L'Asticot Flagship Store
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE?
The OSA Group (Organization of Contemporary Architects) was an architectural association formed in the Soviet Union during the 1920’s. 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.
From 1926 onwards, the OSA used the magazine SA (Sovremennaïa Arkhitektoura) to spread 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 modernisme 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.
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, 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.
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 epicentre 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.
Model built in collaboration with Collectif Galta :
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