The End of Stalinist Architecture (November 1955)
When Stalin was alive, luxury empire and mass construction coexisted; endorsement of Lagutenko did not mean demise for Rybitsky. It changed during November, 1954, when critics openly criticized the excesses and the will to build 10–14 story buildings, Stalin's own will; according to Khmelnitsky, this had to be begun by Khrushchev personally. During the next year, the campaign grew, preparing the public for an end of stalinism.
The decree On liquidation of excesses... (November 4, 1955) provides some data on the cost of Stalinist excesses, estimated at 30–33% of total costs. Certainly, these examples were selected carefully, but they are reasonable. Alexey Dushkin and Yevgeny Rybitsky received special criticism for triple cost overruns and luxurious floorplans; Rybitsky and Polyakov were deprived of their Stalin prizes. This was followed with specific orders to develop standardized designs and install an Institute of Standardized Buildings instead of the former Academy.
Stalinist architecture agonized for five more years – work on old buildings was not a top priority anymore. Some were redesigned; some, structurally complete, lost the excesses. The story ended with completion of Hotel Ukrayina (Kiev) during 1961.
The majestic Stalinallee in Berlin, also completed during 1961, was conceived during 1952, and didn't have too much to lose: the scale and bulk of these buildings are definitely Stalinist, but the modest finishes are similar to Jugendstil and Prussian Neoclassicism. The street would later be extended in an International Style idiom and renamed Karl-Marx-Allee.
Read more about this topic: Stalinist Architecture
Famous quotes containing the word architecture:
“All architecture is great architecture after sunset; perhaps architecture is really a nocturnal art, like the art of fireworks.”
—Gilbert Keith Chesterton (18741936)