July 23, 2008

Soviet SciFi

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Palace of Soviets, never finalized.

There is something about old Soviet architecture that makes me feel the same way, as catholic cathedrals do. The latter were always build with the intention of making the person feel small compared to the size that God has. I guess when it comes to this sort of architecture, it's the same case, only the totalitarian system substitutes God.

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Georgy Chakhava’s Roads Ministry, Tbilisi in Georgia, 1975

A couple of years ago French 1-euro magazine Citizen K ran a feature on architecture from the USSR times and it left me in awe. Not only because of the before-mentioned feeling it seems to evoke in me, but it genuinely surprised me how playful some of the architects have been during these depressing times. The odd and the eccentric qualities that these buildings hold are simply breathtaking to me. Combined with a sense of futurism with a heavy and solid feel, which are characeristic for buildings from the Soviet-era, it makes for very interesting architecture . The blend of brutalism and creativity is strangely appealing. It almost seems as if some of these buildings just landed from outer space in an innocent landscape. Anyways, I did a lot of research for this post and had a hard time deciding which pictures to show.. Well, these are the selected few. I hope you enjoy them.

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Druzhba (Friendship) Sanitarium by Igor Vasilevsky, Yalta in Ukraine, 1986
BONUS INFO: the CIA suspected this to be a missil platform when it was first build.

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Wedding palace, Tbilisi in Georgia, 1985

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Žižkov Television Tower, Prague in Czech Republic, 1985 + unknown building in Belarus.

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Linnahall concert hall by Raine Karp, Tallinn in Estonia, 1975-1980

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Unknown building, found randomly in a google search.

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Polytechnic University, Minsk in Belarus, 1981


The Divinitus said...

anything made in modernism gives me the chill, don’t know the reason. its not only the design or ideology; some of it because ‘modern’ sounds so ‘current’ for its actual XIXc… so it’s a quite shocking contradiction (I still find it fascinating after studying history of art for 10 yrs…) I remember Europe in 70s myself, now it seams as a different world, so gives me that chill thinking I actually were there living in concrete bungalows of A69 era, everyday passing black-white grainy wallpapers of sky shots on the new developments. most what we barely tolerated then, now so appreciated.

Anonymous said...

the unknown building is habitat 67 in montreal, designed by moshe safdie!