Russia's Prestigeby Kashif Parvaiz
Russian architecture has since Medieval times reflected Russia's history directly. Starting when the powerful nation was the tiny state of Kieven Rus' and culminating in modern Russia, this book examines their architectural works and its relation to the nation's state of affairs. It provides a timeline of Russia's main historical periods, their evolution and impact on the vision of Russia. The biographies of the architects included in the book are the author's attempt to enrich the reader's experience by letting them get a feel for the environment the architects build in.
Whether enjoying this book as an easy read or while using it in academics, you are bound to take a lot away from it. Rich, compelling and evocative, this book will enhance your imagination and pique your curiosity in the architecture of Russia.
"Yet, however beautiful the vision drawn up by the words on a page, there is no substitute for the real adventure of Russia unless you visually experience it yourself. Enjoy the trip as much as I have."
- KASHIF PARVAIZ
- Outskirts Press, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 0.85(w) x 8.50(h) x 5.50(d)
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In this generously- illustrated publication (more than 200 black-and-white reproductions), which is intended to serve as the "starting place" for the "study of Russian architecture" (Foreword, ii), Parvaiz (advanced degrees in Architecture and Structural Engineering), who owns a construction firm located in Brooklyn, NY (Riyaan Developers), takes readers on a historical tour of Russian architecture from medieval times (988 C.E.) to the present. In eight chapters, organized chronologically, the author describes structures built during various time periods and shows how they reflected the nation's state of affairs. He presents a wide variety of buildings, including Russian Orthodox churches, gates, kremlins, monasteries, convents, palaces, squares, monuments, prisons, dormitories, hotels, government edifices, and apartment buildings. At each chapter's end, Parvaiz provides brief biographies of prominent architects of the era and a glossary of seemingly unfamiliar terms used in the chapter. After chapter eight, the author sets forth three additional sections showcasing the synagogues and the religious buildings of Buddhist and Islamic denominations in Russia as well as the stylistic periods of Russian architecture. While Parvaiz's text may be characterized as easy-to-read, "rich, compelling" (Publisher's press release), and "evocative" (Foreword, ii), it may need to be better presented. Firstly, the last three sections of this book may be incorporated into the first eight chapters. Secondly, the architects' biographies and glossaries may be consolidated as appendices. Architects' names and glossary terms may be boldfaced in the text when they first appear, thereby alerting readers to their entries. Thirdly, this publication's reproductions should be enlarged and presented in color, whenever possible. Fourthly, this book's illustrations ideally should reference their sources in their captions or a list of illustrations with photographic credits should be included. Fifthly, a back-of-the book index and a selected bibliography that separates textual sources from photographic ones are crucial. Sixthly, footnotes or endnotes may be necessary, due to the relatively "enigmatic" (Foreword, i), unpublished (Author's courtesy interview sheets) aspects of Russian architecture and its history. A detailed chronology would be welcome. Seventhly, chapters may need to be distinguished better in terms of their layouts and by means of numbered, clearly-delineated chapter headings. Finally, all grammatical, spelling, and/or typographical mistakes should be corrected. This book will be of interest to students, travelers, art lovers, general readers, history aficionados, and others. In light of the aforementioned, some libraries may want to carefully consider this publication--C. A. Lajos, The Librarian's Review of Books
Kashif Parvaiz writes like a man possessed - and that is a compliment! He has obviously spent many hours of research to produce this excellent book that studies Russian history by examining the development of the architecture of that mysterious country. Parvaiz takes the reader as a fellow traveler on a journey that begins in the year 988 and ends with present day Russia. Much of the history of Russia has been altered by historians confused by the radical changes in the political and military and royal family that have colored the history of this fascinating country. Parvaiz has discovered a credible way to correct errors in history as well as to create a timeline of the changes in that country by focusing on the architecture throughout time. He not only gives us documented facts about history, but he also complements this information with many photographs (or drawings where the actual edifice has been destroyed) of the cathedrals and palaces and churches that remain some of the most beautiful edifices created by man. Parvaiz presents his material chronologically beginning with a study of the 988 Cathedral of the Dormition from the Kievan Rus' period and informs us of the variations of that first Christian cathedral which was demolished in the year 1240 and then moves us to a study of the Saint Sophia Cathedral of Kiev and the Golden Gates of Kiev in order to give us more architectural detail form that period that helps explain the course of history of the time. At the end of this chapter he offers conclusions about the climate of the times, then gives us biographies of the architects of these edifices and follows that with a glossary of terms used in the chapter. It is this manner of presentation that makes the book serve two purposes: it provides a comfortable, almost novel-like reading about Russian history while at the same time presenting a well- researched document for student of architecture, art and sociology and history. It is a pleasure to read a history of the Romanovs based on studying the buildings created for them, and it is fascinating to walk through the pages of the book that discuss the period of Lenin and Stalin's USSR - the Bolshevik Era, The New Economic Era, First and Second Five Year Plans (1928-1937), the Great Patriotic War, and The Cold War (1946-1984 - and the changes made in architecture that is meant to be the 'people's architecture', and then follow that with the current works following Perestroika and Glasnost. In addition to the history as architecture aspect of this book, Parvaiz writes well about the various religions of Russia and how the meetinghouses of these Jewish Synagogues, Buddhist Temples, and Muslim Mosques fared in response to the history. Throughout the book are many photographs and drawings of the discussed architecture and the art of Russia as well as photographs of the various rulers of that country. And at the end of this book is a bibliography for those stimulated to explore about this topic. The only way this book could be improved would be to have a major publishing house print it using the more refined skills of editing and reproductions of the visuals. But as far as a book of great importance to us all Kashif Parvaiz has invited us on a journey through Russia that has not been available until now. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp