The Moscow That Never Was

Illustration for article titled The Moscow That Never Was

As America descends into anarchy and destruction, the Russian president has declared the era of the U.S. over. So what are we in for? Soviet architecture in the 1930s and 1940s was cloud-touching stuff, as this exhibit of unrealized Soviet architectural fantasies proves. With the tables turning, can we expect to see the result of the big Soviet style? Click to see what exactly we might be up against...architecturally.Conventional wisdom might have it that this was the Moscow that never existed, but plenty of the ideas here did survive, even if the buildings didn't. People's Соmmissariat of Heavy Industry, A. Vesnin, V, Vesnin, S. Lyaschenko, 1934:

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled The Moscow That Never Was

Another competition produced this design, which has a more modern version in this Moscow apartment building:

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled The Moscow That Never Was

The Рalace of Technology А.Samoylov, B.Yefomovich. 1933:

Illustration for article titled The Moscow That Never Was

The fact the Russian showcase for achievement in science never came about in actuality is ironic, but you can be glad that the design sense of this Palace, which was to sit at the edge of a river, was carried over into the Ice Palace:

Illustration for article titled The Moscow That Never Was
Advertisement

Building of the People's Defence Commissariat, Lev Rudney, 1933:

Illustration for article titled The Moscow That Never Was
Advertisement

Though this monster never came to pass, Lev Rudnev designed many buildings in the city, including this one, which incredibly belongs to a University.

Illustration for article titled The Moscow That Never Was
Advertisement

Palace of Soviets, Boris Iofan, 1934

Illustration for article titled The Moscow That Never Was
Advertisement

160 entries were submitted for the Palace of the Soviets in 1933. Today there's a new palace on the block, and it's called the Russia Tower, which will be completed in 2012:

Illustration for article titled The Moscow That Never Was
Advertisement

In the rubble of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moscow turned to Norman Foster for a new vision with this tower. While some lament the demise of Russian's architectural history, we have always been scared of giant penises in the sky. Unrealised Moscow [Schusev State School of Architecture]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

The architecture people are worried about the demise of isn't the Soviet architecture, but Russia's old, classic architecture. The Russian government has a habit of blowing up historic buildings discreetly and erecting modern ones, without really checking if anyone minds (even within the Kremlin walls!).

Generally the Soviet buildings aren't well appreciated, and, to be fair, compared with older Russian buildings (which are often standing right next to Soviet and modern ones in Moscow) Soviet buildings look like suprematist hideous monsters.

Even the famous "Seven Sisters" skyscrapers, one of which is that university building you posted, are considered by many kind of an eyesore (though Russians are proud to claim their victory in the dick-measuring contest re: tallest academic building - the U.S. only has the second tallest, located in Pittsburgh).

Some of the most science fictional (and kind of ugly) Soviet architecture is to be found outside Moscow. Check out these two awesomely bad Novgorod buildings:

[photos-f.ak.facebook.com]

[photos-b.ak.facebook.com]