From the editors
CULTURE IN A "FOREIGN" SPACE: AN INTRODUCTION
TO GENIUS LOCI KALININGRAD AND KOENIGSBERG
KALININGRAD IN THE YEAR 2020 - A NOT QUITE FICTITIOUS CONVERSATION
DESTINATION - KALININGRAD
FROM KALININGRAD DICTIONARY
MAP OF THE CITY
FORMA URBIS. SYMBOLIC PARALLELS
IN OR OUT
THE RAILWAY STATION AND ENTRANCE TO THE CITY OF KALININGRAD
BINARY STATES OF "K" CITY
Eugeny Umansky, Karpenko-Karpenko
IN THE CENTER
Andrei Monastyrsky, Sabina Haensgen
EMPTY CENTER K.
FOLLOWING SILENT WORDS
FA+ (Ingrid Falk & Gustavo Aguerre)
THE MYTHICAL FOUNDATION OF KALININGRAD
PRETERITION: KNEIPHOF ISLAND
THE BRIDGES AND "THE PREGEL'S ODOR"
John Craig Freeman, Greg Ulmer
IMAGING KALININGRAD: THE SEVEN BRIGES OF KOENIGSBERG
FORGOTTEN KANT AND THE KANT-BRAND IN KOENIGSBERG
KANT'S BRIDES: A READYMADE PHOTOGRAPHIC CHRONOTOPE
THE CATHEDRAL AND KANT FOR EVERYONE, OR IS GOD FEARSOME WITHOUT MORAL
THE CASTLE OF SOVIETS
THE ROYAL CASTLE
A WHITE SEAGULL ABOVE THE CITY: THE SYMBOLS OF THE OLD NEW CITY
WRITING OF DREAMS
LIGHT UP DOM SOVETOV
THE HOUSE OF SOVIETS
THE MOST PROFOUND SECRET OF ONE KOENIGSBERG LAWYER: HOFFMANN
A LEGEND ABOUT FIVE LITTLE ULRICHEN AND FERRYMAN ANDRE
KOENIGSBERG-KALININGRAD. THE TASTE OF MARZIPAN
THE COUNTRY OF PENSIONERS - OR THE GERMANS
CONCRETE ELEMENTS OF KALININGRAD
THE UNDREAMED OF CITY
TOWN PLANNING MATHEMATICS
MOSKOVSKII PROSPECT & THE SHADOWS AROUND ALTSTADT
OUR TOWER Ivan Chechot
THE TOWER-REDAN "KRONPRINZ"
THE KRONPRINZ TOWER. Projects for the National Centre for Contemporary Arts by Students of the Institute for Theory and Design in Architecture (Braunschweig, Germany)
THE AMBER ROOM
BASTIONS IN DIAMONDS AND EMERALDS
THE HOUSE OF MACHINERY: THE RECONSTRACTION AND EXPLOITATION OF THE POPULATION
V.I.P. (Very Interesting Person)
PLACE OF EXECUTION
TRACES OF A VIRTUAL HISTORY IN A VERY REAL CITY
CHRIST THE SAVIOR CATHEDRAL
LIFE AND EGGS (A sketch about trams)
A STROLL THROUGH THE CENTER
IN THE FLOW: FOUNTAIN SEASON
WILD WEST OF RUSSIA
ANIMALS IN KALININGRAD AND A MOSAIC
KOENIGSBERG'S SPIRITUAL HERITAGE IN TONS, ITEMS AND SACKS. From the history of lost and found cultural heritage
WE ALL ARE GOING TO BE THERE
MONUMENT TO 1200 GUARDSMEN IN KALININGRAD
MATTER AND SPIRIT
FRAGMENT OF A SYMPHONY FOR SLOW READING: IVANOV AND HIS SURROUNDINGS
ATTIC OF RECOGNITION
MAN AND WOMAN
THE SMALL SCULPTURE "GIRL"
ON THE STREET
Igor Isaev, Dmitrii Demidenko
THE FIRE HYDRANT
Kalle Brolin, Kristina Muntzing
THE WATERFALL HERACLES' BOLT
V.I.P. (Very Interesting Person)
NATASHA POTERYASHINA. Inteview
TO BE IN THE MOOD FOR PACKING
Dmitrii Bulatov, Pavel Savel'ev
ACEPHALUS: OPTICAL MODELS
LIGHT THE CRYSTALS OF KALININGRAD!
THE BRIDGE THAT THE "RUSSIANS COULDN'T PULL DOWN"
THE ROAD TO BERLIN: FROM EPIC TO BANAL. Interview with Valerii Bugrov
HOAR-STONES AND BOUNDARY SYMBOLS
MUSCOVITES ARE HANGING
BEFORE THE CITY
TOWN PLANNING MATHEMATICS
Oleg Vasiutin / Kaliningrad, Russia
"Each of our historic cities", writes the academician D.S. Likhachov in his Notes on Town Planning, "has an individual face that is beautiful in its own way. It does not drop in our lap."
