Summer School - 20th Century Mass-Housing RE3


Program Description


RE-valorization – re-discovery of various mass-housing concepts with a strong social foundation and a deep study, finding still unknown values and achievements of different architecture and planning approaches.

RE-vitalization – re-using and re-thinking 20th-century mass-housing experience and relevance to modern living standards and possibilities of re-configuration to new functions.

RE-storation − reconstruction and restoration concerns including modern architecture specifics i.e. reinforced concrete and experimental materials, prefabricated parts, and others.


Introduction to the course

This course gives a wide overview of the architectural solution of the residential development in Moscow of the 20th and 21st centuries. Following an introduction to the history of architecture and the urban development in Moscow during the century of experiments will be surveyed with special reference to the works of Russian Avant-garde.  Students will gain the opportunity to explore Moscow's urban fabric and study key problems and opportunities specific to the modern metropolis. This course will combine theoretical studies delivered through lectures and fieldwork in the urban environment in Moscow heading to producing own or small team design projects. Students will improve their visual representation skills, spatial analysis proficiencies as well as public presentation competency.

Course Leader: Nikolai Vassiliev, Ph.D., MGSU “Architecture” Chair associated professor, DOCOMOMO Russia Secretary-General

Course Co-tutors: Nikolai Vassiliev (design, urban history, and context); Asmik Klochko, Ph.D., MGSU “Architecture” Chair associated professor (design, reconstruction, and conversion), Ivan Saltykov, MGSU “Architecture” Chair senior teacher (construction systems); Natalia Pushkina (DGNB registered professional – Green and Sustainable buildings), MGSU “Architecture” Chair senior teacher; Asmik Klochko MGSU “Architecture” Chair Assoc. Prof.

The course aims to offer a deeper understanding of the typology, construction practice, and social policy of the residential development through the 20th century.

Target group

The course addresses students of any subject, especially Architecture and Urban Studies and related subjects, such as Transport Engineering, Urban Sociology, History, Design or Fine Arts. Basic sketching, and graphical tools skills are required. Elementary knowledge of architecture and architectural history is welcome but not necessary.



This course gives you the opportunity to explore Moscow with contemporary and urban design. This course will combine theoretical studies delivered through lectures, fieldwork, and concept design workshops in the urban environment in Moscow. Guided tours provided during this course will introduce you to the brightest examples of solving the housing problem in Moscow during the 20th century, through all challenges including modern architecture social concepts and industrial construction progress. Starting from Russian Avant-garde with its experiments on residential buildings typology towards of Soviet Modernism mass-produced prefabricated ‘architecture industry’. You could introduce to the history, social policy, and economy of this tense century from 1917 till nowadays, to know and to see the Housing Renovation program which started in 2017. You will work both individually and as part of a group, which gives you the opportunity to meet, learn, and exchange new ideas on architecture, residential development, and economy.

During the course, you will have opportunities to visit such places as:

  1. Sokol one of the first cooperative residential settlements in Moscow, founded in 1923 as garden-city.
  2. Narkomfin building – one of the most known examples of Constructivist architecture “Transitional type” housing (between individual and commune). Le Corbusier visited Narkomfin construction back in 1930 and used much in his famous Unité d'Habitation later.
  3. Experimental districts of New Cheryomushki (9, 10, and 11th) – the first-born of a prefabricated block and panel house construction sites of the late 1950s.
  4. And many more like constructivist worker settlements and post-war ensembles.


This course enables you to appreciate the rich material resources in Moscow, developing a critical understanding of the historical, social, and political circumstances that have shaped architecture, art, and urbanism during the complete 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century.

NRU MGSU campus has 10 comfortable dormitories for more than 5 000 students. They are arranged as three groups of buildings in Moscow and the Moscow region. All dorms are located in close proximity to lecture halls. Each dorm room is designated for two students. Each dorm floor has fully equipped kitchens. Guest rooms are ready to accommodate guests of NRU MGSU.

Each guest room has a refrigerator, a television, and an electric kettle. The dorms have Internet access. The dorms have washing machines, lockers, stores, refreshment rooms, and cafeterias.  The dorms are patrolled by the security service. The campus has multiple leisure and sports facilities. Football, five-o-side football, chess tournaments are held by the physical training and sports department of the University between teams representing different dorms. A skating rink is open in winter. Students can practice race walking, jogging, skiing, and bicycling at the Lossiny Ostrov forest nearby.   NRU MGSU has a Student club, a Youth center for leadership improvement, a Creativity center, and an International communications club.

The cultural program

The cultural program includes a bus sightseeing tour of Moscow and also museum excursions around the most interesting Moscow museums.

moscow, st basile, red square

Admission Procedure

The application should be sent before 1st June 2020 to Summer School Coordinator's e-mail.

The application must include the following documents: 

  • Application form
  • Curriculum vitae 
  • Motivation letter 
  • A copy of passport (for the issue of visa invitation)


The course fee is 300 EUR. 

The main course fee includes:

  • Tuition (Russian language course included), 
  • Teaching materials, 
  • Online Social activities.

After successful completion of the summer course, students will be awarded 3 credit points (ECTS) and 1credit point (ECTS) for completion of a Russian language course.

Last updated Jul 2020

About the School

Moscow State University of Civil Engineering (MGSU) is the leading Russian University in the area of civil engineering with a century of teaching and research tradition.

Moscow State University of Civil Engineering (MGSU) is the leading Russian University in the area of civil engineering with a century of teaching and research tradition. Read less