Celebrate Ukraine's Soviet Brutalist Architecture with this New Short Film

Celebrate Ukraine's Soviet Brutalist Architecture with this New Short Film

The fall of the Iron Curtain in 1991 came not only with political, economic, and social implications but also left behind a distinctive style of architecture. This architecture, under the Soviet regime, was a system that relied on quantifiable targets, such as the Five Year Plan. These quotas forced architects to evaluate building projects in terms of material and labor costs, number of units, volume of skilled and unskilled labor, and so forth. As a result, architecture across these regions became an industrial commodity, an outward flex of power and technological innovation, and a collective of architects executing a Stalinist vision.

However, Soviet Modernism, as it is now called, was a regionally diverse style. Architecture built in the Baltic States was designed to promote the popular tourist destinations in these countries, while places like Uzbekistan and Georgia feature the iconic Soviet zeitgeist of "sci-fi" and brutalist buildings.

Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine, was certainly not exempt from the Soviet influence and features a number of modernist landmarks that dot the skyline. But as the city grows and evolves, many of these Soviet-era icons are falling out of favor and into disrepair, with many already cleared away to make room for newer, more contemporary projects. Among the growing list of buildings at risk of demolition is Ukraine’s Institute of Scientific, Technical and Economic Information, and the State Scientific and Technical Library, commonly known as the “UFO Building,” which is already now flanked by a large, modern shopping mall.

Alex Bykov and Ievgeniia Gubkina, the authors of a book on the nation’s most threatened buildings, have released a short film titled Soviet Modernism, Brutalism, Post-Modernism: Buildings and Projects in Ukraine from 1960 – 1990 that pays homage to Ukraine's great buildings. In the film, the author's dramatic voice-overs introduce and make the case for a number of iconic structures, and why they are still important to everyday life. These buildings are often neglected, not protected by historical societies, and are rarely mentioned in academic texts. Although the history surrounding many Soviet sites is an inherently polarizing topic, Kiev's buildings exemplify how the heritage of the Soviet Union is slowly vanishing, and why it needs to be preserved.

h/t Calvert Journal

About this author
Cite: Kaley Overstreet. "Celebrate Ukraine's Soviet Brutalist Architecture with this New Short Film" 24 Jul 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/898352/celebrate-ukraines-soviet-brutalist-architecture-with-this-new-short-film> ISSN 0719-8884

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.