As part of the #UNOVIS100 project
More about the project
Where: Vitebsk People's Art School History Museum
When: 12/10/2019



Lazar Khidekel was one of the founders of the UNOVIS art group in Vitebsk that became the center of the world avant-garde. A student of Marc Chagall, El Lissitzky and Kazimir Malevich, he entered history as the world's first suprematic architect-innovator. Lazar Khidekel is the author of the first architectural ecological manifesto of the XX century and the projects of the future cities and eco-towns that were way ahead of their time.
[ about the project ]
The granting of the International Lazar Khidekel Award for Innovative and Ecological Decisions in Architecture for the first time took place in Belarus in autumn 2019.
The award was granted within the frame of the "Leonardo" Minsk International Biennale of Young Architects and the Republican Contest of Diploma Projects. The international jury consisted of the "Leonardo" judges headed by the president of the International Union of Architects Thomas Vonier from the USA, as well as the jury members on behalf of the Lazar Khidekel Society, including the famous architects Rick Bell and Daniel Libeskind.
«In my view Lazar Khidekel is one of the greatest innovators in architecture in our times. His conception of space, function, and modernity is something which has inspired me ever since I discovered his drawings. In Khidekel's work the word 'innovation' is not a footnote but is the central spirit of his buildings».
Daniel Libeskind, architect (USA)
During their visit to the homeland, the Khidekel family participated in press-conferences, visited Vitebsk, met with Belarusian artists and architects. Mark Khidekel gave lectures to students and professional architects.
The panel was chaired by the renowned architect and designer Mark Khidekel, the son of Lazar Khidekel, who came with his spouse Regina Khidekel - one of the leading experts in Russian avant-garde, and their son, also an architect, Roman Khidekel, all the way from New York to personally deliver the award to the winners. The ceremony was also attended by another member of the jury - Martina Bigliardi (Switzerland).
«I am very glad that the name of my father and teacher has come back home. One hundred years ago it was here where a group of local youth guided by their prominent tutors - Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich - was creating the new art that became the most radical branch of avant garde and has influenced the culture of the XX and the XXI century. Suprematism became the root of not only modern architecture, but also conceptual art, urban studies and ecological thinking, the pioneer of which was Lazar Khidekel. The strive to save nature and protect it from humans is also present in the work of contemporary architects - and this is the approach we wanted to appreciate when deciding to grant the awards».
Mark Khidekel, son of Lazar Khidekel
P. S.
In February 2020, at the opening of the Lazar Khidekel exhibition, Mark Khidekel was granted the title of honorary member of the Belarusian Union of Architects for contribution to strengthening professional relations between Belarus and the United States.

Since 2019, the Award has been regularly granted in Belarus within the framework of the National Festival of Architecture in the "Leonardo" Minsk International Biennale of Young Architects and the Republican Contest of Diploma Projects.


[ thanks for the support ]
Regina Khidekel, PhD of Fine Arts (New York)
SB Belarus today
«...I am sure that today is a truly momentous event: Belarus is talking about its heritage. From this point on, we are expecting the impulse of acknowledgement, understanding and respect. This is what can strongly promote UNOVIS to be more recognized on a global scale. We live in the USA, a country where eclectics, a mix of nations, lies at the core. What helps not to get lost in the flow is the sense of home. But our roots must be fostered from this source, from our homeland. That is why we depend so much on the support from Belarus, the opportunity to hold an exhibition of Lazar Khidekel here and announce it to the whole world».
Mark Khidekel
Vitbichi Newspaper
«What has attracted me in Alexandra's work is the fact that the author recreates the urban environment that not only sends us back to the past but also shows the future of the ancient city».
Mark Khidekel, architect and designer (New York)
BDG Business Journal
«The civilization has gained such power that it has started affecting nature in negative ways. How do they coexist in harmony and how do we use elements of nature when creating separate houses and entire cities? These are the questions that all modern architects are facing. Our time is helping us to emphasize the positive examples of such solutions. The harmony we are talking about emerges when a developer, an architect and the dwellers get what they want and what meets a certain cultural tradition and the natural environment. We have seen multiple examples of this in Belarus».
«Today it is impossible to deny the importance of ecological approach to any human activity, no less than denounce Khidekel's ideas».
Poster design: Vladimir Gorz
US Embassy in Belarus
Belarusian Union of Architects
International Union of Architects
А1 Belarus
Vitebsk People's Art School History Museum
Belarusian-Jewish Cultural Heritage Center
Lazar Khidekel Society (USA)