Soviet Modernism 1955–1991

Unknown History

Edited by Architekturzentrum Wien
Katharina Ritter, Ekaterina Shapiro-Obermair, Dietmar Steiner, Alexandra Wachter

© 2012 Architekturzentrum Wien and Park Books, Zurich
English edition: ISBN 978-3-906027-14-2

This book is published on the occasion of the exhibition 'Soviet Modernism 1955–1991. Unknown Stories'
07.11.2012 to 25.02.2013 at the Architekturzentrum Wien

The present book shifts the perspective that Russia has perpetuated until now, placing the architecture of all other Soviet republics in the center of the study. Accordingly, our main concern in compiling the essays was to present the contribution of local experts for each country. The result is a heterogeneous collection of analyses, retrospectives and case studies in which the personal experience of this epoch resonates and others that address this subject matter with a certain distance. Texts of the ‘young generation’, which sometimes approach the legacy in a more unburdened way can be found next to texts which are still imbued with the tone of the Soviet system. As an important complement to the texts on regional developments and specificities, the contributions by Elke Beyer and Philipp Meuser offer insights into the Soviet urban planning discourse as well as the serial mass housing projects and the related centralistic organization of architecture and building.

6 Soviet Modernism. 1955–1991
Dietmar Steiner

9 Unknown Histories
Katharina Ritter, Ekaterina Shapiro-Obermair, Alexandra Wachter

12 The Soviet Union and Its Nations
Andreas Kappeler
16 The Baltic

On the Baltic

32 Baltic Modernisms
Mart Kalm, Estonia

46 The Architectresses
Maija Rudovska, Iliana Veinberga, Latvia

54 Inventing a Soviet Ritual:
Funeral Homes in Lithuania
Marija Drėmaitė, Vaidas Petrulis, Lithuania

60 Eastern Europe
62 The Lack of Tradition as Tradition
Anatolie Gordeev, Moldova

On Ukraine

80 ‘Scientifically Justified Artistic Consciousness.’ Artists and Architects in Late-Soviet Ukraine. A Case Study
Oleksiy Radynski, Ukraine

On Belarus

96 Architecture of the BSSR: Texture of the Standardised
Dimitrij Zadorin, Belarus

110 Caucasus

On Armenia

116 An Architecture of Paradoxical Shifts
Ruben Arevshatyan, Armenia

On Azerbaijan

140 ‘Baku Modernism’
Rasim Aliyev, Azerbaijan

On Georgia

152 ‘Everybody’s Favourite’
Rusudan Mirzikashvili, Georgia

166 Central Asia

On Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan

178 Ghost of a Garden City
Yuliya Sorokina, Kazakhstan

192 A Short-Lived Revival
Gamal Bokonbaev, Kyrgyzstan

On Uzbekistan

214 Building the ‚Living East’
Boris Chukhovich, Uzbekistan

On Tajikistan and Turkmenistan

238 On the Empire’s Periphery
Rustam Mukimov, Tajikistan

246 Homo Liber. Abdullah Akhmedov in Ashgabat
Ruslan Muradov, Turkmenistan
256 ‘The Soviet Union Is an Enormous Construction Site’
Elke Beyer

272 Serial Housing Construction in the Soviet Union. An architectural-historical approach
Philipp Meuser

284 Creative Salto Mortale
Interview with Felix Novikov by Vladimir Belogolovsky
294 Biographies
296 Bibliography
299 Index of Names
302 Map of the USSR
304 Photo Credits
305 Archive
306 Photo Credits