Soviet Modernism

Despite being well covered and made extra famous from the Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed book, Soviet architecture continues to fascinate me. Lately, this has been brought back into the forefront by the current Soviet Modernism 1955-1991: Unknown Stories exhibition, in Vienna, running through November 2012 to February in the new year.

The Architekturzentrum Wien writes: ‘architectural (hi)stories: Soviet Modernism 1955 – 1991. Unknown Stories explores, for the first time comprehensively, the architecture of the non-Russian Soviet republics completed between the late 1950s and the end of the USSR in 1991’.

The exhibition focuses on many diverse places and cultures, nations such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, The Ukraine and Uzbekistan are all included to shift the common Russian-centric perspective to gain more understanding of the reach of this architectural influence. It is arguable that Soviet modern architecture of the second half of the 20th century has been marginalised in comparison to Constructivist and Stalinist architectural histories. The exhibition has targeted this gap by collaborating with local experts and architects to discover the uniqueness and particulars of this architecture and time, learning the ‘stories’ of the buildings to gain an idea of their context.

These images a selection from the exhibition. Seemingly from a world of sci-fi these fascinating structures, boggle the mind at their conception and mark a distinctive era for the East.

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