Leadership And Innovations Of Architecture Of Uzbekistan

Shukur Аskarov

In the history of correlations of new architecture of the world and Uzbekistan there is a list of leadership of our country in it. We often find it rather difficult to imagine that in the past the architecture of Uzbekistan not only was in the lead, presenting to the neighboring and distant countries examples of architecture and urban planning, but predominated also in new, up to this day, architecture. In 1870 the type of radial- ring planning of new Tashkent created by the military engineer A. V. Makarov far ahead outstripped the type of garden city plan by Ebenezer Howard, which became worldwide spread only since 1898. The building of the present State Museum of History of Uzbekistan (1970, architect E. G. Rozanov) inspired a Croatian architect Andria Mutnyakovich to construct the National Library in Pristina – the capital of Kosovo in 1982. After gaining independence by Uzbekistan in 1991, model of historical growth of Khiva was used by the Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa for the concept of the General plan of Astana, a new capital of Kazakhstan. And the architecture of the Memorial to the soldiers fallen in the Great Patriotic War (Tashkent) was reflected in Konya, the fifth largest city of Turkey.
“The Soviet Iron Curtain” prevented many peoples, including Japanese, to see Uzbekistan. In 1994, the Associate Professor of the Tokyo University for foreign researches Hisao Komatsu studying Islamic urban planning complained that though Central Asia was important in the east of the Islamic world, its achievements in the field of urban studies was covered very poorly. The model of growth of historical Khiva devised by the doctor of architecture I. I. Notkin in 1983 and then published in Uzbekistan and Harvard University of the USA also remained unknown. In February, 2000 a research group of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) started designing Astana under the leadership of K. Kurokawa (1934-2007), who offered the model of growth of Khiva for new Astana in order to get rid of traffic jams. He called this growth the alternate incremental process of the city to new territories in the latitudinal and meridional directions. In the model of Khiva K. Kurokawa found, first, alternative to the failed Soviet radial-ring layout and secondly, this model of growth in the best way fitted his famous around the world concept of metabolism. K. Kurokawa explained that the city with opened layout could be developed in any direction, and then, its new districts would not be alien to it.
In our country the Victory Day – the 9th of May is called the Day of Memory and Honors. In 1999 the memorial of the Eternal flame in memory of the Unknown Soldier in Tashkent was transformed into a complex of the Grieving Mother (sculptor – I. Dzhabbarov). Architects N. Musayev and others supposed to lay memorial plates on both sides of the avenue according to the tradition of last years. The president of the Republic of Uzbekistan I. Karimov proposed the decision from the Uzbek national architecture: ayvans (terrace). Exactly they formed solemn architectural space in the spirit of classical ritual compositions. A Kokand master of woodcarving Abdugani Abdullaev headed construction of the ayvans. Later the ensemble was reproduced in all regional centers, in each place with the modifications. In the city of Konya (Turkey) the Turkish architects M. and H. Oztoklu together with Uzbek masters – Mirdzhalol Asadov (carved columns) from Samarkand and Mahmoud Kasymov (ganch carving) from Tashkent created in 2008 a memorial in the likeness of closed Seldzhuks’ caravanserais with magnificent carved pillars on both sides of the extended courtyard.
While the model of Khiva was offered for Astana, in 2003 the Institute of East Culture of Tokyo University studied values and lifestyle of population of Uzbekistan cities, which revealed that these values were concentrated in the family and their relatives, and attached to the concept of place of employment or childhood. Thus, all these values are combined by the concept of place, most often the places of residence, namely – mahalla.
Structure of the city and layout components are especially important in the historical cities serving as a source of pride of the nation and in the objects of international tourism, which are important item of the state budget. Still more to be done to comply of our cities to such regulations of UNESCO and the Republic of Uzbekistan as “The law of the Republic of Uzbekistan on protection of monuments of cultural heritage of the Republic of Uzbekistan” (2001) and “UNESCO Recommendations of 1976 about self-preservation and modern role of historical zones”. It will contribute to reorganization of administrative management of a historical city, granting it the legal status and its own body of management.
Dwelling houses of our historical cities were always famous as the most refined in Central Asia. For centuries they constituted indissoluble whole with the towering over them monuments of the past. In order to preserve this unity conservation zones around the monuments were prescribed and observed, keeping in mind the need of preservation of pristine traditional housing estate, such as still “breathing” Zarkaynar Street in Tashkent, which is so popular among tourists.
The historical core requires culture of constant care of it, respect for traditional for the city adobe building material, which is propagandized and practiced by the countries with the developed architecture, such as the USA and Saudi Arabia, and, of course, it should be prescribed for important fragments of our historical cities. Special personnel should be trained to support the adobe structures, as it is recommended by the UNESCO international standards.
In Tashkent the master plan of reconstruction of the old city has been amended, new roads and communications are paved, bridges and houses are built. Five-floor apartment houses have been built in new Nurafshon Street. On August 25, 2015 during discussion of the Master plan of reconstruction of the old district of Tashkent with inhabitants of that mahalla, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan I. Karimov informed about the decision to reconstruct the district mostly not by the five storied, but three-storied apartment houses designed for cohabitation of family generations. Such apartment houses with views of Ak-Saray palace of Amir Temur (architect Gulshoira Magometova) were built in Shakhrisabz in 2015-2016. Transition into few-storied houses is a significant innovation, as it helps maintain lifestyle values and development of urban planning traditions.
