Today, Dmitry Bush is known as one of the top experts in the country, especially if the question is the creation of large-scale sports constructions. Alongside his most well-known projects – the Ice Palace in Saint Petersburg, Locomotive Stadium, Me- gasport in the Hodynka Palace of Sports, the skating center in Krylatskoe – his portfolio includes reconstruction, residential, and public buildings. Before he occupied the niche of the Russian architectural Olympus, he participated in a large and varied selection of competitions, many of them international; worked some years in Berlin; and finally appeared in Mosproject, leading the Moscow Institute. In winter 2008, a personal exhibition was held devoted entirely to his creativity. Yet what really amazes one about his projects is the presence of an unexpected and complete artistic vision, the impression of something unique. Sooner or later, this human need for daily contact with art will triumph. It is not for nothing that, again and again, the best architects find new forms for old elements.
His interest in mosaic has arisen somewhat spontaneously. How are creative people usually occupied by the desire to create something? From time to time, a theme arises unexpectedly. All of the people working in Bush’s architectural institute have some relation to other art forms, and experiment at the first possibility. Architect Dmitry Bush has had two notable encounters with mosaic. The first occurred in 1991, when the mosaic school in Spilimbergo, Italy announced an open international competition, «The Mosaic in Architecture». Bush submitted an abstract work created in collaboration with Sergey Chuklov. The idea was simple: so-called historical layers have remained in the ground and can be discovered and explored at will. Just so, the architects presented a country house with a flat floor and absolutely transparent walls so that each occupied floor, or layer, can be perceived against a natural background. The entirety of the country house was constructed underground, taking the form of a pyramid in reverse, the point buried deep within the earth. As we descend each level, early historical epochs reveal themselves to the spectator, traditional styles presented within sequential layers: the «sterile» present first; beneath that, a modernist style; even lower, classicism, and so on. The bottom floor has been devoted to the epoch of primal art. The architects received first prize for this work.
His second encounter with mosaic occurred in 2010. Interested in the link between architecture and other disciplines, Bush decided to explore related forms of artistic expression. His renowned col- league Yuri Avvakumov invited him to take part in an unusual ex- hibition at Moscow’s Musivum Gallery in September 2011, as a Special Project of the 4th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. The exhibition theme, Reliqvary, or «reliquary», centered around the creation of a storehouse for relics, traditionally a stone or ivory chest. Here, instead, the exhibition’s so called «reliquaries» would be created as storage for the priceless elements of contemporary culture. Leading Russian architects, among them luminaries such as Totan Kuzembaev, Ilya Utkin, Sergey Tchoban, Vyacheslav Mizin, Yuri Grygorian, Andrey Savin, Ilya Voz created concepts and sketches of unusual receptacles for the exhibition, which were sub- sequentely realized by leading mosaicists from all over the world. Dmitry Bush and Sergey Chuklov worked together on the project, engaging also the young employees of their workshop. According to Bush, «It is always more interesting to do such things when more people, especially young people, participate in the process». The work took the form of a human head, increased to monumental size. Hollow inside, the structure was to be «woven» of metal strips, superficially resembling the head of an Egyptian mummy. Pale outside and bright with color and images within, the contrast between the external and internal suggested to the authors a sense of true value concealed within an otherwise sterile volume. Marco Bravura, renowned Italian artist and mosaicist, created the mosaic both internal and external to the structure, completing the effort of Bush and his group.
Dmitry Bush admits that it would be difficult for him to engage with mosaic in an isolated state, without a close connection to ar- chitecture. But for him, the art form is inherently tied to architecture, belonging, above all, to an interior. It is a separate genre, a «pure» kind of art that – unlike, for example, easel art – doesn’t occur just anywhere. «A mosaic is created either on a floor, or on a wall», the architect says. Yet looking at the author’s sketch for the exhibition, one feels that mosaic has no limits. According to Bush, the requests for works of art in Russia- fountains, mosaics, frescoes- haven’t yet advanced from the point of view of architectural perception, yet modern architecture is often characterized by minimalism, sterility, and rectangular boxes; white, gray, and black; panels with a pixel pattern. But our natural desire for the beauty of detail remains. From time immemorial, art – and in particular craftsmanship – has been a part of everyday life. Sooner or later, this human need for daily contact with art will triumph. It is not for nothing that, again and again, the best architects find new forms for old elements.
Born in 1958 and began working in 1975. From 1976 to 1981, he was enrolled within MARCHI, during which he began to actively and successfully participate in domestic and international competitions. In 1983, he was employed in «Mosproject-4» and in 1987 joined the union of architects. In 1991, he was a participant of the Mosaic in Architecture contest of Spilimbergo, Italy, for which he received the first award. Since 1995, he has served as the head of «Mosproject-4». Among the projects created with his participation are residential and public buildings, reconstruction efforts, and large-scale sports complexes. A participant and prize-winner in many international competitions, including within Japan and Germany, Bush was inducted into the International Academy of Architecture in 2007. Since 2009, he has served as a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Architecture and Construction Science.