SUSU “Nasledie” Research and Development Centre Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

The “Nasledie” Research and Development Centre of the Institute of Architecture and Construction of South Ural State University, headed by Valentin Olenkov, celebrated its 20th anniversary on April 8th.

The centre conducts extensive work on creating projects for the restoration and preservation of the architectural heritage of the South Ural region. Those include: Aleksandr Nevskiy Church on Aloe Pole square; the Demidov residence - the White House and the Church of the Holy Spirit in Kyshtym; the creation of historical and cultural basic plans of the old cities in our region, such as Verkhneuralsk, Kyshtym, Kasli, Miass, Zlatoust, as well as the first science cities: Ozersk and Snezhinsk.

“The “Nasledie” Centre's activity implies not only research and development, but also educational work,” says Valentin Olenkov, head of the centre. “Our students were choosing an object, usually in a dilapidated state, as the topic of their diploma paper, and began to work with it. This is how we examined the Rozhdestvenskaya Church in Yuryuzan: one of students researched its historical background, then a group of young scientists went to the site to inspect the technical condition, and gradually a five-domed church with a bell tower “grew” in our drawings. It was important to calculate whether such a structure would withstand the load, to study the strength of the stone, and to restore the lost decor from archival photographs.”

In the early 2010s, when the Aleksandr Nevskiy Church on Aloe Pole square was handed over to the congregation. The “Nasledie” Centre made the first projects for its restoration using computer technologies. “We were one of the first in our country to use laser scanning technologies,” says Professor Valentin Olenkov. “The then Rector, and now the President of SUSU, Aleksandr Shestakov, helped with the purchase of a laser scanner at the very start. An experienced surveyor took photographs, and this is how a laser computer model was created. Based on this model, calculations of building structures were carried out and drawings were developed for the church restoration project.”

The head of the “Nasledie” Centre Valentin Olenkov is known as the author and co-author of such books as Orthodox Churches of the South Ural; Wooden Architecture of the Urals; Urban Planning Safety; Urban Planning in Disturbed Territories; and Urban Planning School of the South Ural Region.

Continuing the traditions of M. Mochalova, who created one of the first books about the architectural heritage of the South Ural region, the centre involves students, starting from junior years, in the work.

The centre celebrates today’s anniversary with a presentation of student works dedicated to the architectural heritage of the Chelyabinsk Region. The audience includes junior students, those who are still taking their first steps in understanding urban planning, but are ready to enthusiastically take on their chosen topic. Last semester, first-year students in the History of Urban Planning discipline already completed the first works that they are presenting today.

Artur Islamutdinov, group АС-122, classified the layouts of villages in the South Ural region. Sofiia Makarova, Anastasiia Bagdasaryan, Arina Golovina and Kira Khalezina from the same group devoted their research to carved window frames and their symbolism. Igor Gavrilov examined the layout of a Russian hut with a closet, a canopy and an upper room, and also studied the design of a log house. Alexander Akulov and Iuliia Vladimirova studied the fortresses of the Chelyabinsk Region.

“One of the objects of my research is the dacha (holiday home) of the Yaushev merchants in Troitsk, which unfortunately has not survived,” says student Mariia Aksenova. “We are also exploring our Chelyabinsk House of the Yaushev Brothers and other cultural heritage sites of the regional and federal significance.”

The students’ works will be submitted to the SUSU student contest, where the best research projects are chosen annually.

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