Russian Constructivism in Architecture – a Guest in Russia

 House of Culture named Zuev

From 1920 to 1930 in Russia a new trend in architecture was born – constructivism. Austerity, conciseness, geometric shapes and monolithic appearance distinguished this avant-garde style.

At the international exhibition in Paris in 1925, Russia literally shocked western experts with its novel architectural ideas. It was then when such terms as “Soviet avant-garde” and “constructivism” were born and firmly rooted in the history of architecture.

Founders of Soviet Avant-Garde

The founders of the new direction in architecture were three talented architects: Victor, Leonid and Alexander Vesnins. For the first time their new ideas were presented at the architectural competition at the Moscow Palace of Labor. The rationality of their project, new aesthetics required the use of advanced materials and structures.

To develop further the ideas of constructivism the brothers managed while designing the building for the newspaper “Leningradskaya Pravda” in Moscow.

Development of avant-garde in Russia was short-lived, and Vesnins and their associates were soon unjustly forgotten in their homeland.

Return of Russian Ideas to Russia

In 1928, Le Corbusier came to Russia. The French architect dreamed of implementing his projects in the homeland of constructivism.

Surprisingly, but the avant-garde ideas of Soviet architects in the presentation of a foreigner were met enthusiasticallyby the Soviet authorities. And in 1928 he began the construction of the Tsentrosoyuz Building on Myasnitskaya Street in Moscow. But his very bold ideas of rebuilding the historic center of the capital scared even the Communists. In 1931 the French man hastily returned to his homeland.

The 1930s were marked by harassment of the architects of all new directions. The trend of the decade became the “Stalinist Gothic.” In other countries though, Russian constructivism was further developed and became the basis for the industrial style.

Only after 1990 constructivism returned to Russia, by this time having won over the whole world.

The first true masterpieces of Russian avant-garde –the movie theater “Udarnik”, the club “Burevestnik”, the House on the Riverfront, you can still see in Moscow.

To discover Russia with Alexey Gureev

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