< Go to Homepage

Futuristic Communist Monuments From the Former Soviet Union

Photography By
CIT31 GEORGIE 04
Druzhba sanatorium in Yalta, Ukraine, 1985 (Frédéric Chaubin)

When the Soviet Union fell, it left behind many architectural fossils of the old country. In 2003, Frederic Chaubin began photographing the bizarre-looking, Brutalist architecture he found while working in the country of Georgia. His photographic record ballooned to 90 buildings  in 14 former Soviet republics, and he’s published them in a book called Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed. Here’s Chaubin on the style of architecture he photographed:

“Soviet architecture is synonymous with monotony, with stereotyped developments repeating the same forms again and again over phenomenal distances, based on the same urban models, the same economy of materials. Here we are somewhere else. In the singular. Secondly, the construction of these buildings extended from the late Brezhnev era to the collapse of the USSR, a period of barely fifteen years. A period of crumbling walls. It is as if, growing old, the Soviet net grew slack, allowing big holes of freedom to form between its gaping threads.”

Take a look inside the book below. If you like what you see, you can purchase it here. Watch a video of Chaubin discussing his book at the bottom of this piece.

 Built in the nineteenth century, the Ninth Fort at Kaunas was used by the Soviet NKVD as a detention center and then by the German occupying forces. The 32 metre-high (105-ft.-high) memorial stands on the site of mass executions carried out during the Holocaust. This spectacular evocation of suffering and death was designed by the sculptor Alfonsas Ambraziunas. Lithuania, 1983 (Frédéric Chaubin)

Built in the nineteenth century, the Ninth Fort at Kaunas was used by the Soviet NKVD as a detention center and then by the German occupying forces. The 32-meter-high (105-ft.-high) memorial stands on the site of mass executions carried out during the Holocaust. This spectacular evocation of suffering and death was designed by the sculptor Alfonsas Ambraziunas. Lithuania, 1983 (Frédéric Chaubin)
Soviet embassy in Cuba Havana, 1985 (Frédéric Chaubin)
Soviet embassy in Cuba Havana, 1985 (Frédéric Chaubin)
Frédéric Chaubin/Taschen)
(Frédéric Chaubin/Taschen)