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Special places archive

November 2006

Soviet roadside bus shelters

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From the web-based Polar inertia: journal of nomadic and pop­u­lar culture, a portfolio of photographs by Christopher Herwig​—​a set of 19 strange and varied bus shelters observed in rural parts of the former USSR.

For the most part Soviet architecture and design is re­mem­bered for its heavy block buildings and functionally Spar­tan designs. Its overpowering desire for conformity left little room for individual creative freedom. A notable ex­cep­tion to this is in the transportation sector. One can admire this creativity in the Metro stations of cities like Moscow and Tashkent where the coldness and sterility of typical soviet urban architecture is abandoned and costs are not spared as creative freedom is unleashed. While many of us are aware of the elaborate splendor of the Moscow un­der­ground, it is easy to overlook the phenomenon of the com­mon roadside bus stop as an example of soviet art and design letting loose and becoming a little weird and crazy. [from the website introduction].
Christopher Herwig, unidentified Soviet roadside bus shelter.


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