Urban planning requires constant monitoring of development of new cities. Decline or lack of science leads to loss of town-planning memory and destruction of the cities. In New York, for example, the Center for the urban future located on the Wall Street protects from this danger. Such monitoring is based on memory about the city. Decline or lack of science leads to loss of town-planning memory and inability to necessary actions. Market and democratic changes, self-government, growth of middle class, transport boom, all this requires large-scale understanding and management, development of viable planning and spatial structures, such as mahallas, guzars, districts and centers of cities. It will prevent the conflict of new with old in the cities. During decision-making and designing it is important to “reconcile” pedestrians with transport, preserving the best that we have achieved.
Innovations in the multi-storey dwelling on the eve of gaining of independence by Uzbekistan even today have potentials for leadership. The housing estate with yards on four floors in the experimental residential district – mahalla C-27 (1971-1975, G. I. Korobovtsev and others) and experimental 16-storey dwelling house built of reinforced concrete (1985, O. P. Aydinova) are results of public requirements to change the standards of housing construction of previous years. Such formal refinements of new architecture as “Muslim houses” in Morocco (1952-1956, Georges Kandilis and others) and “Romeo and Juliet” housing estate in Stuttgart, Germany (1955-1959, Hans Sharun) helped to implement these requirements. Creations by G. I. Korobovtsev and O. P. Aydinova are included in the international guidebooks on Uzbekistan along with the architectural masterpieces of the past. Specialized foreign tourist groups come here to get acquainted with them.
If in C-27 of Tashkent traditional residential yards are lifted upward without change of residential blocks, which contain apartments, then in the 16-storey apartment house of the city public yards are located within two residential blocks. It is an action towards transformation of the structure of multi-storey apartment houses into the dwelling characteristic for Uzbek traditions.
Concerning the style, Uzbekistan together with other CIS countries has come to the international scene where diplomacy sphere has the established architectural stereotypes of classicism. Parallel to this and ten other styles, we have enforced a corporate style of architecture common in the countries with market economy, which for the finance corporations functioning on international scale openly replicates achievements of new architecture of the XX century.
The Palace of Forums of Uzbekistan (2009, U. H. Rakhimov, V. G. Kim) with halls for 2200 and 300 sits was built under the project of “Proyektstalkonstruktsia” organization (Uzbekistan) and by “Ippolit” firm (Germany) on interiors, design and finishing materials. Monolithic reinforced concrete of the main framework and metal columns with crossbars and farms at the top hold the external shell structure. Its architectural order represents colonnades from pilasters with semi-columns imitating traditional wooden ones. The entablature over the order is drawn in the form of an architrave beam, frieze and cornice with European and oriental elements. The white marble dome with the diameter of 52,5 m is finished at the height of 48 m by sculptures of storks. The Palace of Symposiums with the National Library named after Alisher Navoi (2012, N. N. Alimov) in the stylistic respect repeated the Palace of Forums Uzbekistan by a huge flat dome, carved wooden doors on the glass facade, snow-whiteness of walls with Romance arch and rectangular apertures.
In reconstruction of a complex of buildings of the Academy of Public Administration (2014, N. N. Alimov, A. I. Kalislamov, L. A. Kazantseva and others) the established style is continued. Former concrete sun-protection ribs and aluminum lattices, middle columns were dismantled, and overlapping were set on single-span metal trusses. The complex is provided with modern cold and heat supply, as well as conditioning. The glazing of the facades was replaced with new stained-glass windows with low-emission energy saving double-glazed windows, and blind planes were tiled with plates from a glazed crystallite by the method of dry installation. Facades are decorated with contrast colors: stained-glass windows of dark color on snow-white facing by plates of glazed crystallite. A marble stele with the words of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan I. Karimov: “Destiny and efficiency of transformations and their influence on our daily life is paramount depend on qualification of personnel, how they acquired their sphere of activity, their dedication and patriotism” precedes the wide 2-storey complex of the Academy of Public Administration with the yards and 14-storey building.
On the lands of Uzbekistan great cultures reached apogee of the development and had beneficial affect on the neighboring and distant countries. Its new architecture also continues this evolution. Here, as nowhere in the world, the process of formation and intensive development of new architecture took place in the bosom of heritage of mature Islamic architecture and urban planning. Thanks to this unique practice the new architecture and urban planning of Uzbekistan has gained valuable experience of transition from the past to the present. After gaining independence the collapse of the former radial-ring structure of the CIS cities town-planners of Japan and the Republic of Kazakhstan paid attention to the model of alternate growth of the historical cities of Uzbekistan. Continuing high-speed diameters and chords by regional express trains, as well as keeping streets and roads, especially in the historical cities, planning material of the cities and their satellites revives taking into account updated transport and improving local lifestyle. Management of the historical cities is reorganized by computerized databases, scenarios, centers of attraction and employment, restoration of irrigation and lowering of ground waters. Classicism and corporatism of architecture is amplified in style exchanges between the capital and regions. Progress of architecture, relation to the past and its interpretation depends on the social order, specific at this stage, which needs to be realized at the level of the world condition of architectural business, and is inconceivable without broad outlook of architects and advanced construction industry. The role of architects in the state construction is important and perspective.

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