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Old July 14th, 2009, 04:16 AM   #1
Nico_Uru
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Socialist Architecture

Socialist Architecture

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Berlin, Karl Marx Allee by krystian kolbe, on Flickr



Hello everyone,

When most people think of socialist architecture, they think of blocs upon blocs of monotone, grey buildings stretching into the horizon. Although, that was undeniably part of the socialist legacy, it was certainly not unique to the socialist states; reference for example the public housing in the capitalist West, or even hyper-capitalist, consumerist suburban monotone architecture. What I want to do in this thread to go beyond the base ideological conflicts and biases, for and against capitalism and socialism, we should be still be able to elucidate successes of socialist architecture. The failures of socialist planning, and architecture are well known, disproportionate to their successes imo. I think one of the most successful examples of socialist architecture was Red Vienna during the 1920s and early 1930s before the proto-fascist coup d'etat. The city was ruled by rather radical socialists at the time, more information can be read here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Vienna

I am hoping others can highlight what they see as positive developments in the socialist bloc architecturally.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 07:32 AM   #2
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I think you're referring to what is commonly known as "Commie Blocks". Keep in mind that socialism and communism are not the same thing.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 12:29 PM   #3
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I dont think that socialist architecture is generally bad. Here in Slovakia you can find great examples of modern architecture

Nový most bridge



Slovak national gallery



Slovak technical university



Slovak broadcasting service



and many more!
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Old July 14th, 2009, 12:44 PM   #4
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Stalinist architecture was the best in Socialist times. Just think about Moscows 7 Sisters or several cities in Ukraine or the former GDR (Rostock, Magdeburg, Chemnitz, Dresden, Leipzig, ...).
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Old July 14th, 2009, 01:37 PM   #5
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Do you (or anyone) have any pictures of the German examples that you mention?
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Old July 14th, 2009, 02:03 PM   #6
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Some interesting examples from this thread :

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=862797


Ministry of transport, Tbilisi


Yerevan airport





USSR expo'67 pavilion, Montreal







Narkomfin house, Moscow







Freedom square, Kharkiv





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Art gallery, Vilnius

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Old July 14th, 2009, 03:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erbse View Post
Stalinist architecture was the best in Socialist times. Just think about Moscows 7 Sisters or several cities in Ukraine or the former GDR (Rostock, Magdeburg, Chemnitz, Dresden, Leipzig, ...).
In Poland we call this style "socrealism"

for Warsaw Palace of Culture and Science is perhaps the most impressive example



but there are many more like MDM(Mokotowian housing district)








"Dom Partii" former communist party headquarters





some administrative buildings


Grand hotel



...

Last edited by Iluminat; July 14th, 2009 at 03:23 PM.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 03:14 PM   #8
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Ministry of Transportation



Ministry of agriculture



Ministry of Finance
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Old July 14th, 2009, 03:45 PM   #9
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Ljubljana's most important socialist buildings are located on Republic square:

Slovenian parliament:



Cankar hall:


TR3 and TR2 towers are dominanting the square:


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Old July 14th, 2009, 05:49 PM   #10
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Berlin

Fernsehenturm
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The Palace of the Republic (deconstructed to make room for a planned Stadtschloß reconstruction)


Westin Grand Hotel


Czech Embassy


Park Inn Hotel


Internationales Handelszentrum (International Trade Center)


Frankfurter Tor
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Old July 14th, 2009, 06:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StigJ View Post
Do you (or anyone) have any pictures of the German examples that you mention?
Sure


Stalinist architecture in former East Germany (to be continued)


Rostock (Lange Straße - built in a neoclassicist way that resembles the brick gothic architecture of the Hansa city - Stalinism meets Gothic)





some demonstration there


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the highrise
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Sources: Flickr, Wiki
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Old July 14th, 2009, 06:11 PM   #12
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Now..

Magdeburg (Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany - this street is called Ernst-Reuter-Allee)



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by flickr, Wiki
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Old July 14th, 2009, 09:30 PM   #13
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Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow





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Old July 15th, 2009, 02:35 AM   #14
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The Soviets had some pretty epic designs under Stalin that were both beautiful, ultra-modern and never built.

Interior of the proposed Palace of the Soviets:



One of the proposals for the Commissariat of Heavy Industry:


My personal favourite, a proposal for teh Commissariat of Heavy Industry:


Lest we forget the famous Moscow Subway:
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Old July 15th, 2009, 03:33 AM   #15
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Well, Im afraid I must say that I hate the general concept of "Soviet architecture" or Socialist architecture.
My country has introduced this architectural style in State housing ventures. That are called "Monoblocks", and are really horribles.
Its mi opinion. But, I hope you could open more to occidental architecture.
Even the modern Russian modern architecture is very particular.
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Old July 15th, 2009, 04:21 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JmB & Co. View Post
Well, Im afraid I must say that I hate the general concept of "Soviet architecture" or Socialist architecture.
My country has introduced this architectural style in State housing ventures.
That architectural style can be best described as modernist, international style architecture; David Harvey's, The Condition of Post-Modernity, deals with it. The fact that they exist outside of the socialist bloc denotes that the style is not 'socialist', rather it highlights a belief in rational planning and the ascendency of the industrial age. The origins of mono-archtecture on a grand scale can be traced back to Le Corbusier:



Basically, it was the industrialization of living and archtecture. As Le Corbusier stated:

"A house is a machine for living in."
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Old July 16th, 2009, 01:15 AM   #17
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I don't consider Stalinist architecture to be truly Socialist. The idea behind it was Socialist in nature, yes ("the wealth that belongs to all peoples") but truly Socialist architecture was radically innovative in nature, which was best embodied in the Russian Constructivism.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 02:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nico_Uru View Post

"A house is a machine for living in."
What a terrible idea. A home is about emotion, far more than function.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 06:10 PM   #19
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Quote:
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What a terrible idea. A home is about emotion, far more than function.
Yeah, I agree with you. People are not soldiers, my god!
A house is the architectural expression of shelter, comfort, and environmental pleasure.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 07:12 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JmB & Co. View Post
Yeah, I agree with you. People are not soldiers, my god!
A house is the architectural expression of shelter, comfort, and environmental pleasure.
agree 100% by the way, fascinating thread. very different and awesome architecture indeed. I love Yerevan Airport.
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