Russian architecture: Constructivism

The Soviet Union left an important legacy in the world. He was the protagonist of almost all the XX century, contributed historical personages and some histories not so pleasant. Among all, that legacy is the art.

Russian Constructivism is a stream of art, design and architecture born and exploited during the first decades of the XXth century in Russia. The graphic design of the Soviet propaganda was one of the best examples of this art. There are also many sculptures representing this period. But on this occasion we will focus on the architecture realized by the constructivist current.

There are many buildings were built during the Soviet Union time that reflects this style. Some of them, originally created as factories or garages of great scope, function today like museums. At that time, the architecture worked as a means of propaganda for the state. The idea was to reflect, in constructions, the socialist way of life. Traditional art prior to the revolution was rejected by elitist, and attempts were made to equip buildings with the function of organizing the country’s new way of life.

The protagonism of the straight lines contrasts greatly with the religious architecture we see in the Orthodox churches. One of its makers was the Soviet architect Nikolai Kolli, who, together with the famous french architecture Le Corbusier, created the Tsentrosoyuz building, designed to contain the operation of a government entity. For this it counted on offices for 3500 people, restaurant, rooms of reading and theater. Currently there is the “Goskomstat” (Committee of Statistics of the Russian State).

Another exponent is the Mosselprom building, located in the central area of Moscow. Used in that time as a government building, nowadays it is possible to visit it to admire its design but it is also a place of the Russian Academy of Theater Arts.

There is a building in danger of demolition that has been declared of special interest by Unesco and has an international campaign to save and preserve it as Heritage: the Narkomfin building, an old block of apartments with a constructivist architectural design. In spite of that its interiors made in the avant-garde style.

Although Russia has named “Cultural Heritage Monument”, the building continues to deteriorate. So if you are interested in see the constructivist architecture, you should not wait too long, unfortunately.

Get to know the historical architecture and discover the history behind these beautiful buildings: another excuse to visit the wonderful Russia.