Published December 18, 2013
Architect says Sochi construction undercut by red tape, corruption.
The construction for the 2014 Sochi Olympics "has been hampered by incompetence, inefficiency and corruption," and the preparations for the 2018 World Cup "are headed for the same problems," according to D. Garrison Golubock of the MOSCOW TIMES. Dmitry Bush is a partner at the Arena Project Institute, a niche architectural firm that is currently working on the design of the central Olympic stadium and the ice palace for figure- and speed-skating in Sochi. His firm "has also been contracted to design three soccer stadiums" for the 2018 World Cup. Bush, explaining how he came to create his own firm, said, "Today, it is practically impossible to organize the design of a unique, large-span, complex object through government structures." Arena "was founded a little more than a year ago when Bush left Mosproekt Institute, a government construction firm where he worked as deputy director and led a design workshop." He "found the complex legal framework of the state-owned corporation to be a hindrance." Asked what advice he had for foreign companies hoping to break into the Russian construction and design markets, Bush "was quick to emphasize the differences between architectural firms and construction firms." Bush also noted that "he had worked with several foreign architectural firms, whose biggest challenge had simply been adapting to the Russian style of relationships with colleagues and clients." However, Bush said that it "was practically impossible for construction firms to break into the Russian market, because 'a foreign general contractor cannot win a Russian tender.'" Apart from the difficulties faced by foreign firms, Bush said that companies "like his were faced with significant problems due to the ignorance of the ordering customer, who rarely has the expertise to understand the specifics of building a complex facility like a stadium" (MOSCOW TIMES, 12/17