5 architectural utopias in Moscow you didn't know about

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Until May 2022, the Museum of Moscow hosts an exhibition “Moscow: Designing the Future” dedicated to the development of architecture and urban planning in the capital. Together with curator Alexander Zmeul, we have collected five large-scale architectural projects that have never been implemented

Moscow is not immediately built & nbsp; – not only a line from the legendary song, but also a suitable motto for the exhibition “Moscow: Designing the Future”, which is currently taking place in the Museum of Moscow. The exposition acquaints visitors with the most important architectural and urban planning ideas and projects that have influenced the modern appearance of the capital. Some of these utopias have remained on paper.

 Photo # 1 - 5 Moscow architectural utopias that you did not know about Project of the State Bolshoi Academic Cinema. Ensemble of Sverdlov Square. Architects D.N. Chechulin, K.K. Orlov, 1936. Main Archive of Moscow, Central State Archive of Moscow

Lydia Komarova. Comintern building, 1929

Lydia Komarova & nbsp; – a graduate of the architectural faculty of VKHUTEMAS, which the first People's Commissar of Education Anatoly Lunacharsky called “the crown of this entire artistic institution.” In 1929, a year before the workshops were closed, she presented her graduation project for the building of the Communist International, which was to appear on the site of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. In 1929, the composition of simple geometric bodies, invented by Komarova, was enthusiastically received & nbsp; – the project was published in several domestic and foreign specialized publications. Perhaps one copy fell into the hands of the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, whose Guggenheim Museum in New York is already very reminiscent of Komarova's round glazed building.

Photo # 2 - 5 architectural utopias of Moscow, which you did not know about The building of the Comintern. Architect Lydia Komarova, 1929. “Contemporary Architecture” magazine, No. 4, 1929

Project of the 1967 World Exhibition. Lengorstroyproekt, 1961

In 1961, many architects thought about one thing & nbsp; – the World Exhibition, which was to be held in Moscow in 1967. It was planned to give 520 hectares for pavilions in the Teply Stan area. The motto of the exhibition “Progress and Peace” became the inspiration for many projects, and the monorail track & nbsp; – one of the most popular options for organizing space. In the 1960s, the monorail was seen as a new form of urban public transport, and the World's Fair was an ideal platform to show the world the progressiveness of the Soviet capital. So it comes as no surprise that a number of competitive projects have proposed connecting the exhibition halls with a monorail cable car. One such project was developed by the architects of Lengorstroyproekt & nbsp; – it turned out very futuristic.

 Photo # 3 - 5 Moscow architectural utopias that you did not know about Project of the 1967 World Exhibition. Lengorstroyproekt, 1961. State Museum of Architecture named after A.V. Shchuseva.

Alexander Vlasov. Palace of Soviets on Lenin Hills, 1957-1958

About the Palace of Soviets & nbsp; – the main utopia of Stalin's Moscow & nbsp; – many have probably heard. The competition for the design of this grandiose structure was held in several stages. The first competition in the 1930s was won by the project of Iofan, Shuko and Gelfreich & nbsp; – a stepped 415-meter tower, the functional value of which was secondary to the symbolic one.

Photo # 4 - 5 Architectural Utopias in Moscow You Didn't Know About Palace of Soviets. Architect Boris Iofan, 1948

The Palace of Soviets on Sparrow Hills, invented by the architect Alexander Vlasov in the mid-1950s, was completely different. It symbolized the main ideas of the Thaw & nbsp; – lightness, simplicity and openness. It was a rectangular volume with a height of only 30 meters, under the roof of which there were three halls. The walls and ceiling of the building were supposed to be made of glass, so the whole space turned into a giant atrium.

 Photo # 5 - 5 architectural utopias of Moscow, which you did not know about Palace of the Soviets on the Lenin Hills. Architect Alexander Vlasov, 1957–1958 State Museum of Architecture named after A.V. Shchuseva

D.N. Chechulin and K.K. Orlov. State Academic Cinema, 1936

The entrance to the metro stations “Revolution Square” and “Teatralnaya” is not just so unprepossessing & nbsp; – the fact is that in the 1930s it was supposed to be built into the grandiose building of the State Academic Theater. Architects D.N. Chechulin and K.K. Orlov, in his project, proposed to combine the multi-style buildings on Teatralnaya Square & nbsp; – the Bolshoi and Maly theaters, the Metropol and Moscow hotels & nbsp; – with the help of an integral volume of the cinema, which is not inferior in size to the Bolshoi Theater. It was assumed that the auditorium of the cinema will be designed for at least four thousand people! Such a scale would eloquently hint to passers-by that the most important of the arts in the Soviet state is cinema.

Photo # 6 - 5 Architectural Utopias in Moscow You Didn't Know About State Academic Cinema. Architects. D.N. Chechulin, K.K. Orlov, 1936. State Research Museum of Architecture named after A.V. Shchusev Photo # 7 - 5 Moscow Architectural Utopias You Didn't Know About State Academic Cinema. Architects. D.N. Chechulin, K.K. Orlov, 1936. State Research Museum of Architecture named after A.V. Shchusev

Project “New Moscow”. Group “Icing Architects”, 2000

While many Soviet projects strove upward, inventing the architectural dominants of the capital in different ways, the project of the “Icing Architects” group, originally from the 2000s, rushed in the opposite direction: the development of the city was not upward, but the “superstructure” was downward. The architects described their plan as follows: “to dig a gigantic hole the size of the whole of Moscow, to get to the basalt slab.” At the same time, the project paradoxically intended to preserve the existing & nbsp; architectural appearance of the capital, because all construction work was supposed to be deployed underground.

 Photo # 8 - 5 architectural utopias of Moscow, you didn't know about New Moscow project. Group “Icing Architects”, 2000.

Exhibition “Moscow: Designing the Future” is held at the Museum of Moscow

When : until May 14, 2022

< strong> Where : 2 Zubovsky Boulevard

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