This book offers a comprehensive account of Russia’s architectural production from the late nineteenth century to the present, explaining how its architecture was both shaped by and came to embody Russia’s rapid cultural, economic, and social revolutions over the past century. Richard Anderson looks at Russia’s complex relationship to global architectural culture, exploring the country’s central presence in the Rationalism and Constructivism movements of the 1920s, as well as its role as a key protagonist during the Cold War. Looking deeply at Soviet Russia, he brings the relationship between architecture and socialism into focus through detailed case studies that situate buildings and architectural concepts within the socialist milieu of Soviet society. He tracks the way Russian architectural institutions departed from the course of modernism being developed in capitalist countries, and he reappraises the architecture of the Stalin era and the final decades of the USSR. Finally, he traces the influence of Soviet conventions on contemporary Russian architecturewhich is now a more heterogeneous mix of approaches and styles and how it made a lasting and little-known impact on territories extending from the Middle East, to Central Asia, and into China. A bold new assessment of Russia’s architectural legacy and contemporary contributions, this book is a fascinating exploration of a tumultuous placeand the creativity that has come from it.
About the Author
Richard Anderson is lecturer in architectural history at the University of Edinburgh. He is the editor and principal translator of Ludwig Hilberseimer’s Metropolisarchitecture and Selected Essays and coauthor of Architecture in Print: Design and Debate in the Soviet Union, 1919-1935.
Table of Contents
One: National Forms, Rational Techniques, 1861-95 Two: Style, Innovation and Tradition, 1896-1916
Three: Laboratories of Soviet Architecture, 1917-23
Four: Socialist Construction, 1924-31
Five: Architecture and Stalin’s Revolution, 1932-41
Six: World War, Cold War, 1941-53
Seven: Architecture without Excess, 1954-68
Eight: Architecture in Developed Socialism, 1969-82
Nine: From Perestroika to ‘Capitalist Realism’, 1983 to the Present
References Select Bibliography Acknowledgements Photo Acknowledgements Index
What People are Saying About This
“This is an elegant recasting of the modern architectural tradition in Russia. Spanning 150 years, from the reforms introduced by Alexander II in 1861 and the subsequent industrial urbanization of the Romanov Imperium, to the abstract constructivism of the avant garde that accompanied the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, Anderson’s text moves from the less familiar but more pragmatic Soviet reality of the late ’20s, and the later historicizing Socialist Realism that constituted the reactionary architectural production of the Stalinist totalitarian state, to the Russian Federation of today. Anderson has written a precisely articulated, socioeconomic cultural history of Russian architecture.”