This topic is a component part of fundamental research into the morphology of the historical and architectural environment of Koenigsberg-Kaliningrad, the determination of the sense of beginning and regularity of development of its city space, and the opportunities for town planning to adapt to contemporary conditions. Despite our half century history in this PLACE, we have not managed to unravel the genetic code of this historic city and this remains a crucial unsolved problem for the present moment. Mathematical culture plays a significant role in the town-planning anatomy of Koenigsberg-Kaliningrad. The matter concerns the compositional modeling of city space as a form through mathematical or geometrical sign-symbols that has the result of instilling more confidence, clarity, and energy in planning constructions.
What, for example, do we know about Egyptian pyramids? First of all, of course, that they are big, that there are three of them, and that they are triangular… These are, so to say, first impressions. But when we learn that they are situated in relation to each other in accordance with a definite pattern, our first impression changes, and we can already see that they have some magnetic power that resides in the mathematical law of their placement.
Plan showing the placement of the pyramids Cheops, Kephren and Mykerinus in Giza.
(circa 2500 BCE)
The ancients fully appreciated the effect of space-form perception. That's why Leonhard Euler's proof concerning the problem of "the seven Koenigsberg bridges" was a remarkable event. The citizens appreciated the cultural significance of this mathematical solution. And one can assume that the fathers of Koenigsberg would have thought long and hard before erecting an eighth bridge, because it could have caused the disappearance of the number-formula magic and the city would have lost its unique feature - a materialized example of higher mathematics.
Koenigsberg was famous for its mathematical culture; one can remember such names as Friedrich Bessel, David Hilbert, Karl Gustav Jacob Jacobi, and two Nobel Prize laureates: Wilhelm Wien in physics and Otto Wallach in chemistry. Since the potential and level of the exact sciences were quite high, it would be quite logical to assume that mathematical culture penetrated into the town planning culture of Koenigsberg. It is well known that every city aspires to stand out for something noticeable and, hence, to enhance its prestige. Usually this is assisted by the creation of its artistic image: ensembles, architectural monuments, parks and so forth. The emotionally aesthetic expressiveness of Koenigsberg was formed with the help of mathematics and geometry. By the late 19th century European town planning faced an acute crisis of ideas. This was reflected in the work The Artistic Foundation of Town Planning by the famous theoretician and mathematician Kamillo Zitte. Koenigsberg managed to effectively solve all the major problems in the formation of new city spaces with the help of the unique phenomenon created by Euler's proof "about the seven bridges," and, continuing this tradition, it managed to create architectural town planning ensembles of the highest professional level.
At least three ensembles were planned around the turn of the 20th century. They represent unique monuments of town-planning art and are distinguished by their bright individuality.
The picturesque planning of the Amalienau neighborhood was created with the help of project modeling of the place where the Queen Luisa Memorial Chapel (presently the Puppet Theater) was situated with an axial system of adjacent streets, the main alley of the park Luisental, and building up of Krasnaya Street, on the base of equilateral triangle (ABC). The town-building module (M) equals 30 meters. The architect was Friedrich Heitmann.
The beginning stage of development of the town planning ensemble for the Ring and Hansaplatz (Victory Square). The basis of the synthesis of component parts and compositional elements of this ensemble was the upper scheme of flowing spaces (R, R+A) with a common outgoing center (C) and also Luke's harmonic series (which correspond to the numbers 1, 3, 4, 7, 11, …), present in the scale of the elevation of the buildings of Kaliningrad State Technical University, the Northern Railway Station and the spatial division of the square. The town building modules are the 12 degrees angle turns of the regulating axes and 120 meter width of the Ring.
The plan for the organization of the architectural town planning ensemble of the Southern Railway Station Square according to a project of 1930. The main planning element is the length of the front elevation of the railway station building (M), which equals 85 meters. As a result of panoramic perception, the regularity of construction and closure of the perimeter were to be the principal artistic and aesthetic criteria of the future ensemble of the square near the railway station.
One may speak of the original architectural town planning school which that was formed at that time in Koenigsberg and which called into being this event, the level and quality of which can hardly be exaggerated. After all, these are the few things that remain of the historical image of the city, along with the Cathedral, the green zone of Ernst Schneider, the district of detached houses, the forts, the gates and some individual buildings.
During the Soviet and post Soviet period these rudimentary ensembles, whose existence nobody even suspected, were unclaimed and did not receive the necessary development, so they remained unfinished. As a result ties between epochs were not cared for and the professional continuity of the city architecture was broken.
