Naro-Fominsk silk factory,Russia.

Photo: NVO

Exhibition ‘Reuse, Redevelop and Design: How the Dutch Deal with Heritage’ travels through Russia

The Russian edition of the exhibition ‘Reuse, Redevelop and Design’ turns out to be a big success in Moscow and St Petersburg in 2018.
14 March 2019
By Lenka Boswijk


Russia and the Netherlands share a century of cultural reciprocity. Russia is one of the focus countries in the Netherlands for the Shared Cultural Heritage program. The exhibition Reuse, Redevelop and Design is an interesting example of the current exchange of expertise between Russian and Dutch heritage experts. It showcases some of the best practices of dealing with heritage.

Post-industrial urban development

Restoration of historic buildings and giving them new functions is one of the most urgent tasks at the post-industrial stage of urban development. This fully applies to both the Netherlands and Russia. The evolution of production technologies, the withdrawal of electrical plants outside residential areas and the development of industrial zones and their transformation into full-fledged urban areas open up many opportunities for the exchange of experience and cooperation between Russian and Dutch specialists: architects, urbanists, restorers, sociologists, developers, and civil servants.

Interactive public program

The exhibition, which is based on a book by Paul Meurs and Marinke Steenhuis, showcases creative solutions of how Dutch architects and planners transformed old and abandoned buildings into new landmarks, residential complexes, and societally useful facilities. In the exhibition, these solutions are presented through interactive installations and video interviews with the authors of the book and participating architects, conservators and heritage experts.

Equally important is the interactive public programme around the exposition. Dutch heritage experts – among whom Robert Winkel (Mei Architects & Planners), Anastasia Smirnova (SVESMI), Jean-Paul Corten (Cultural Heritage Agency of The Netherlands) and Paul Meurs himself – held various presentations In Moscow and St Petersburg. During panel discussions and workshops, Dutch and Russian professionals exchanged ideas on topics such as urban planning, regional development, and restoration of tangible artifacts. At the opening of the exhibition in Ivanovo, Robert Winkel shared his experience of rethinking storages in Rotterdam and Gouda and gave his outlook on a 19th-century Naro-Fominsk silk factory.

Traveling the country

The aim of the traveling exhibition is to reach heritage professionals, urban developers, regional developers, architects and the general public in various cities in Russia. Upon the initiative of the Russian Province Foundation, it was on display in Ivanovo at the beginning of 2019. On March 14, the exposition opens in Krasnoyarsk and over the next two years, it will travel to Kazan, Tula, Ekaterinburg and possibly other cities in Russia.

The book 'Reuse, Redevelop and Design: How the Dutch deal with Design' was made possible in the format of the Shared Cultural Heritage programme. The original exhibition was on display in The Hague and São João del-Rei in Brazil in 2017. Eva Radionova (Novascape) curated it for the Russian audience in collaboration with the Embassy of the Netherlands in Moscow, the Consulate-General of the Netherlands in St Petersburg and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. The Russian edition is co-created by AUIPIK, National Agency for Management and Use of Built Heritage in Russia.

For more information about 'Reuse, Redevelop and Design' and the latest updates, have a look at Holland Heritage.