Ivan Leonidov was a Russian constructivist architect, living between 1902 and 1959. Out of the body of his work the construction of a hillside staircase in Kislovodsk was the only thing realised.
The prominence of Leonidov’s work rose quickly in the first half of his career, the likes of Le Corbusier and Oscar Nieymeyer were admirers. His work later became isolated just to the world east of the Iron Curtain, and the Soviets coined the term “Leonidovschina” in appreciation of his particular work.
After the WWI, Leonidov developed with his sketches of the utopian ‘City of Sun’, which was his preoccupations through the thirties. Throughout this work he was greatly inspired by Campanella’s book of that title and the Italian socialista-utopian’s concepts.This project became Leodinov’s synthesis of the various ideas and artistic concerns of his life and career and also the very real sense of his dream of what future cities might be:
Many of Leonidovs concepts have influenced contemporary architects. In Leonidov’s projects Koolhaas finds metaphorical use of materials, fantastic techniques, new types of connections; he discovered a non-compositional process based on the definition of the functions of the various programs and juxtapositions of elements often left detached.
He produced many pieces exploring spatial themes and portrayed ideas effectively through painting. Easier said than done.
A complete collection on Leonidov’s work can be found at:
A museum of paper architecture.