The year 2023 marks the celebration of the 850th anniversary of the start of construction on the Tower of Pisa. To mark the occasion, the Museo della Grafica Palazzo Lanfranchi is holding an exhibition of drawings by the architect Sergei Tchoban. In his work as an architect and in his drawings, he has constantly treated the tower as a type of building.
There have never been so many towers as there are today. Never have they been so ubiquitous. Tower building has become a challenge for architects all over the world. Even those who do not find the task particularly appealing must come to terms with tower construction. For it is precisely in the architecture of towers that the latest techniques and materials are tested in order to reach and exceed aesthetic as well as physical limits.
Sergei Tchoban is very familiar with the history of architecture from his studies at the Petersburg Academy. This history is reflected both in his own design work and in his drawings. The Museo della Grafica Palazzo Lanfranchi in Pisa has taken the 850th anniversary of the Tower of Pisa as the occasion for this exhibition, bringing together around 90 drawings that Tchoban has made on his numerous journeys, especially in Italy, and which in many cases combine the reproduction of what he saw with his own reflections on architecture. In six chapters, the exhibition presents through the architect’s drawings views of individual towers, reflections on the history of tower architecture and on the political role of towers and the threats they pose.
Tchoban’s interest in the multifaceted phenomenon of tower construction is evident in the abundance of drawings in which the architect depicts these buildings, imagined as well as real towers or a combination of both. Drawing, with its capacity to make the imagined as vivid as the real, proves to be the apt medium for Tchoban to express his thoughts on tower architecture.