Travel vicariously to the Ukrainian port town of Odesa with Instagram account @odessamodernism, which showcases Soviet-era buildings, monuments, and ornaments from around the city.
“Most of the city of Odesa was built under the USSR, in the second half of the 20th century,” account curator @vozdukhokrain told The Calvert Journal. An IT specialist in his 30s, he says that his interest in his hometown’s Soviet-era architectural history began gradually, starting with an appreciation of 19th-century neoclassical architecture . From there, he became interested in constructivism, and finally, modernism. “I began to understand that these [Soviet-era buildings] were not just ‘boring, Soviet panels’, as most people thought of them, but perhaps masterpieces of world architecture.”
Yet although interest in Soviet-era architecture is growing internationally, @vozdukhokrain says he feels in the minority in his own community. “I think many buildings and mosaics will cease to exist within 10 years: they will be completely destroyed or rebuilt. That is a general trend in Ukraine,” he explains. “My Instagram account will become an architectural monument to the Odesa which we have lost.”
As for Odesa’s architectural highlights, @vozdukhokrain prefers the city’s 1970s Kuyalnik sanatorium, as well as the well-preserved Odessa Theatre of Musical Comedy —designed by architect Heinrich Topuz in the late 70s, and finished in 1981.