Soviet Modernism 1955-1991

Unknown History

Edited by the Vienna Centre of Architecture

Soviet Modernism 1955-1991

Edited by the Vienna Centre of Architecture

Distributed for Park Books

360 pages | 602 color plates, 421 halftones | 10 x 11 1/2 | © 2012
Paper $65.00 ISBN: 9783906027142 Published February 2013 Not for sale in the United Kingdom or Europe
To nonspecialists outside Eastern Europe, Soviet architecture conjures up vast, gray cityscapes of monotonous Brutalistbuildings, all created with utility rather than style in mind. This widely held impression glosses over the many stunning works created during the Soviet era and the diversity of architecture throughout the Soviet region.
Soviet Modernism 1955–1991 seeks to correct pervasive opinions on Soviet architecture by exploring and documenting buildings throughout the former Eastern Bloc. Poor construction techniques and a lack of funding for conservation mean that these buildings are rapidly decaying. The Vienna Centre of Architecture  (Az W)is creating a comprehensive inventory of the notable architecture from fourteen different former Soviet republics. The volume begins with an introduction to the period and an overview of the relationship between Moscow and the other city centers found in the region. The book is then organized geographically into four chapters: the Baltic States, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Each country is represented by a factsheet, which gives a brief account of its national history, a research and travel report by a member of Az W, and a scholarly essay by a local expert.

More than four hundred buildings are represented in over eight hundred images, making Soviet Modernism 1955–1991 impressively complete and stunningly illustrated. Essays outside the country profiles cover topics such as Soviet urban planning and typologies found throughout these regions.

Preface: Soviet Modernism. 1955–1991
      Dietmar Steiner
Introduction: Unknown Histories
      Katharina Ritter, Ekaterina Shapiro-Obermair, Alexandra Wachter
The Soviet Union and Its Nations
      Andreas Kappeler

On the Baltic
Baltic Modernisms
      Mart Kalm, Estonia
The Architectresses
      Maija Rudovska and Iliana Veinberga, Latvia
Inventing a Social Ritual: Funeral Homes in Lithuania
      Marija Drėmaitė and Vaidas Petrulis, Lithuania

The Lack of Tradition as Tradition
      Anatolie Gordeev, Moldova
On Ukraine
‘Scientifically Justified Artistic Consciousness.’ Artists and Architects in Late-Soviet Ukraine. A Case Study
      Oleksiy Radynski, Ukraine
On Belarus
Architecture of the BSSR: Texture of the Standardized
      Dimitrij Zadorin, Belarus

On Armenia
An Architecture of Paradoxical Shifts
      Ruben Arevshatyan, Armenia
On Azerbaijan
‘Baku Modernism’
      Rasim Aliyev, Axerbaijan
On Georgia
‘Everybody’s Favorite’
      Rusudan Mirzikashvili, Georgia

On Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan
Ghost of a Garden City
      Yuliya Sorokina, Kazakhstan
A Short-Lived Revival
      Gamal Bokonbaev, Kyrgyzstan
On Uzbekistan
Building the ‘Living East’
      Boris Chukhovich, Uzbekistan
On Tajikistan and Turkmenistan
On the Empire’s Periphery
      Rustam Mukimov, Tajikistan
Homo Liber: Abdullah Akhmedov in Ashgabat
      Ruslan Muradov, Turkmenistan

‘The Soviet Union Is an Enormous Construction Site’
      Elke Beyer
Serial Housing Construction in the Soviet Union: An architectural-historical approach
      Philipp Meuser
Creative Salto Mortale: Interview with Felix Novikov by Vladimir Belogolovsky

Index of Names
Map of the USSR
Photo Credits
Photo Archive
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