Aleksandr Mukhin

А. С. Мухин

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Александр Сергеевич МУХИН (1900–1982). Русский текст – внизу страницы ⬇

Architect, engineer

Born in 1900. Graduated from Moscow Higher Technical College in 1925. He was invited to China in the 1950s, where together with the colleague Zawadsky (?) he directed the creation of the Shanghai Master Plan. 

China adapted the Soviet style of urban development soon after the foundation of the PRC. After studying Shanghai’s existing urban fabric, a team of Soviet experts led by Varenikov, concluded that the city is developed with a strong bias toward consumption and service industry, and the share of the industrial population is too small. Soviet experts believed that Shanghai was an ideologically weak city, scarred by imperialism. The previous master plan devised in 1945–1946 by the German architect Richard Paulick was rejected and the work on a new one began. Mukhin was essentially the first Soviet urban planner to transplant the principles of Soviet urban planning to China. By the beginning of China’s first Five Year Plan in 1953, a large number of Soviet experts came to China to work on 156 projects.

Mukhin’s master plan for Shanghai, approved in September 1953, prioritized industrial development and production needs. The residents of densely populated old districts were to be relocated to housing close to their workplaces. Soviet experts believed that the development of the seaport and shipbuilding industry should be the priority, so the redesign of the port area reflected the governing principle of “industry first”.

The original street network was to be redesigned into a multi-level annular radial and axis-symmetric road system. The architectural ensemble of the Bund would be largely retained, but Fuzhou Road was to be be widened to 40 meters and serve as the central axis of the urban architectural layout, connecting the Bund with the Municipal Government Building on People’s Square. In compliance with this plan, the Sino-Soviet Friendship Hall, built in 1954–1955, became the first large building to respect the requirements of the central axis. 

According to his Chinese colleague, Mukhin (known to the team as 穆欣) believed that the planner must thoroughly study the city by walking its streets, not by looking out of the window of a car. While exploring the narrow lanes of the old city (Nanshi) he managed to completely confuse his Chinese guards so that they lost track of him. He was also known to prioritize the ideological implications of urban planning. Mukhin and his colleagues Kravchuk and Balakin were extremely influential on the first generation of Communist China’s urban planners. 

Mukhin was also the leading expert in the preparation of the master plan for Chengdu (1952–1953) and Lanzhou City (1953–1954). He was also in charge of the master plan for Hangzhou (1953), which emphasized the city’s recreational purpose. 

Shanghai Urban Development Master Plan, 1953.

АЛЕКСАНДР СЕРГЕЕВИЧ МУХИН (1900–1982) – Развернуть ⬇

Советский архитектор, инженер-строитель. Окончил МВТУ (Московское высшее техническое училище) в 1925 году. Был приглашен в Шанхай в 1950-е годы, где вместе с коллегой Завадским (?) руководил разработкой генерального плана Шанхая, утвержденного в сентябре 1953 года. По словам китайского коллеги, Мухин был убежден, что планировщик обязан досконально знать город и весь его исходить ногами, а не проехать сидя в машине, глядя из окна. Исследуя застройку в старом городе Шанхая, он так запутал своих китайских охранников, что они в конце концов потеряли его след среди узких улочек старого города. В соответствии с предполагаемым ростом развития промышленности в плане предлагалась переселение из плотнонаселенных старых районов в новое жилье поблизости от рабочих мест. План также предполагал создание многоуровневой кольцевой радиальной и осе-симметричной системы дорог.