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December 2004

Unrealised Moscow

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From the Schusev State Museum of Architecture comes the web exhibition Unrealised Moscow: the architecture of Moscow from the 1930s to the early 1950s: unrealised projects. From the introduction:

Moscow architecture from the 1930s to the early 1950s undoubtedly occupies a central place in domestic construction of the socialist epoch. Its specific nature and scope is the most outstanding illustration of the socialist Utopia in architecture. This period saw the work of the greatest Soviet architects; B. Icfan, A. Schusev, I. Zholtovsky, the Vesnin brothers, I. Fomin, L. Rudnev, I. Golosov, V. Schuko. Among the far-reaching projections of the first stalinist “five year plans”, the 1935 General plan for the reconstruction of Moscow overshadowed all others. According to this plan, Moscow was to become, in the shortest possible time, the showpiece capital of the world’s first socialist state. The General plan envisaged the development of the city as a unified system of highways, squares and embankments with unique buildings, embodying the ideas and achievements of socialism.

Moscow Palace of Technology

The palace of technology, architects A Samoylov and B Yefomovich, 1933. From the exhibition caption: A competition for a design for the Palace of Technology was announced in 1933. The project called for a complex of scientific and technical institutions, it was to be in the the capital city of a country which was being actively industrialised by a central administration called upon to “arm the masses with the achievements of Soviet industrial technology, agriculture, transport and communications”. A site on the banks of the Moskva river was selected as the location of this Palace. The industrial resolution selected by A Samoylov and B Yefimovich was not a tribute to a constructivisim which was receding into the past, but rather an illustration of the “technocratic” character of the subject. The Palace of Technology was never built.

filed under Russia + Architecture


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