In general, Koenigsberg-Kaliningrad has always longed for regularity during its entire seven century history. This was initially expressed in the choice of location for the city in the best Vitruvian tradition with the statement of a reference point - its zero coordinate - with the foundation of the Castle in 1255 and its orientation to Rome and the island Malta, which was in complete accordance with the Latin metaphysics of that period. Later on regular Hippodamos plans for three Hanseatic cities appeared: Kneiphof, Altstadt, Lobenicht. Their plans were typical of such Roman military cities as Lambaesis, Timgad, Gerasa with a cruciform intersection of main streets, decamanus maximus and cardo, which corresponded to the following streets: Langgasse (Moskovskii Prospect) and Kneiphofische Langgasse (Leninskii Prospect).
During the Renaissance, following the union of the three medieval cities into a single Koenigsberg, the city took a regular ring form of hill fortifications which was calculated according to all rules of fortification art of that time and grounded in the aesthetics of the mathematical culture of the Renaissance.
Around the start of the 20th century a new standard of city appeared as a result of creation of a new defensive zone of forts. The former outskirts Amelienau and Maraunenhof became part of it, a town-planning innovation introduced into these territories via Ebenezer Howard's new ideology of the "garden city".
In 1910 the partial demolition of the old hill fortifications resulted in a town-planning union of the two cities. The first was the old inner city, which was situated within the circle of hill fortifications, and the second was a new city, whose outer districts reached the parameters of independent formations. The unified city was implemented by means of the construction of architectural town planning ensembles of a new type at the sites of these junctions. These ensembles (see figures 3 and 4) were founded on regular planning structures and resembled a new Cubist genetics (optical revolution), representing a switch from Jugendstil to the Bauhaus.
The projects designed for Koenigsberg in the 1930s and Kaliningrad in the 1950s are also immensely interesting. Although never realized, these projects are of genuine value because they show the culture of attitudes to the city in radical moments of its development. This is the period of the demonstration of the "strength-power" of the two governmental states in their attitude to the "form-style" of city space in differing conditions two totalitarian regimes. The town planning scales of these two general layouts are equal, and their proportions are sufficient to utterly transform the city's appearance, nature and status. A common feature of the two states' town planning culture was ordering - the regulation of the city's form, a striving to some ideal and to some symbolic sound; in this respect they were kindred spirits. Distinctions between them reside in the methodologies of design approach.
The German design period was characterized by the adaptation and further steady development of ideas of polycentrism in the historic town planning tradition of the symbolism of the Latin cross. Its genetic code was a continuation of the imperial tradition of Rome. In contrast, the Soviet design culture was characterized by the modification (substitution) of the architectural town planning symbolism of the row and a return to the monocentrism of a radial town planning system whose genetic code was "colonial", as if transferring the town planning forms of Moscow and St Petersburg into Koenigsberg-Kaliningrad.
Plan for the reconstruction of Koenigsberg, 1938
Plan for the reconstruction of Kaliningrad, 1950s
The completed epoch of Soviet architecture (Soviet Modernism) left a depressing heritage of doubtful values, negative experience, unsolved problems, and it has not yet ceased enacting further violence on the city. That's why the problem, first of all, lies in a cultural approach to architecture as an integral element of human culture, both culturally and spiritually, but first of all - in treating Kaliningrad as a historic city of European culture, understanding its regional nature which, as is known, developed on the base of the adaptation of previous stages.
This all is really essential for the selection of future paths of the city development. And to all appearances, there are only three of them. The first one, well-known, is to continue building up Kaliningrad as an artificial, absolutely abstract city, disconnected from local regional specificity, aggressive in every respect, a former Soviet and now Russian outpost in the Baltic. In this case the inner and outer conditions may be forecast: all integration opportunities for us will be lost, and the constant complexity and tension of such a state of affairs will deplete the majority of internal resources, resulting in a deadlock.
The second path is the revival of old Koenigsberg, which is quite problematic, archaic… and it resembles childish maximalism. Of course, one may dream of it, but there is no sense in taking this way seriously except, perhaps, some individual cases of fragmentary imitation of the past.
But there is a third path. We assert the cultural originality of our city among many other historical cities of Russia and Europe and declare the harmonious adaptation of the cities Koenigsberg-Kaliningrad. This would be accomplished by professional conceptions and a technology of development which, in this case, would definitely rest upon the historical cultural component of the city and region.
A unique mathematical town planning civilization emerged in Koenigsberg. This very phenomenon persisted in the architecture and town planning of Kaliningrad. Undoubtedly, it can also play an integral role in the adaptation of the cities Kaliningrad-Koenigsberg.
Translation by N. Shtock