602 color plates, 421 halftones
10 x 11 1/2
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.