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Ten key examples of Tashkent’s Soviet modernist structure

Tashkent’s modernist structure was the main focus of the latest The place within the World is Tashkent convention. Right here the organisers choose 10 vital buildings in Uzbekistan’s capital from the Nineteen Sixties, ’70s and ’80s.

Created as a part of the broader Tashkent Modernism XX/XXI analysis and preservation undertaking led by the Uzbekistan Artwork and Tradition Improvement Basis, the convention aimed to attract consideration to town’s modernist architectural heritage and focus on its future.

As a part of the undertaking, a crew led by Milan-based structure studio Grace, educational Boris Chukhovich, the Politecnico di Milano and Laboratorio Permanente has carried out a survey of town’s modernist structure.

Buildings chosen for conservation

As one of the vital populated cities inside the former Soviet Union and the biggest in Central Asia, Tashkent comprises quite a few municipal, cultural and residential buildings from the period.

The outcomes of the survey, which kind the premise of an exhibition opened alongside the convention, led to 24 buildings being chosen that shall be conserved. The Uzbekistan Artwork and Tradition Improvement Basis is now exploring a UNESCO World Heritage itemizing software for the gathering of buildings.

Beneath, Chukhovich and Grace founder and Tashkent Modernism XX/XXI coordinator Ekaterina Golovatyuk choose 10 buildings that reveal the breadth and high quality of modernist structure in Tashkent:

Panoramic Cinema, by Vladimir Beryozin, 1964

Panoramic Cinema by Vladimir Beryozin, 1964

Considered one of Tashkent’s most iconic buildings, this cinema corridor occupies a block that has a kind knowledgeable by a doric column. An adjoining lengthy, clear block beforehand contained the lobby and cafe, though this has now been blocked up.

“The Panoramic Cinema (Palace of Arts) is the primary in Central Asia and one of many first within the USSR immersive halls for viewing panoramic and widescreen movies,” mentioned Golovatyuk and Chukhovich.

“Its aesthetics, the unique structure and the distinctive design make it unequivocably the primary masterpiece of Tashkent modernism and essentially the most well-known work of Tashkent structure of the twentieth century.”

Lenin Museum, by Yevgeny Rozanov and Vsevolod Shestopalov, 1970

Lenin Museum by Yevgeny Rozanov and Vsevolod Shestopalov, 1970

Constructed to mark the centennial of Vladimir Lenin’s beginning, this constructing was one of many earliest museums devoted to the previous Soviet chief. It acted as a prototype for the opposite 13 constructed throughout the Soviet Union.

“The Lenin Museum (Museum of Historical past) is a constructing that performed a key position for Tashkent, on the one hand proving the potential for introducing reworked conventional parts into the fashionable structure of Uzbekistan, and for the USSR on the opposite, turning into a mannequin of a memorial museum, repeatedly reproduced in different Soviet republics,” mentioned Golovatyuk and Chukhovich.

“An essential indicator of the importance of the museum was the truth that even ideological opponents of using historic structure types in fashionable buildings recognised the standard, the grace and the magnificence of the constructing.”

Hotel Uzbekistan, 1974

Resort Uzbekistan, 1974

A landmark that stands between the previous and new centres of Tashkent, this 17-storey resort was constructed largely for Soviet diplomats visiting town and contained lodging for 930 guests when it opened.

“The facade was conceived as a full-height suspended sunscreen,” mentioned Golovatyuk and Chukhovich.

“Created as a high-rise landmark of the monumental ‘esplanade’, it stays to at the present time the primary reference within the metropolis skyline, marking the situation from which the modernist plan for the transformation of Tashkent centre started.”

State Museum of Arts, by Iskander Abdulov and Anatoly Nikiforov, 1974 

State Museum of Arts by Iskander Abdulov and Anatoly Nikiforov, 1974 

The venue for the The place within the World is Tashkent convention, the State Museum of Arts is the headquarters of the Uzbekistan Artwork and Tradition Improvement Basis.

One of many first purpose-built modern-art museums within the Soviet Union, the constructing was initially clad in a collection of summary, sq. panels. Within the Nineties, it was renovated with new facades added and now the organisation is now contemplating returning the constructing to its unique state.

“Probably the most summary and airtight work of Tashkent modernism, the Museum of Artwork stays a testomony to the potential for designing a constructing as a murals, even in a standardised building business,” mentioned Golovatyuk and Chukhovich.

“It was the primary modern-art museum designed in Central Asia and one of many first within the USSR. Impressed by the probabilities of latest supplies, the constructing additionally betrays the architects’ need to remodel the museum right into a temple with its metaphysical and transcendental qualities.”

State Circus, by Genrikh Aleksandrovich and Gennady Masyagin, 1976
Picture by Monticello

State Circus by Genrikh Aleksandrovich and Gennady Masyagin, 1976

With a UFO-like kind, the State Circus was one in all quite a few inbuilt main cities throughout the Soviet Union. Nonetheless, in contrast to the bulk that observe a set Moscow-approved design, the Tashkent circus has a novel, futuristic id.

“The Tashkent circus is an instance of a inventive initiative of Tashkent architects who defended the correct to create distinctive native structure at a time when architects in different cities may solely adapt typical Moscow initiatives,” mentioned Golovatyuk and Chukhovich.

