the best pavilion went to Japan, who dedicated their exhibition to last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami, and the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima power plant.