The Western perception of the Soviet Union was one of austerity, straight-laced, buttoned-down and under tight control for any signs of unorthodoxy. While this may have been true politically, the same can’t be said for the architecture of the time, especially in the farther-flung reaches of the massive empire.
Treading similar ground to Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed, which we featured early last year, new exhibition Soviet Modernism 1955-1991 – Unknown Stories at Vienna’s Architekturzentrum Wien shines a fascinating light behind the Iron Curtain and brings into view some truly unique monuments to progressive design – ones which would not normally make it onto the tourist itinerary. Unless you take your holidays in the Baltics of course.
From the merely impressive song stage in Estonia to the wackiest block of flats around in Belarus, this collection – which also comprises a publication released by Park Books – reminds us that while dissent was repressed, the Soviet spirit for creativity found its outlets regardless.
On display until February 2013.