The Strelka Institute

Amid the businessmen and other locals who flock to the restaurant, conversations about design are a constant.

For Harkema and other students, the restaurant/bar is an undeniable draw.

The institute has become known for its parties. Here, a DJ plays tracks in the restaurant.

At Strelka, the bar is not just part of the institute, it also helps fund it. About $1 million in annual profits from the restaurant help support the institute's nearly $6.5 million yearly budget.

Students congregate for a lecture at the institute.

A lecture at the institute.

The Kremlin is visible from the institute, which is housed in a series of buildings once occupied by an old Soviet-era chocolate factory, located on Balchug Island in the Moscow River.

The site was redesigned by Dimitry Likin from the firm Wowhaus.

Students often gather at the bar after lectures and studios.

Translators are a common sight at Strelka. The institute requires students to speak English, and lectures by architects and planners in other languages are translated.

Lindsay Harkema, the sole American in the class of 2013, learned about the institute while studying for her M.Arch. at Rice University in Texas.

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