President’s Medals 2013: Kihzi Island

The President’s Medals have been rewarding the best student ideas and drawings since 1836. This year those projects spanned from the archaeology of the future to the social effect of a socialist city and a civic centre for an island community, with intelligent design development and many beautiful drawings along the way. Of 81 schools that entered, this year saw one, the Bartlett, sweep the board with the excellence of its students’ submissions.

Hangar facility and partial plan (1:200).
Hangar facility and partial plan (1:200).

Silver medal winner and SOM Foundation Fellowship Part II

Kihzi Island, Ben Hayes

Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
Tutors: Yeoryia Manolopoulou, 
Niall McLaughlin



 

Fragile, desecrated wooden Orthodox churches have a spiritual presence that commands respect, but in the next 10-15 years they will almost totally disappear from the Russian landscape

This proposal is for a museum landscape that will facilitate the restoration and reassembly of 250 wooden Orthodox churches on Kizhi Island in northern Russia. The fragile, desecrated structures have a spiritual presence that commands respect; how­ever, in the next 10-15 years they will almost ­totally disappear from the Russian landscape. This project challenges the programme of the ­existing museum on Kizhi Island, ­radically ­expanding it to include all 250 wooden churches. It proposes a new restoration facility and museum to facilitate the dismantling of the church monuments from their original location, their shipping to Kizhi, their restoration,and open-air curation across the whole island. The facility will contain temporary and permanent structures for the research, storage, preservation and exhibition of each relocated church. The project addresses two problems: it protects and restores this endangered heritage, that today is on the verge of extinction, and it dramatically redesigns the visitor experience on the island.

Left: Kihzi Island 100 years on, an exploration to establish a set of rules and an informed strategy of curation. Right: Street of churches, arranged chronologically.
Left: Kihzi Island 100 years on, an exploration to establish a set of rules and an informed strategy of curation. Right: Street of churches, arranged chronologically.
Typological study of abandoned churches – sectional overlay used as a form finder to help determine the type of enclosure needed during restoration.
Typological study of abandoned churches – sectional overlay used as a form finder to help determine the type of enclosure needed during restoration.