The Architecture Of The Stalin Era

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Architecture was completely transformed. The architecture of the Stalin era is generally associated with an emphasis on decoration and facade, a contrast to that of the previous decade where the emphasis was on radical thinking and human functionality. Probably the most prominent moment for Soviet architectural history (and official turning point from the end of Constructivist to Stalinist architecture) was the competition of 1931 to design the Palace of Soviets building, which was capable of hosting meetings of up to 15,000 people. Entries were international, receiving from 160 Soviet architects and foreign architects including Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier. Corbusier’s designs, though modernist, had channeled constructivist elements. However, in 1933, a jury headed by Molotov picked the winning design by Soviet architect Boris Iofan. His palace-like building was intended to be the tallest building in the world, taller than the recently completed Empire State Building, and topped with a massive, 300-foot statue of Lenin. At this point, the previous growth and experiments of architecture were now shifting to that of Stalinist ideas and channeling more of social realism type paintings. Sinyavsky, in his famous essay titled “On Socialist Realism,” brought out a two key points: the way in which socialist realism tries both to present actuality and to monumentalize. This occasion of the new Palace of Soviets building was beginning to appear in paintings as fully built and with Stalin, even though the construction of it had just started; the top of Lenin’s 300- foot statue gleaming in the background as a symbol for all that communism was. Those who commented on Stalinist art focused on its artistic strategy as well as the emp... ... middle of paper ... and construction, as contrary to the line of the Party and the Government in this case, causing considerable damage to the national economy and hindering the improvement of living and cultural conditions of the workers.” Thus started the move back to so-called modernism. Khrushchev favored the opposite of Stalin: he thought buildings should be focused on the quantity and wanted the mass-producing of buildings. After Stalin, the original goal of a socialist form of architecture became more and more distant. The achievements of the OSA, Constructivist architecture and its true nature of communistic architecture planning are now just a distant memory in Russia. The once dream of an efficient way of living in a socialist styled building, is no more, as the world of architecture continues to evolve and change with the politics and social issues of the current world.
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