Imagine Moscow: Architecture, Propaganda, Revolution
Jean-Louis Cohen, Deyan Sudjic, Richard Anderson, Eszter Steierhoffer (Ed.)
The Design Museum, 2019
After the October Revolution of 1917, Lenin moved the Russian capital from the imperial, westward-looking city of St. Petersburg back to Moscow, the traditional heart of Russia. Moscow was to be the ideal Soviet city, its factories, theaters, communal housing and government buildings representing the strength and potential of a new revolutionary society.
Imagine Moscow: Architecture, Propaganda, Revolution explores Moscow as it was envisioned by a bold generation of architects in the 1920s and early 1930s. Featuring rarely seen material, this book portrays a vision of the Soviet capital that was never realized but which still haunts the city today.
Imagine Moscow focuses on six unbuilt architectural landmarks, each telling its own story about the city: Ivan Leonidov’s Lenin Institute (1927), El Lissitzky’s “Cloud Iron” (1924), Nikolai Ladovsky’s Communal House (1919), Nikolai Sokolov’s Health Factory (1927), the Vesnin brothers’ Narkomtiazhprom (1934) and Boris Iofan’s Palace of the Soviets (1932). Each of these projects introduces a theme relevant to life and ideology in the Soviet Union: collectivization, urban planning, aviation, communication, industrialization, communal living and recreation.
Large-scale architectural plans, models and drawings are placed alongside propaganda posters, textiles and porcelain, contextualizing the transformation of Moscow as a city reborn