New East Digital Archive

Cosmic architecture exhibition opens in St Petersburg

23 April 2013

A new exhibition celebrating space-age buildings from across Russia and former Soviet republics reappraises the cosmic architecture of the last decades, which was once dismissed and dull and derivative. The exhibition, The City of the Sun: The Architecture of Communism, will display around 100 photographs including nursery schools in the shape of flying saucers at the Poterna and Kazemat galleries of Tsar Bastion at the Peter and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg.

This style of architecture emerged in Russia after World War Two when the state was pouring money into space exploration and the country was obsessed with all things space-related, a fact that was reflected in the literature, film and music of the time.

The buildings, originally built as inexpensive residential homes, has received little critical acclaim until recent years. “Soviet architecture enjoyed creative freedom and expressed ideas of experiment and innovation,” Vladimir Ivanov, curator of the exhibition, told the St Petersburg Times. “These buildings still make a great impression and provide a powerful emotional experience.”

The exhibition runs until 12 May.