July 23, 2008
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.
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.
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.
Wedding palace, Tbilisi in Georgia, 1985
Žižkov Television Tower, Prague in Czech Republic, 1985 + unknown building in Belarus.
Linnahall concert hall by Raine Karp, Tallinn in Estonia, 1975-1980
Unknown building, found randomly in a google search.
Polytechnic University, Minsk in Belarus, 1981