Futuristic Dreams Of Soviet Architects

olafpictures (CC0), Pixabay

In the 20th century futurism became one of the most influential artistic movements. It’s founder, Filippo Tommaso Emilio Marinetti, laid out it’s basics that were later adopted in different countries. Fascination of the futurists with the ideas of perfect mechanisms and speed, machinery instead of biology fitted well in the concepts of soviet outlook on the world and had something in common with the spirit of constructivism.

Architects of the later soviet times absorbed those characteristics and ideas along with other notions of Modernism, Expressionism, and Brutalism, which can be seen in their astonishing buildings that look like they came from Utopian cities of the future. The materials that they used, the shapes and aesthetic of their grandiose projects only add to the overall cosmic feel of them. Strangely, many have been forgotten and are unknown to the majority of people.

1. The former Ministry of Transportation Building in Tbilisi, Georgia

It’s construction was completed in 1975 by two Georgian architects George Chakhava and Zurab Jalaghania. It’s unique form consists out of geometrical concrete blocks that are stacked on top of each other. The configuration of the whole building is carefully measured out and despite the fact that many of it’s parts literally hang in the air, there is a certain feeling of balance in the way they are arranged. This 18-storey architectural wonder stands on a picturesque steep slope and it’s high core pillars give room for the trees and bushes to grow freely under it.

2. The Palace of Ceremonies in Tbilisi, Georgia

This palace was built as a location where weddings could be conducted, but it looks like anything but a simple administrative facility. It is easy to mistake it for a church or an odd space castle with it’s elegant curves and futuristic silhouette. The project was created by architects V. Djorbenadze, V. Orbeladze in 1985. In their work there are certain influences of Modernism and Expressionism alongside with Futurism. Despite many quirks and strange details of the building, it’s elements fit well together, creating a perfect harmony within the whole structure. Such shapes, bent lines, and spirals correspond with the natural arrangement of the elements in nature.

3. Sanatorium “Druzhba” in Yalta, Crimean Peninsula 

An independent team of architects and engineers “Kurortprojekt” led by Igor Vasilevsky have created a very catching building that looks like a huge gear that peacefully stands on it’s thick pillars on the seashore. The view itself looks more like a frame from a retro-futuristic movie than a real life scene. The building itself looks is so unusual that many find it disturbing and ominous. For example Turkish spies once mistook it for a secret military facility. In reality it is simply a spa resort that still attracts copious amounts of tourists and travellers.

4. Institute of Robotics and Technical Cybernetics in St. Petersburg, Russia

This research institute that was built in the 1970-80’s by the team of architects of S. Speransky is often called a ‘cosmic tulip’ because of the unusual shape. The building itself is only 4 stories high, but the most recognisable part of the project, it’s tower, is almost 80 meters tall. The space inside it was used to accommodate a big laboratory of space engineering.

5. Dostoyevsky’s Drama Theatre in Veliky Novgorod, Russia

This building is a very vivd example of soviet futuristic aesthetic. It’s look contrasts in a very unusual way with the ancient churches and walls of the town. The main architect of the projects was Vladimir Somov. One of the famous Russian musicians, A. Makarevitch from the band “Mashina Vremeni”, has once worked in a company that has been involved in the construction of the theatre. Right next to the main building used to stand a 24 meter tall column, but it was demolished in 2009. This has been done because the column was easy to climb and it used to cause too much deadly accidents. Even now all those buildings look almost surreal in the modern setting of the towns and cities.

What do you think?

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