25 March 2021

3rd International Conference on Reconstruction and Restoration of Architectural Heritage
Kicked Off at SPbGASU 

On March 24, official opening of the 3rd international scientific and practical conference "Reconstruction and Restoration of Architectural Heritage" (RRAH 2021) took place at Saint Petersburg State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering. The event is co-organized by SPbGASU, St. Petersburg Committee for the State Inspection and Protection of Historic and Cultural Monuments (KGIOP), Cultural Heritage Conservation Fund, non-profit partnership "Russian Association of Restorers", Remmers LLC, as well as the Technical University of Madrid (UPM) represented by the Higher Technical School of Architecture (ETSAM) and the Higher Technical School of Civil Engineering (ETSICCP), along with Agustín de Betancourt Foundation, the Spanish Construction History Society and Juanelo Turriano Foundation.

Alexander Leontyev, Félix Valdés, Vyacheslav Bukhaev, Filipp Apostol

The conference started with Mini-Symposium “Construction History, an Emerging Discipline. A Russian-Spanish Encounter”. Organized in a combined online and offline format, it was attended by participants representing various organizations both from Russia and Spain, including the Consul General of Spain in Saint Petersburg Félix Valdés; Education Attaché of the Embassy of Spain in Russia Javier Torres Hernández; Director of the Higher Technical School of Architecture in Madrid Manuel Blanco; Francisco Javier Martín Carrasco, Director of ETSICCP and Head of Augustine de Betancourt Foundation; Alexander Leontyev, First Deputy Chairman of KGIOP; Andrey Khlutkov, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for External Relations of St. Petersburg, and President of Saint Petersburg Union of Architects Oleg Romanov.

The solemn handover of the design proposal for a memorial plaque to Agustín de Betancourt (1758–1824), an outstanding Spanish and Russian architect, civil and mechanical engineer, took place during the mini-symposium. “This commemorative plaque will be installed at No. 19 Bolshaya Morskaya Street in Saint Petersburg, where Agustín de Betancourt spent his last years”, told Irina Drozdova, Vice Rector for Science of SPbGASU.

“Agustín de Betancourt was not only a civil engineer constructing bridges and roads, but a prominent mediator between Russia and Western Europe. We, diplomats, would also like to build strong bridges between nations despite the difficulties we have to face sometimes, to contribute to better understanding and mutually beneficial relationships between our countries”, said Consul General of Spain in St. Petersburg Félix Valdés.

Альтернативное описание изображения+”петербургского ГАСУ”

Assembly hall of the SPbGASU Academic Council before the start of the event

Альтернативное описание изображения+”петербургского ГАСУ”

Svetlana Petrova, Head of International Relations Division

“I am honoured to take part in this symposium and the conference dedicated to conservation and restoration of architectural heritage. I want to emphasize the need to support each other and to collaborate in preserving the architectural heritage of Russia and Spain”, noted Francisco Javier Martín Carrasco, who received a set of design documentation for the memorial plaque to Agustín de Betancourt from Irina Drozdova.

Vyacheslav Bukhaev, chief architect of the project, presented his design solution: the plaque will be made of white Ural granite, with a bronze portrait of Betancourt. It will also feature a drawing compass with a ruler resembling the letter A, and a titanium shelf for flowers.

Filipp Apostol, head of his own architectural workshop, is engaged in reconstruction and restoration of the Johann Albrecht house at No. 19 Bolshaya Morskaya Street. According to him, the history of the house goes deep into the past. The first construction in this site dates back to the early 1740s. The building then underwent many changes (one the rebuilding versions belonged to architect Vasily Stasov), and acquired its present appearance at the beginning of the 20th century. Now a new page in its history begins.

The mini-symposium was continued by online sessions, where speakers presented their reports devoted to the history of construction in Russia and in Spain, historical treatises on construction and dissemination of building knowledge, stone and timber construction, defensive architecture and other topics relevant both to Saint Petersburg and Madrid. The participants shared best practices and ideas in the field of cultural heritage preservation, and identified promising areas for future cooperation and joint projects.


Text: Tatyana Petrova
Photos: Sergey Klishis

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