“The customized design of the dome, the brand new idea of the spectator lobby, the sturdy connection of the design with the historic Khadra Sq. – all this makes the circus an object that appeared on the proper time in the correct place, marking the brand new beginning of the previous metropolis.”

Chorsu Market, by Vladimir Azimov and Sabir Adylov, 1980
Picture by Tom Ravenscroft

Chorsu Market by Vladimir Azimov and Sabir Adylov, 1980

The town’s largest farmers market, this constructing has an ornamental inexperienced dome that encloses a big indoor market the place the construction’s metal body is on show.

“For a very long time, historians believed that the inspiration for the creation of the Chorsu market was the work of the Moscow architect Andrey Kosinsky,” mentioned Golovatyuk and Chukhovich. “Nonetheless, we managed to determine extra surprising origins of this daring undertaking, embedded within the very coronary heart of the medieval a part of Tashkent.”

“The method, which started within the Algerian metropolis of Sidi Bel Abbas and ended with the development of an enormous dome within the previous metropolis of Chorsu, could possibly be a transparent illustration of the idea of ‘cultural transfers’, by way of which architectural fashions developed in a single a part of the world are remodeled past recognition in others, buying options and cultural traits of the context that accepts them,” they continued.

People's Friendship Palace, by Yeregeny Rozanov, 1981
Picture by Tom Ravenscroft

Individuals’s Friendship Palace by Yevgeny Rozanov, 1981

Designed by the identical Moscow institute that created the Lenin Museum, this constructing was additionally one in all a number of of the identical typology that have been constructed throughout the Soviet Union.

Its fashion could be very consultant of Brezhnev-era structure and the constructing is wrapped in a facade knowledgeable by know-how, with concrete representations of bolt heads.

“The Palace of Friendship of Peoples is unprecedented in measurement, composition, constructive system, palette of supplies, the quantity of monumental artwork,” mentioned Golovatyuk and Chukhovich. “If we needed to prescribe its place within the historical past of Tashkent structure, the Palace could possibly be thought-about a modernist model of the Shchusev’s Navoi theater.”

“The large constructing, through which Moscow architects mirrored their concepts in regards to the conventional structure of Uzbekistan, has survived to at the present time in nearly unchanged kind,” they continued. “The Palace is exclusive not solely in phrases its aesthetics, but in addition for the development applied sciences utilized.”

Metro station Prospekt of Cosmonauts, by Spartak Ziganshin, 1984

Metro station Prospekt of Cosmonauts by Spartak Ziganshin, 1984

Inbuilt 1984, because the identify suggests, this station is devoted to the Soviet Union’s cosmonauts. Richly adorned with marble and ornamental glass lighting, the station is flanked with reliefs devoted to Soviet house pioneers created by artist Boris Klochkov.

“Tashkent’s metro, working since 1977, was the primary in Central Asia. On the city scale, it represented a vital step within the modernization of town and was seen as greater than a transportation system,” mentioned Golovatyuk and Chukhovich. “It had not solely strategic defensive but in addition ideological capabilities, because it needed to testify the nation’s historical past and id by the use of the structure of the stations.”

“A crew of native architects supervised by S Sutyagin designed the Cosmonauts Avenue station, fairly unique for its excessive spatial high quality, nice finishes and quite a few works of monumental artwork, impressed by the heroic conquest of house,” they continued.

Zhemchug, by Ophelia Aidinova, 1985

Zhemchug by Ophelia Aidinova, 1985

Designed to recreate the standard collective residing environments of conventional central Asian mahallas, this residential tower block comprises a collection of stacked, three storey courtyards.

“The architect Ophelia Aydinova determined to oppose a budget prefabricated concrete housing, manufactured on the manufacturing facility and mounted on the development website, [for] the even cheaper building method implying building in situ,” mentioned Golovatyuk and Chukhovich.

“Although the brand new know-how ended up not being as economical as introduced, Tashkent earned a brutalist masterpiece, attracting architects from internationally,” they continued. “The idea and the structure of Zhemchug – the Pearl – has no analogues on the planet – its form was generated by the social ties in conventional Uzbek one-story neighborhoods (mahallas), which Aidinova determined to re-interprete by erecting a multi-storey constructing with collective hanging courtyards.”

Heliocomplex Sun, 1987
Picture by Tom Ravenscroft

Heliocomplex Solar, 1987

Positioned on a hill round 45 kilometres from Tashkent, the Heliocomplex Solar is among the largest solar furnaces on the planet.

Constructed as one of many final main scientific initiatives developed by the Soviet Union, it has a futuristic kind and with 12,090 mirrors can warmth supplies as much as 3,000 levels Celsius.

“From a technological standpoint, there are two comparable photo voltaic furnaces on the planet: within the metropolis of Odeillo within the French Pyrenees and the Parkent foothills close to Tashkent,” mentioned Golovatyuk and Chukhovich. “The French constructing appeared first, however its Uzbek successor was extra formidable.”

“Whereas the complicated at Odeillo is totally utilitarian, the photo voltaic complicated at Parkent was impressed by futuristic buildings and cosmic desires,” they continued. “Functioning to at the present time, the solar institute testifies not solely to the universality of the rules of modernist structure, but in addition to its capacity to adapt to varied landscapes of the planet.”

The images is by Alexey Narodizkiy except in any other case said.


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