Roger M. Kull's speech at «The Golden Trezzini Awards for Architecture and Design 2018»

Dear Organizers, fellow members of the Jury, ladies and gentlemen!

Good evening and welcome to “The Golden Trezzini Awards for Architecture and Design 2018”, an event that I hope will become “the Oscars” in the field of Architecture and Design in the years to come not only here in Russia but worldwide! It is my great privilege and honor to be standing here, addressing you all at this beautiful event.

And it is certainly a great honor for Switzerland and the family of the great architect Domenico Trezzini that his name has been chosen for tonight’s celebration, honoring the best entries in the different categories of the competition.

But who was Domenico Trezzini? Born in Astano, a small village in the Italian part of Switzerland, he studied architecture, probably in Rome, before starting his career architect in Denmark. From there he was asked by Peter I to come to the recently founded city of St. Petersburg to help develop it as the new capital of Russia.

Among his achievements stand the designing of the earliest structures of the The Peter and Paul Fortress with the Peter and Paul Cathedral, the Twelve Collegia Building (now the main building of Saint Petersburg University) as well as Peter's summer and winter palaces, this to name only few of his achievements.

But he was also very important for another aspect of Russian architectural history: in founding a school based on the European model, he laid the foundations for the development of the Petrine Baroque.

Trezzini died here in 1734, and was buried in the graveyard of the Cathedral of St. Samson the Hospitable. Although much of what he built in St. Petersburg, often in wood, was replaced soon after his death, the works that remain certainly confirm him as one of the leading architects of his age.

It is only recently that Trezzini was also discovered and rightly recognized in Switzerland as the outstanding architect he was, joining thus a long list of fellow Swiss that ventured abroad, became famous in their respective field of expertise and many times stayed in their new homeland for the rest of their life.

But coming back to today’s award I must say that I was highly impressed by the quality of the submitted projects across the board. It was an amazing experience to dive into this for me so foreign world of architecture and design, trying to comprehend the ideas and concepts of today’s Trezzini’s and thus better to understand their submissions.

Definitely worth mentioning are also the many interesting, sometimes bold, but also very beautiful projects by the great number of participating students – it shows the young generations’ great interest and potential for this line of work. I am sure that in the years to come some will be at the forefront of renovating existing, but also creating new marvels of architecture in this unique city.

Being an absolute ignorant on the matter other than having my own personal preference of styles and architecture, I certainly will not dare into getting to compare “western European architecture and design” with the projects that I have seen at this competition but leave this to the specialists in this field.

Maybe only to repeat that I was highly impressed by the quality of the entries and my feeling that there is a great many architects and designers out there that already have or will making their own name in this trade for many years to come.

But now allow me to hand back to our hosts tonight as I am sure that you all – including me – are very much looking forward to hear “and this year’s Trezzini award in the field of …. goes to”.

Thank you very much for your attention and have a great evening.


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